IMDb > Sea of Love (1989) > Synopsis
Sea of Love
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Synopsis for
Sea of Love (1989) More at IMDbPro »

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New York Police detective Frank Keller (Al Pacino) investigates the murder of a man in Manhattan, shot dead while face down naked in his bed while listening to a 45rpm recording of "Sea of Love". Keller has three clues - a lipstick-smeared cigarette, a wanted ad the dead man placed in a newspaper and a perfect set of fingerprints. Immediate suspicion falls on a vengeful woman who answered his lonely hearts personal advertisement.

A second man dies in the same manner in Queens. Detective Sherman Touhey (John Goodman) suggests they collaborate. Both victims had put rhyming ads in the paper. They track down Raymond Brown (Michael O'Neill), the only other man with a rhyming ad. He's a married man and admits placing the ad, but swears on his children's lives that he threw away all the letters and never saw anyone.

Keller has an idea - place their own rhyming ad in the paper, take any women who respond to a restaurant and take the prints from their glasses. Keller's boss (John Spencer) thinks it is a bad idea. However, Brown soon turns up dead.

Keller has dinner with several women, while Sherman posing as a waiter puts their empty glasses into evidence bags. One of the women, Helen Cruger (Ellen Barkin) snubs Keller and leaves before she takes a drink. Keller bumps into her again at a market, but this time, Cruger is more friendly. Keller goes back to Cruger's place, ostensibly to get her fingerprints. He panics when he finds a gun in her purse, but it turns up to be just a starting pistol.

Keller and Cruger begin a serious relationship. Keller has a chance to obtain Cruger's fingerprints on a glass, but decides to wipe the glass clean. Their relationship proves rocky when Cruger discovers that Keller is a cop.

Cruger's ex-husband Terry (Michael Rooker) breaks into Keller's apartment and threatens him with a gun. He makes Keller lie on his bed and show him how he made love to Helen, just as he had done with his ex-wife's other three boyfriends. Keller overpowers Terry and tries to call the police, but the killer is wild and lunges at him. In the struggle, Terry is accidentally thrown through the window and plunges to his death.

Keller and Cruger reunite. She forgives him, and they resume their relationship.

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