In the vein of Ocean’s Eleven and Thomas Crown Affair Clever, Duplicity is a perfect afternoon movie to see with a friend and a bottle of contraband wine!. The Dialogue is witty and both Julia Roberts and Clive Owen make the world of Big Business seem sexy. The story traces the illicit love affair between two spies-turned-corporate operatives as they attempt to screw The Man.
Tony Gilroy (director)does an excellent job of exploring the world of corporate espionage and counter intelligence. Real life corporations such as Procter & Gamble, General Motors and Fruit of the Loom are notorious for spying on their competitors.
In 1943 a P&G employee bribed a worker for Lever Brothers to steal several bars of a soap under development called Swan. P&G used the formula to improve its own Ivory soap and ended up paying Lever $5.675 million for infringing on its patent.
In 2009, P&G agreed to pay Unilever, the renamed and now worldwide Lever Brothers, $10 million to settle another case of corporate espionage. This time, Procter reported the infractions, which included a contractor rummaging through trash outside a Unilever office in Chicago.
Corporate espionage has been around for decades, but the increase in activity prompted Congress to pass the Economic Espionage Act in 1996, which carried criminal penalties for theft of intellectual property.
I can only imagine what sort of tricks go on behind the corporate doors of competitors like Microsoft and Apple.
Tags: corporate espionage, duplicity, movie review