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Mark Whitacre has worked for lysine developing company ADM for many years and has even found his way into upper management. But nothing has prepared him for the job he is about to undertake - being a spy for the FBI. Unwillingly pressured into working as an informant against the illegal price-fixing activities of his company, Whitacre gradually adopts the idea that he's a true secret agent. But as his incessant lies keep piling up, his world begins crashing down around him.Written by
The Massie Twins
Whitacre mentions watching a show in which a character calls home and hears himself pick up the phone. This was the plot of a 1985 episode of The New Twilight Zone named "Shatterday", written by Harlan Ellison, directed by Wes Craven and with Bruce Willis as the guy with a double. See more »
The establishing shot for the first scene at Brian Shepard's office states that the office is in Springfield, Illinois, but shots of the door to the FBI to Shepherd's FBI field office says Decatur, Illinois, where ADM is located. See more »
You know that orange juice you have every morning? You know what's in that? Corn. And you know what's in the maple syrup you put on your pancakes? You know what makes it taste so good? Corn. And when you're good and help with the trash, you know what makes the big, green bags biodegradable?
[to his son]
Corn *starch*. But Daddy's company didn't come up with that one. DuPont did.
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Prologue: "While this motion picture is based on real events, certain incidents and characters are composites, and dialog has been dramatized. So there." See more »
This will be short. I read the book when it first came out in 2000, and recently watched the film, and now am rereading the book. The book is dry and difficult, with three and half pages of involved people listed at the very beginning. Who can keep track of all this? It is replete with the taped conversations of the involved, all of the everything that went on. And, it is tedious, if correct, in the extreme. Well, what the film did, and bless it, was to simplify all of this stuff and make it intelligible to us ordinary folks. And, it made a really nasty story somewhat funny, because we know within the first half hour or so that there is something hinky about this Whitacre character. Oh boy, is there, but I won't write a spoiler here. There's no reason to. Even in the book, the FBI guys were wondering about Whitacre. Why did he turn traitor to his own company? What did he have to gain? The film is extremely well done, an amazingly good adaptation of a book which would probably have you snoozing after fifteen minutes. Matt Damon really shows his stuff in this one, even developing a modest middle age belly to complete the image of the nerdy scientist.
Watch it, laugh at it, and remember: this is a true story about why most of the people in America are poor and how their losses are paying for the riches of companies which have decided that "the customer is the enemy".
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