Breach – What Espionage, Dr. Grips and Geocaching Have in Common

February 27, 2007 at 11:19 pm 9 comments

This evening Sean and I went to see the movie Breach.  It’s based on the true story of FBI agent Robert Hanssen who served as a spy for Russia and the Soviet Union for at least 15 years.  The movie covers how Hanssen (played by Chris Cooper) was finally caught with the help of a young, wanna-be FBI agent (played by Ryan Phillippe).

I was interested in the film mainly because I’m fond of Chris Cooper.  Little did I know, Cooper had a costar that I’ve been an even greater fan of for much longer.

Early on in the film, Cooper holds up and clicks a thick blue pen.  I recognized it instantly– I have a whole fleet of those pens in a variety of colors and inks.  And, keeping with my practice of selecting gifts based on my tastes, I’ve given a number of people those pens as gifts throughout the years.

“Look!” I whispered to Sean, “A Dr. Grip!”

Just then, Chris Cooper tells Ryan Phillippe, “Best pens in the world!  I never write with anything else.”  

Pilot must be so proud!  Dr. Grip – Writing utensil of choice for international espionage!

Chris Cooper and his esteemed co-star, the Ice Blue Dr. Grip

I was very pleased to see the Dr. Grip’s role to be more than a mere cameo.  In fact, it got a good amount of screen time.  Even though I only whispered once, the Dr. Grip’s prominence throughout the movie did not sneak by Sean.  He had a good quote on what he was thinking as the film progressed:

“Good gawd.  It is like Vicky wrote it and tried to sneak this crap in.”

The Dr. Grip wasn’t the only thing I found familiar during the movie.  Since the film is set in D.C., some key scenes took place on the same roads I take to visit my grandmother.  Rock Creek Park was featured and finally, another park caught my eye.

Near the end of the movie, when Hanssen was making a drop, the park and bridge looked very familiar.  I was, however, able to keep that observation to myself until the credits were rolling.

“That bridge looks very much like a geocache I found,” I told Sean as we exited the theatre.

At that point, Sean marveled at how the movie seemed like it was written just for me.  🙂

I consulted my account when I got home.  The drop scene was familiar for a reason.  Brian Nenninger and I did  find a geocache in September 2003 that was placed specifically with Robert Hanssen in mind (GCC562 The Dead Drop).  And now that my memory is reviving, I believe Brian picked out that cache because of its sorted history!

Anyway, since I’m still giddy at the Dr. Grip’s appearence and the geocache coincidence,  I think it is safe to say I enjoyed Breach.  And… I suspect it might even hold some appeal to those who do not write exclusively with Dr. Grips or who haven’t mucked around in the same mud as the main character.  🙂

Entry filed under: Breach, Chris Cooper, Dr. Grip, Geocaching, Robert Hanssen, Ryan Phillippe, Sean.

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clint  |  February 28, 2007 at 11:43 am

    My pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 2. Clint  |  February 28, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Have you seen my pen???

  • 3. tgaw  |  February 28, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Dang, I wish we could reward Kudos on WordPress blogs (like MySpace). You would have earned some for a Kids in the Hall reference!

  • 4. Caesar Salads and Other Cheese Discoveries « TGAW  |  March 3, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    […] Sean and I saw Breach on Tuesday, we went to eat dinner at Red Robin.  Guess what Red Robin’s featured burger is […]

  • 5. Josh  |  July 8, 2007 at 1:58 am

    I just bought that exact pen on Ebay.
    Not because I want to be a spy, I just like movie memorabilia

  • 6. dave  |  December 8, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Was this the pen? Black Ink, Blue Barrel, Gel Ink?

    Funny, I actually want one, so wanna make sure I order the right one.

  • 7. tgaw  |  December 8, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    @dave- I believe so! I have one myself– they are pretty nice pens. Though– the ink does tend to run if the page subsequently gets wet and the ink cartridges get fussy if you drop the pen (if that happens, just put in a new cartridge– they use the G2 Refills)

  • 8. james  |  February 28, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Sorry to resurrect an old posts. We switched office suppliers and to tighten down the old budget I was told I can no longer order my Pilot Dr. Grip Gels.

    Like Mr. Cooper I love these pens. Fat body and good grips. I’ll keep buying them myself.

    I saw this movie a year ago and instantly recognized my pens too 🙂


  • 9. dashford  |  October 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Just a bit more trivia on the movie: you know the pen used in the movie — it was Robert Hanssen’s Dr. Grip. I mean the *exact* pen. In real life (as in the movie), the young FBI agent (Eric O’Neill) kept Hanssen’s pen, and it was used as a prop in the filming.


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