Outrageous Fortune (1987) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Lauren and Sandy are total opposites who end up in the same acting class and who don't know they are sharing a lover. When he disappears under mysterious circumstances they refuse to believe that he is dead and are the only ones who are searching for him across several states. Ending up in the western US., they discover he had other interests as they find their lives in danger.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In New York City, refined actress and former ballerina Lauren Ames (Shelley Long) finally has a chance to study with the great theater professor Stanislav Korzenowski (Robert Prosky). Sandy Brozinsky (Bette Midler), a brash, loud actress, decides through happenstance to also study with Korzenowski. Lauren and Sandy take an instant dislike to each other when they first meet in Korzenowski's class, but unknown to each other, both women begin dating the same man, Michael Sanders (Peter Coyote).

    When Michael "dies" in a gas explosion at a local store, Lauren and Sandy figure out that Michael may have faked his death when they meet at the local morgue and see that the body recovered cannot be Michael's. So, the two women form an uneven alliance to follow leads across the country to find him and force him to choose between them. During their quest, Lauren and Sandy are chased by CIA agents, as well as Russian assassins who are also after Michael.

    When Lauren and Sandy finally find Michael, he tries to kill both of them for "leaving loose ends" and they are forced to run until they are captured by the federal agents. It is here that Lauren and Sandy learn that Michael is a double agent for the CIA who has now gone rogue, also working for the KGB, and that he has stolen a toxin that could destroy huge areas of nature with just a few drops. The CIA wants to find Michael to force him to give back the toxin bio-weapon, while the Russian assassins are men cheated by the double agent who work for Korzenowski, the ladies theater professor who is a Russian sleeper agent using his class to pass on US state secrets.

    The chase leads to rural Arizona where Lauren and Sandy sneak into a local brothel where Michael is and steal the toxin vial from him while he is asleep. But when he wakes up, Lauren is taken hostage by Michael and his rogue associates while Sandy gets away with the toxin. Michael then contacts the CIA to force a trade with the CIA for the toxin for Lauren's life, and with Korzenowski with the stolen cash he intended to give to Michael. When the trade goes awry, Lauren gets away with both the money and the toxin, with Michael in hot pursuit. Cornered on a series of mountain tops, Lauren uses her former ballet skills to evade him, culminating in a grand Jeté, as pursuing Michael slips and falls to his death on the rocks far below whilst the money is lost to native Indians.

    In the final scene, Lauren and Sandy return to New York where they finally form a lasting friendship, and go on to perform Hamlet together, with Lauren in the title role.

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