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The Company: Season 1 [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Chris O'Donnell, Alfred Molina, Michael Keaton, Ted Atherton, Alessandro Nivola
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Dec. 2007
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000TP4FUC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,060 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Handsomely mounted, epic in scope, and featuring an outstanding cast, TNT's The Company might restore some much-needed luster to the image of the Central Intelligence Agency (then again, perhaps not). Based on Robert Littell's popular historical novel of the same name, the show commingles real and invented characters as it traces the CIA's role in several major events, from the earliest days of the Cold War through the collapse of the Soviet Union, with particular attention given to the division of Berlin into East and West in the 1950s, the anti-Communist uprising in mid-'50s Hungary, and the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation in the early '60s.

The first of the miniseries' three parts introduces us to Yale graduates Jack McAuliffe (Chris O'Donnell), Leo Kritzky (Alessandro Nivola), and Yevgeny Tsipin (Rory Cochrane); the first two are recruited by the CIA, but the Russian-born Tsipin sides with the KGB. The initial focus is on the CIA's efforts to find a Soviet mole who's been interfering with the agency's work and putting many American lives at risk. Working with mentor Harvey "The Sorcerer" Torriti (Alfred Molina), who calls him "Sport" and delights in pointing out that such matters are nothing less than a life-and-death struggle between good and evil and right and wrong, McAuliffe skulks around Berlin, where his principal informant and soon-to-be love interest is a lovely young ballerina (Alexandra Maria Lara) with a few secrets of her own. Meanwhile, back in Washington, the colorfully-named CIA counter-intelligence expert James Jesus Angleton (a real guy portrayed with low-key intensity by Michael Keaton) slowly realizes that the mole in question is one of his old pals. And it doesn't stop there. Turns out there's another double agent (codename "Sasha") working for the Reds; this one's deeply embedded in the CIA, and Angleton, a chain-smoking obsessive whose behavior becomes increasingly cold and peculiar, devotes years (and most of the series' third installment) to outing him. The process by which he does just that, culminating in some fairly excruciating interrogation scenes, provides The Company's best moments--especially because we don't know until the very end whether Angleton has fingered the actual Sasha or not.

Viewers unfamiliar with the CIA's history and methods aren’t likely to be very encouraged by what's depicted here--especially in the second part, in which the agency's misadventures in Hungary and Cuba reveal it (as well as the U.S. government overall) to be not merely ineffective but disastrously inept, as well as shockingly callous and hypocritical when it comes to lending material support to the causes it claims to espouse. Still, the series does a good job with many of the elements common to such fare (Robert De Niro's 2006 film The Good Shepherd covers some of the same ground). Codes are written and deciphered. Secrets are kept… and revealed. Shots are fired, and some of them connect. People die, good and bad alike. And even if some of the scenes are a bit overheated and melodramatic, all in all, The Company (which was written by Ken Nolan, directed by Mikael Salomon, and produced by John Calley and Ridley and Tony Scott) is smart and entertaining. And some of it's even! true. --Sam Graham

From the Back Cover

The Company tells the story of Jack McCauliffe (O’Donnell), an idealistic Yale graduate recruited into the CIA by his coach. He’s sent to the legendary Berlin Base in Germany to work with a man who becomes his mentor: the eccentric and colorful Harvey Torriti (Molina), codename "The Sorcerer". Jack and The Sorcerer are imprisoned in double lives, fighting an elusive but formidable enemy in an unrelenting and deadly battle within the CIA itself. Together with the counterintelligence chief, James Angleton (Keaton), the three men are hell-bent on finding the moles within their own ranks before every operation they undertake is completely undermined. However, Jack is forever changed as he must witness the cost in human lives.


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