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Absolute Power (1997)

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



(book), (screenplay)
4,903 ( 27)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christy Sullivan
Sandy Lord (as Ken Welsh)
Laura Simon (as Penny Johnson)


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


Corrupts Absolutely.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poder absoluto  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,770,220, 17 February 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$50,007,168, 15 June 1997
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


In his memoir "Which Lie Did I Tell?", William Goldman described his writing of the several drafts of the film's screenplay that he had worked on in 1995 after being first hired for this film in 1994. See more »


In the pictures of Luther's daughter with her mother, she is shown to be wearing fairly modern disposable diapers however in reality, when she was a toddler she would have been wearing cloth diapers with rubber pants; disposable diapers were a new invention in the 60s (approx when the child was that age). See more »


Luther Whitney: I'm your substitute driver tonight, Mr. Sullivan.
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Power Waltz
Composed by Clint Eastwood
Orchestrated and conducted by Lennie Niehaus
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User Reviews

tense powerful crime and brilliance from Eastwood
17 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

The Narrative.

A consistent plot involving many different types of characters in the form of organised professional robber Whitney (Marvellously portrayed by Eastwood) who is involved in a huge conspiracy involving the very uncomfortable president Hackman.

Perhaps the story gets too involved at points with a lack of realism. However the film is always tense and engaging, especially the beginning which was definitely one of my all time favourite openings to a crime film. Tense, exciting and with a few twists it presents a realistic view of a robber caught up in what will surely be a huge case.

The story justifies the genre by being focused upon murders and robberies and adds sentimental value in the form of family and friendship values. Laura Linney (The Truman Show) is terrific as Eastwood's daughter and adds a great sentimental value to a heavy crime film. She is involved in a great twists towards the end which is a must watch.

The ending surprised me. Although there were great twists, the final few scenes and the way the narrative came to never felt quite justified in my opinion but then again I may have been expecting too much from a film that was consistent and engaging from the beginning. The film is always kept exciting through the tense robbery scenes, character actions and a plot about a man and his power.


Eastwood's direction is simply breathtaking. The opening sequence where he explores the neatly kept mansion for his robbery is the best moment in the entire film; I was literally on the edge of my seat. Dark, quiet and with a grace that any director would be proud of I held my breathe from start to finish. Heavy critics may argue it conforms too much to an action styled genre with many shots appearing focusing in or around the main priority but I appreciated it for what it was, which was sheer brilliance.

Eastwood is outstanding in the whole of this film. Not only his ability to pull off a stern ageing character but this direction is also worthy of huge praise.

watch it if...you enjoy the crime genre and appreciate tense dramatic sequences.

but its simply just worth watching for the beginning.

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