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Absolute Power (1997)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 32,579 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 136 user | 85 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.

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(book), (screenplay)
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Title: Absolute Power (1997)

Absolute Power (1997) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tim Collin
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Walter Sullivan
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Christy Sullivan
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Sandy Lord (as Ken Welsh)
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Laura Simon
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Michael McCarty
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Red Brandsford
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Valerie
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Art Student
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Storyline

Based on the novel by David Baldacci, Absolute Power is about the ruthlessness of people in power. The President believes that everything he does is beyond reproach, including an affair or two. That leads to murder and everyone around him is involved. There is only one witness, a thief named Luther Whitney. They are sure he'll talk, but when? The Secret Service is determined to keep him quiet, but catching a thief isn't always easy. Written by Kristie Murray <hankm@cris.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Corrupts Absolutely.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Absolute Power  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 2,426,607,000 (Italy) (30 May 1997)

Gross:

$50,007,168 (USA) (13 June 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood has said of this film's development: "I was sent the script by the production team at Castle Rock and I liked it immediately. It was written by William Goldman who is one of the best screenwriters around. He had nicely tightened up the story from the book to fit into a film format while keeping the characters well defined and interesting people". See more »

Goofs

The manor that Luther robs is only three stories high (clearly visible from the rows of windows on the outside) yet he walks up four flights of stairs to get to the safe in Christy Sullivan's bedroom. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Kate Whitney: Am I gonna be alright?
Luther Whitney: Yeah. We're gonna be just fine.
See more »


Soundtracks

Kate's Theme
Composed by Clint Eastwood
Orchestrated and conducted by Lennie Niehaus
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User Reviews

 
Corrupts absolutely
15 June 2000 | by (The Underverse) – See all my reviews

Absolute Power may not be an overly special film but it was the first movie I saw in the cinema after leaving high school. I was certainly not the target audience but it had my attention from the first scene and maintained the suspense for the during of the running time, even if it doesn't build to much.

Clint Eastwood plays Luther Whitney, an expert thief who targets billionaire industrialist Walter Sullivan (grouchy old EG Marshall, in his last theatrical movie) while he is off on vacation. While in the midst of cleaning out the vault the President of the United States (Gene Hackman) enters the room with Sullivan's wife. Whitney hides in the vault, which has a two-way mirror, and witnesses the President get a little too rough with the woman, which ends in her fighting him off and being murdered by the secret service. The Chief of Staff concocts a plan to cover up the murder not knowing that Whitney is watching the whole thing. As the group leave he escapes, taking a crucial piece of evidence with him.

Initially unsure what to do, Whitney decides to taunt the President, though it's not clear what his complete plan is or even if he's just free-forming. If one should fault Absolute Power for any reason it's that it establishes a lot of plot and potential but never really does anything with it and ends with an anti-climactic cop-out.

Where it succeeds is with the small cast of characters who really make the dialogue and relationships work. Ed Harris as the confused but dedicated cop investigating the case, Laura Linney as Whitney's resentful daughter, and the austere Scott Glenn as the self-doubting agent make every scene effortless even when there's not much happening.

Adapted from (and streamlined and improved in the process) the bloated novel by David Baldacci (I call them 'Airport novels' – those 600-page bricks with generic covers featuring nothing but the title and author in giant gold letters in a tacky font) the screenplay makes many changes but they are all for the better. Eastwood's direction is slow and steady – or 'mature'. The pace and framing is the antidote for anyone bored to tears with the nauseating aesthetic of today's comic-book movies and CGI nightmares.

A curious thing about the beginning of the movie is that Clint Eastwood only has 2 lines of dialogue for the entire 35 minutes. I don't understand why he didn't cut them out and remain silent, which would give the film a peculiar edge.


37 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I'm confused about how the movie ended alcatab
Ridiculous Plot dmiller2000
Wonderful Scene Between Clint Eastwood and Ed Harris darrendebari
How come he did not recognize the president earlier? sunshinde
5 Star Cast. 5 Star Storyline. But does the ending let it down? chriskgee
William Goldman Wrote this Absolute Turkey??? glendevan
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