The Catcher Was a Spy

Director: Ben Lewin
Screenwriters: Robert Rodat

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


In the midst of World War II, major league catcher Moe Berg (Paul Rudd) is drafted to join a new team: the Office of Security Services (the precursor to the CIA). No ordinary ballplayer, the erudite, Jewish Ivy League graduate speaks nine languages and is a regular guest on a popular TV quiz show. Despite his celebrity, Berg is an enigmatic man with a knack for keeping secrets. The novice spy is quickly trained and sent into the field to stop German scientist Werner Heisenberg before he can build an atomic bomb for the Nazis.

Director Ben Lewin’s (The Sessions) fascinating political thriller follows Berg from the bullpen to behind enemy lines. Rudd’s sly performance brings the charming, chameleonic catcher to life with the support of a crackerjack cast, including Jeff Daniels and Guy Pearce as seasoned spies and Paul Giamatti as a Dutch physicist. Adapted by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) from Nicholas Dawidoff’s 1994 biography, The Catcher Was a Spy tells one of the great unsung tales of American espionage.

— M.C.

Screening Details

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