Chris Cooper plays Robert Hanssen who is obsessed with Catherine Zeta-Jones. Cooper and Zeta-Jones won their respective Best Supporting Actor/Best Supporting Actress Oscars at the same Academy Awards ceremony in 2003.
After the opening scene, code quickly flashes and is reduced to the movie title. The scrolling code is a Linux procedure that mounts (connects to) networked data sources such as Unix, Windows and Novell file systems.
The movie fictionalized much of Eric M. O'Neill's story. Among the changes made for the film: The real O'Neill knew going in that Robert Hanssen was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation. There was no cover story about sexual perversions, and no dramatic meeting where O'Neill learned the truth. There was no extensive contact outside the office between O'Neill and Hanssen as shown in the film (e.g. O'Neills visiting the Hanssens, Hanssens dropping by O'Neill's apartment); however, Hanssen did take O'Neill to church. The scene where Hanssen takes O'Neill out into the woods and drunkenly fires his pistol is fictional. Unlike in the movie, O'Neill never saw Hanssen after the arrest. While O'Neill did obtain Hanssen's PDA, he took it to FBI techs to download rather than downloading it himself.
When Hanssen's car is thoroughly inspected his trunk contains several assault rifles including German Heckler & Koch G36s. The film takes place early in 2001. HK did not announce the release of the G36 until Spring 2001 and did not begin releasing free LEO (Law Enforcement Only) samples until 2002. It is also unlikely that Hanssen would even be issued such as gun as he did not test new firearms for the FBI.
Eric and Robert enter a church and Eric makes the sign of the cross incorrectly. Since much of the plot involves Eric's and Robert's Catholicism, it would have been an error that would have made Robert suspicious.
When Robert Hanssen is making his final "dead drop" of government secrets in a metro DC park in February, the sound track includes the distinct sound of robins singing. Robins do not migrate into the DC area until many weeks later.
Eric O'Neill: I had all these answers for her. 'He's misunderstood.' 'He's trying to fix the bureau and no one will listen.' 'He was born in the wrong century.' 'His father's a jerk.' I got a whole list. But you know something Sir, at the end of the day it's all crap. You ARE who you are. The why doesn't mean a thing does it? DOES IT?
Robert Hanssen: Now, could the mole be someone from the Bureau, not the CIA? Of course. Are we actively pursuing that possibility? Of course not. Because we're the *Bureau*. The Bureau knows-all. Cooperation is counter-operation, and that's the mentally. Of course the enemies of this country aren't so picky. They'll work with anyone who shares their hatred of us. The Bureau hasn't learned that lesson yet.