The Catcher Was a Spy

The Catcher Was a Spy

Sloan Foundation Film

Release Date



  • Ben Lewin


  • Paul Rudd
  • Jeff Daniels
  • Mark Strong
  • Sienna Miller
  • Guy Pearce
  • Paul Giamatti
  • Tom Wilkinson


  • 2015, Tribeca Film Institute: Filmmaker Fund: Production Award

The true story of Moe Berg: Major League Baseball player, Ivy League graduate, attorney who spoke nine languages...and top-secret spy who helped the U.S. beat Germany in the race to build the atomic bomb.

This gripping, stranger-than-fiction espionage thriller brings to life the incredible true story of Moe Berg, the professional baseball player who became a World War II spy. A Jewish, Princeton-educated, multilingual catcher for the Boston Red Sox with a closely-guarded private life, the enigmatic Berg (Paul Rudd) was already a man of mystery when, in 1944, the US government’s wartime intelligence agency enlisted his services. His mission: go behind enemy lines in Europe to assassinate the Nazi’s chief nuclear scientist before the Germans develop an atomic bomb. Trading in his catcher’s mitt for a trench coat, Berg must rely on his formidable, steel-trap intellect in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse—with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Jeff Daniels, Paul Giamatti, and Sienna Miller costar in this remarkable slice of forgotten history.

Possible Topics

  • Nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, atomic energy, and the bomb
  • The psychology of secrecy
  • Debunking (or confirming?) the jock/nerd dichotomy

Past Programs