What Does Pryor Think Of 'Bridge Of Spies'? The Political Prisoner's Story Is Told On-Screen

If you're planning on seeing Bridge of Spies, you probably already know that it revolves around James Donovan's negotiation for the release of U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers following the 1960 U-2 incident. But there was another American who was also released as a result of Donovan's efforts: Frederic Pryor, a graduate student who was being held by German authorities without charge. Pryor's story was less sensational than that of Powers, and he told NPR in 2010 that his inclusion in the swap was somewhat of an afterthought. "I was really tossed in at the last minute," he said."I hadn’t been formally charged since I hadn't been a spy." But since the movie includes Pryor's story, it's reasonable to wonder what the real Pryor thinks about Bridge of Spies.

Unfortunately, the 82-year-old hasn't released any public comments about the film, so one can only speculate what his opinion on it might be. It doesn't appear he was involved in the production process, either; Will Rogers (who plays Pryor) told The Hollywood Reporter that he prepared for the role by listening to podcasts about the Cold War era and reading the book Bridge of Spies, but he didn't mention anything about ever meeting or speaking with the man he was portraying. There's no way of knowing why Pryor hasn't talked about the film, and/or if his lack of involvement in it was intentional. But I would wager that maybe he just isn't interested on dwelling the events of the early '60s since they were so unpleasant for him, and also because they were only a very small part of his life. Pryor has actually gone on to accomplish some huge things since his 1962 release — here are just a few.

He Worked All Over The World


An esteemed microeconomist, Pryor has worked for public and private institutions all across America. But he has also worked in Ukraine and Latvia as an economic advisor, and he served as a consultant to the World Bank (part of the United Nations).

He Wrote Multiple Books

Pryor is the author of many economic texts and essays. His books cover topics ranging from East European economic reform to the future of U.S. capitalism. You can purchase many of Pryor's books on Amazon... you know, just in case you need some light beach reading.

He Taught At Prestigious Universities, And Still Does

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The economist has taught at Yale, the University of California, the University of Michigan, the University of Paris, the International Institute for Graduate Studies in Geneva, and several other well-known schools. Pryor is now 82, but is still active as a Professor Emeritus of Economics and Senior Research Scholar at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

So even though Pryor hasn't been present in the publicity surrounding Bridge of Spies, he definitely hasn't been bored. If anything, I'd say it's possible that maybe the professor was just too busy with his scholarly activities to get involved with the movie. Either way, you can see some of Pryor's story onscreen now, as Bridge of Spies is playing in theaters nationwide.

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