No Way Out (1987 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
No Way Out
No Way Out (1987 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Roger Donaldson
Produced by Robert Garland
Laura Ziskin
Screenplay by Robert Garland
Based on The Big Clock 
by Kenneth Fearing
Starring
Music by Maurice Jarre
Cinematography John Alcott
Edited by William Hoy
Neil Travis
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release dates
  • August 14, 1987 (1987-08-14)
Running time
114 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million
Box office $35,509,515

No Way Out is a 1987 thriller film. 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. Filming locations included Baltimore, Annapolis, Arlington, Washington, D.C., and Auckland, New Zealand. The film features original music by Academy Award-winning composer Maurice Jarre.

Plot[edit]

In a suburban safe house, US Navy Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell is asked by two men about how he first met U.S. Secretary of Defense David Brice. The film then shifts to a flashback.

Farrell is invited to an inaugural ball by his college buddy Scott Pritchard, who intends to introduce him to Brice. Pritchard, Brice's General Counsel, hopes that Brice will transfer Farrell to the Pentagon. On meeting Farrell, Brice is unimpressed and virtually ignores him. Moments later, Lt.-Com. Farrell begins flirting with fellow guest Susan Atwell. The two make love in her limousine and begin a secret relationship, even though she admits to also being involved with a married man.

Farrell returns to sea and rescues a crewman from being washed overboard during a storm. Brice reads a newspaper story about the rescue and orders Farrell transferred to his intelligence staff.

After Susan and Farrell return from a romantic weekend, her married lover - Secretary Brice - arrives at her door. After urging a hurt and jealous Farrell to leave through the back door, Susan assures him that she will leave Brice.

Brice sees a man leaving Susan's house but can not see that it was Farell. After Susan lets him in, an enraged Brice demands to know the name of her other lover, but Susan refuses and orders him to leave. Brice resists, and ultimately pushes Susan over the upstairs railing, killing her.

A tearful Brice calls Pritchard. Brice is ready to turn himself in, telling Pritchard about having been seen by Susan's other lover. But Pritchard suggests that if the other man was made out to be a suspected KGB sleeper agent code-named "Yuri", then the other man's elimination could be made a matter of National Security.

Pritchard cleans Susan's house of all evidence that Brice was there, and discovers a negative side of a Polaroid photograph Susan had taken of Farrell earlier. The negative shows a very poor, unidentifiable image of a man.

Unaware that Farrell was in a relationship with Susan, Brice orders him to find and arrest "Yuri" and places him in the ironic position of investigating himself. Farrell is told that the city police have not been informed, and that CID officers, commanded by Major Donovan, have been assigned to conduct the investigation. Meanwhile, to protect his concocted story, Pritchard sends two ex-CIA assassins to systematically eliminate everyone who knew of Brice's affair with Susan, beginning with her friends.

Attempts to enhance the photo negative begin to bear fruit due to another college friend of Farrell's, Sam Hesselman, a wheelchair-bound computer expert. Meanwhile, Farrell sets out to conclusively link Brice to Susan by searching computer files for evidence that Brice gave her a Government-registered gift from the Moroccan Foreign Minister.

Needing more time, Farrell convinces Hesselman to delay the work on the photograph. CID officers bring two witnesses to Donovan who have seen "Yuri" with Susan during their romantic weekend. They cross paths with Farell in the Pentagon and recognize him. Farrell escapes, but the CID begins a search of the Pentagon, knowing that "Yuri" is somewhere in the building. Farrell continues to elude the search and tells Hesselman Brice was having a relationship with Susan and killed her. Hesselman helps him find the Moroccan gift registered in the State Department database and initiates a print-out so that Farell will have physical evidence implicating Brice.

Thinking that Farrell is delusional, Hesselman tells Pritchard about Farrell's relationship with Susan and his belief that Brice murdered her. Pritchard kills him.

Farrell, still trying to avoid the CID search for him within the Pentagon, returns to Hesseleman's area and seizes the registry print-out. Farrell confronts Brice with this evidence and threatens to go to the police if the search for him isn't called off. Maj. Donovan comes into the office and reports that Hesselman has been murdered by "Yuri". Pritchard arrives and tells Brice that Farell was Susan's other lover. He adds that if the man in the photo is "Yuri" then Farrell is "Yuri."

Instead, knowing that Farell has the registry print-out, Brice concocts a different story: that Pritchard, who is homosexual, killed Susan because he was jealous of Brice's relationship with her. Brice promises to get Pritchard a good lawyer, but a devastated Pritchard shoots himself. Brice tells Maj. Donovan that the investigation is now over and that Pritchard was "Yuri."

Although Brice promises him anything in return for his silence, Farrell quietly sends evidence implicating Brice to the CIA. As Farrell leaves the Pentagon, the image enhancement of the photograph positively identifies him as Susan's lover.

Farrell is picked up by several men while sitting despondently at Susan's grave. The flashback ends back at the safe house, where it is revealed that Farrell is, in fact, the real "Yuri" and the KGB's mole in the U.S. Department of Defense. Aware of Brice's affair, the Kremlin had ordered Farrell to seduce his mistress and gather intelligence from her.

Implying that he should have blackmailed Brice instead of exposing him, Farrell's interrogators angrily berate him, saying the situation was "poorly handled." Then, Farrell's handler arrives, tells "Yuri" that America is no longer safe for him, and that it is time for him to return to the Soviet Union.

Revealing that he genuinely loved Susan, Farrell tells his handlers that he is finished being a KGB mole. Neither the threat of being shot or the reminder that he is a Hero of the Soviet Union can sway him. After he leaves the KGB's safe house, his handler snaps, "He'll return. Where else does he have to go?"

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film debuted at number 2 at the box office after Stakeout.[1] The film's budget was an estimated $15 million; its total U.S. gross was over $35 million.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

The film was very well received by critics and as of December 4, 2015, holds a 90% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 40 reviews.[3]

Roger Ebert gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, calling it "truly labyrinthine and ingenious."[4] 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."[5] 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."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stakeout' Ranks No. 1 In Box-Office Sales". The New York Times. September 2, 1987. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  2. ^ "Box office / business for No Way Out (1987)". IMDb. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ "No Way Out". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 14, 1987). "No Way Out". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ Schickel, Richard (17 August 1987). "Cinema: Hot Films, Unhappy Endings". Time. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ Thomson, Desson (August 14, 1987). "No Way Out". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 

External links[edit]