Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.
A morality tale for the 21st century, Official Secrets tells the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top secret NSA memo exposing a joint US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council. The memo proposed blackmailing smaller, undecided member states into voting for war. At great personal and professional risk, journalist Martin Bright published the leaked document in The Observer newspaper in London, and the story made headlines around the world. Members of the Security Council were outraged and any chance of a UN resolution in favour of war collapsed. But within days, Bush declared he no longer needed UN backing and invaded anyway. As Iraq descended into chaos, Katharine was arrested and charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act. Martin faced potential charges too. Their legal battles exposed the highest levels of government in both London and Washington ...
During the time that the U.S. was pushing for war with Iraq it was widely reported in the U.S. press that the British had experience dealing with the Iraqi informant who was providing the Americans with the intelligence they were relying on. The British affirmed that none of the information he provided to them over a period of several years had turned out to be true. After being rejected by the British, the informant began selling information direct to the Americans. Reportedly, the man had received close to $100,000 in cash over the previous few years for his reports to the British and Americans; information that provided a strong motive for generating false intelligence. After the invasion and occupation it was proven that all of his information was indeed false. See more »
When Katharine enters the office at the office at 04:10 she places a pastry onto some sort of equipment. She then gives some to her colleague and puts it back on the equipment. From there it just vanishes and appears at 05:10. See more »
Clerk of the Court:
Katharine Teresa Gun, you are charged with an offense contrary to section 1, subsection 1, of the Official Secrets Act of 1989, in that you did knowingly and intentionally disclose top-secret intelligence information contrary to the said act. How do you plead? Guilty or not guilty?
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It's sometimes difficult for films that deal with heavy dialogue covering subjects that are not always the easiest to translate on screen to create thrilling 100 minutes or so. Official Secrets does it well, bolstered by yet another great (period piece) performance from Keira Knightley. This film may not be revered as much as All the President's Men or Spotlight but it's up there for me. Separating itself by showing the true costs of being a whistleblower emotionally and physically while still succeeding in using a similar formula structurally. I was nothing short of enthralled with Official Secrets.
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