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Bridge of Spies is a 2015 biographical historical spy drama thriller film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Matt Charman and the Coen brothers, and starring Tom Hanks in the lead role, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. 

Set during the Cold War, the film tells the story of lawyer James B. Donovan, who is 

entrusted with negotiating the release of Francis Gary Powers—a convicted Central Intelligence Agency pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960—in exchange for Rudolf Abel, a convicted Soviet KGB spy held by the United States, whom Donovan represented at trial. The name of the film refers to the Glienicke Bridge, which connects Potsdam with Berlin, where the prisoner exchange took place.


Cullercoats Watch House is a registered charity focused on restoring the building and creating a heritage hub and activity centre.

Please see our website and justgiving page for details.


Bring your own refreshment and book your tickets quickly as seating, at what promises to be a fun and fascinating screening, is limited.



What do Steven Spielberg, the Cold War, and Cullercoats Watch House have in common?


‘Bridge of Spies’ starring Mark Rylance and Tom Hanks is showing as the inaugural film night at this iconic venue. The film tells the story of Cullercoats’ lad Willie Fisher who grew up to become Soviet agent Rudolf Abel.


David Saunders Emeritus Professor of the History of the Russian Empire at Newcastle University will introduce the film. He learned in 1983 that Rudolf Abel, the Soviet spy in Steven Spielberg’s film, was born to Russian immigrants in Newcastle in 1903, Willie moved to Cullercoats, attending school in Monkseaton. David has found out more since then, 

but Russia's security agencies have still not told us everything about their most famous agent's professional career.


Harry Gallagher, local poet, playwright, and singer songwriter has written a poem evocative of both the beauty of Cullercoats Bay and Willie’s remarkable journey, which will be performed on the night. Proceeds from the evening, which will include a limited edition ‘Rudolf Abel Ale’ by Cullercoats brewery, a raffle prize of a copy of Vin Arthey’s book ‘Abel’ and a copy of the original film poster, will go to the campaign to renovate Cullercoats Watch House.


Sunday 24th September

Doors open: 6.00pm

Event starts: 6.30pm



Cullercoats Watch House

Front St, Cullercoats, 

NE30 4QB


This event has happened.

Ticket sales from this event have gone towards the Cullercoats Watch House restoration fund

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