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A Show of Force (1990)

R | | Drama, Thriller | 11 May 1990 (USA)
0:30 | Trailer

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An American journalist in Puerto Rico in 1978 investigates the death of nationalists who may have been murdered by the police.



(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Melendez
Luis Angel Mora
Jesus Fuentes
Frank Curtin
Captain Correa
Julio Dominguez
Alice Ryan
Walker Ryan
Jorge Luis Ramos ...
Fernando Quinones ...
Fernando Quinones
Claribel Medina ...
Carla De Ruiz


Porto Rico, 1978. The Antillian autonomous US Commonwealth is divided by supporters of becoming a full US member state and independence activists, including a violent wing the governor labels as terrorists. Divorced reporter Kate Melendez, widow of independista lawyer Juan, gets in personal danger when she stumbles on a dark set-up. Federal agent Jesus Fuentes officially infiltrated an operation to illegally broadcast a message on Constitution Day in which students Jorge Rey and Alfredo Ruiz are killed. He instigates kidnappings and murders, covered by powerful people. She's scared away, but the senate appoints a special investigator, Luis Angel Mora. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

kidnapping | prison | jail | explosion | boy | See All (7) »


When a person murders, it's a crime. When a government murders, it's a cover-up.


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 May 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A terror csapdájában  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$152,982 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Priscilla Pointer (Alice Ryan) is the real life mother of Amy Irving (Kate Melendez). See more »


When Carla De Ruiz is being interviewed by Kate Melendez, she refers to her husband as "Arnaldo" instead of "Alberto". (The character Alberto is based on Arnaldo Dario Rosado, who was murdered on Cerro Maravilla.) This error can't be seen on the "televised" interview. See more »


It's All Disguise
Written by Christopher Brooks and Curtis Roush
See more »

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User Reviews

didn't hold my interest
28 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite a cast of young hopefuls and established actors, "A Show of Force" from 1990 did not hold my interest. To me this looked like a TV movie, and the script was weak.

A Show Of Force is a fictionalization of an actual incident that took place in 1978 in Puerto Rico. At that time on Puerto Rico's Constitution Day, the police allegedly shot and killed two Independista Terrorists who were planning a big attack, one that would arouse the Puerto Rican people to revolution.

The film purports to tell the true story of a planned coup in Puerto Rico by those who wanted independence. The so-called terrorists, on Constitution Day, were going to take over the main TV station and broadcast a message for independence.

It was actually organized by an undercover cop, Jesus Fuentes(Lou Diamond Phillips), who had infiltrated the group. Twp students are killed, and some influential people seem to be sanctioning his activities.

A reporter, Kate Melendez (Amy Irving) is a fictional character created for the purposes of the film. She plays a widow from the states whose husband was a lawyer for the Independence movement.

She suspects some dirty work, and though Fuentes attempts to frighten her, his tactics don't work. To protect her, her boss (Robert Duvall) takes her off the story, but she goes to another network and convinces them to televise the trial.

This film is violent and cheap-looking. Kevin Spacey, around the time his work in "Wiseguy" brought him fame, has a supporting role. In smaller roles: Irving's mother, Prscilla Pointer, Erik Estrada, and Andy Garcia.

The acting is very good, and all the actors deserved better. Amy Irving is a wonderful actress and an underrated one. Phillips, Duvall, and Phillips each do a great job.

Very gritty - not for everyone.

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