No Way Out (1987 film)
|No Way Out|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Roger Donaldson|
|Produced by||Robert Garland
|Screenplay by||Robert Garland|
|Based on||The Big Clock
by Kenneth Fearing
|Music by||Maurice Jarre|
|Editing by||William Hoy
|Distributed by||Orion Pictures|
|Running time||114 minutes|
No Way Out is a 1987 thriller film about a U.S. Naval officer investigating a Washington, D.C. murder. It stars Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, and Sean Young. Will Patton, Howard Duff, George Dzundza, Jason Bernard, Fred Thompson, and Iman appear in supporting roles.
The film is a remake of 1948's The Big Clock; both films are based on Kenneth Fearing's 1946 novel The Big Clock. In addition to the Orion Pictures Corporation studio, filming locations included Baltimore, Annapolis, Arlington, Washington, D.C., and Auckland, New Zealand. The film features original music by the Academy Award-winning Maurice Jarre.
At a ball, United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell meets a young woman, Susan Atwell, and the two immediately begin an affair, although Atwell is involved with someone else. During his next Naval deployment, Farrell rescues a fellow sailor during a storm and becomes a hero. He is brought back to Washington to work at The Pentagon for Secretary of Defense David Brice on the recommendation of his General Counsel Scott Pritchard, an old friend of Farrell's. Brice, determined to cancel a boondoggle Navy project that has powerful political backing, decides that Farrell should act as his direct liaison to the CIA to gather information about whether the Soviets really are working on a similar project.
Soon after, Farrell finds out that the other man in Susan's life is Secretary Brice, who in turn learns of Susan's infidelity. While demanding the name of her new lover, Brice slaps Susan in a jealous rage, knocking her off an indoor balcony to her death. Ready to turn himself in, Brice is persuaded by Pritchard to cover up everything and blame it on someone else. They concoct a story that Susan's other lover was in fact a long-suspected but never confirmed KGB sleeper agent code-named "Yuri." In the aftermath, they focus all attention on an attempt to capture him.
Confident that "Yuri" doesn't exist, CIA director Marshall dismisses the possibility of Pritchard having an affair with Susan, saying that Pritchard is homosexual. Brice appoints Farrell to lead the investigation to find Susan's other lover, placing him in the position of attempting to find evidence that could implicate himself. The only forensic evidence in the case is a discarded Polaroid negative recovered from Susan's house, which requires lengthy computer processing to become visible, and semen found in Susan's vagina; though mentioned, it is not pursued in the film. Farrell pleads with systems analyst and old friend Sam Hesselman to slow down the processing, and tells him about Susan and Brice. Meanwhile, Farrell sets about proving Brice was involved with Susan by searching computer files for evidence that Brice gave Susan a government-registered gift he had previously received from Morocco.
Pritchard harasses Nina Beka, a close friend of Susan's, by threatening deportation back to South Africa, then sends covert assassins to kill her, but Farrell rescues her just in time. A suspicious Sam goes to Pritchard with concerns about what Farrell told him. Realizing that Sam can implicate Brice, Pritchard shoots and kills him. Farrell obtains the printout before the picture implicating him becomes visible and presents it to Brice, who then shifts the blame to Pritchard, arguing that Pritchard was jealous of his relationship with Susan. A devastated Pritchard commits suicide and is falsely exposed as "Yuri" to the police by Brice, hoping to escape blame for Susan's death. Farrell, who is free of suspicion, is finally able to leave the Pentagon.
As Farrell sits beside Susan's grave, two plainclothes men arrive and take him away for questioning. One of the interrogators addresses Farrell in Russian. Farrell, who responds in kind, is in fact the real "Yuri", and his landlord is his KGB supervisor. Yuri/Farrell was planted in the U.S. as a teenager and became the KGB's "mole" in the Department of Defense. Aware of Brice's affair, the Russians assigned Farrell to seduce the Secretary of Defense's mistress and gather intelligence from her.
Although his handlers demand that he return to the Soviet Union, Farrell refuses and leaves as his handler says, "He will return. Where else does he have to go?"
- Kevin Costner as Yuri/LCDR Tom Farrell, USN
- Gene Hackman as Secretary of Defense David Brice
- Will Patton as Scott Pritchard
- Sean Young as Susan Atwell
- George Dzundza as Sam Hesselman
- Howard Duff as Senator Duvall
- Jason Bernard as Major Donovan, CID
- Fred Dalton Thompson as CIA Director Marshall
- Iman as Nina Beka
- Brad Pitt (first onscreen role) as Officer
Box office 
Critical reception 
Roger Ebert gave the fim 4 out of 4 stars, calling it "truly labyrinthine and ingenious." Richard Schickel of Time wrote, "Viewers who arrive at the movie five minutes late and leave five minutes early will avoid the setup and payoff for the preposterous twist that spoils this lively, intelligent remake of 1948's The Big Clock." Desson Thomson of The Washington Post wrote, "The film makes such good use of Washington and builds suspense so well that it transcends a plot bordering on ridiculous."
- "Stakeout' Ranks No. 1 In Box-Office Sales". The New York Times. September 2, 1987. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
- "Box office / business for No Way Out (1987)". IMDb. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "No Way Out". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-04-14.
- Ebert, Roger (August 14, 1987). "No Way Out". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Schickel, Richard (17 August 1987). "Cinema: Hot Films, Unhappy Endings". Time. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Thomson, Desson (August 14, 1987). "No Way Out". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
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- Official website
- No Way Out at the Internet Movie Database
- No Way Out at Box Office Mojo
- No Way Out at Rotten Tomatoes