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The Package (1989)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  25 August 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 6,033 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 17 critic

Experienced Green Beret sergeant Johnny Gallagher is escorting a prisoner, Airborne Ranger Thomas Boyette, back to the US, but Boyette escapes and Gallagher must risk life and limb to catch him.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Col. Glen Whitacre
Lt. Milan Delich
Walter Henke
Karl Richards
Nathan Davis ...
Soviet Press Secretary
Gen. Hopkins
Joe Greco ...
Gen. Carlson
Ike Pappas ...
Chicago Police Lieutenant
Michael Skewes ...


Johnny Gallagher, a sergeant, is sent from Germany with a prisoner. The prisoner escapes from the men's room at National Airport and Hackman begins his search for his man. Enlisting the help of his ex-wife and various old friends, he finds that the prisoner is part of a plot by senior military personnel on both sides to kill a very high-ranking world figure in order to sabotage arms control talks. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's one man racing against time to stop the most explosive conspiracy in history. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 August 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A la caza del lobo rojo  »

Box Office


$10,647,219 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "christmas present" Walter Henke gets, the rifle - which is identical to Boyette's assassin weapon, of course - is indeed Austrian as Henke says, it's a Steyr AUG Bullpup 5.56mm universal rifle, manufactured by Steyr Mannlicher. It is the standard service rifle with several militaries including the Austrian Army, Australian Army, and the Irish Defence Forces. See more »


During the wreath ceremony a shadow of the camera is cast on the coat of the security chief. See more »


Sgt. Johnny Gallagher: I lost my package, a prisoner I was bringing back from Germany
See more »


Referenced in Intimate Portrait: Pam Grier (1999) See more »


I Don't Know
Performed and Written by Richard Davis / Tony Brown / Wayne Stewart / Steve Grissette / Mark Ohlsen
Co-Published by Chi-Catz Music and S.E.G. Way
See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding, Intelligent, Under-appreciated
3 August 2001 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

The end of the Cold War and the toppling of the Berlin Wall made this film outdated almost before it was released. Nevertheless, it remains one of the best conspiracy mystery/thrillers ever made. The plot is amazingly intricate, but by the finish everything is tied up neatly, with no loose ends, a rarity for this type of story.

Gene Hackman is at his no-nonsense best as Johnny Gallagher, a career military man caught up in a complex assassination scheme. As the events unfold, he becomes more and more personally involved, which serves to ratchet up the tension for the audience. His relationships with his ex-wife Eileen (Joanna Cassidy) and the 'package' of the title, a prisoner that Johnny is assigned to escort into the U.S. from Berlin (played by Tommy Lee Jones in top form), are what really elevate "The Package" into the first rank of suspense dramas. The scenes featuring Hackman and Jones together are wonderful examples of understatement, as the larger political conflict becomes a personal one. Dennis Franz (NYPD Blue) turns up in a great supporting role.

"The Package" maintains an entertaining balance between action movie excitement and character-driven drama. The political background may be out of date, but the fine acting and writing deliver a story that is still compelling.

EDIT by author, 08.30.2006 Note: I saw this film during its original theatrical run. Events at that time (late 80's) moved so rapidly, the political situation had changed significantly between the start of production and its release. It was meant to be occurring in the present, not designed as a period piece. That is what I mean by outdated, which in no way detracted from the film's quality, or my enjoyment of it.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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