6.4/10
10,683
85 user 38 critic

Switchback (1997)

An FBI agent tries to catch a serial killer who kidnapped his son.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ian Nelson ...
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Man on Porch
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Bud (as Walt Goggins)
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Louis Schaefer ...
Sim
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Robert L. Somers ...
Rancher
Lexie Stuart ...
Ranchers Daughter
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Bartender
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Rick
Tommy Puett ...
Ben
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Storyline

F.B.I. agent Frank LaCrosse returns home to find his home has been broken into, his son is missing and Missy the babysitter is lying in a pool of her own insides. Her murder being the hallmarks of a elusive enigmatic serial killer whose slaughter spree...stretches nearly two years. Frank's desperate pursuit leads to Amarillo, Texas, where two more victims matching the killers M.O. have been found slashed to death. As Frank searches for his suspect the local Sheriff Buck Olmstead and his Deputy Nate Booker investigate the killings in-between a heated election feud, with his competition police chief Jack McGinnis. All the while drifting former doctor Lane Dixon is picked up by ex-railroad man, Bob Goodall. As a local Mechanic, Clyde 'Shorty' Callahan becomes the latest victim. Frank hopes and prays to find this sociopath before he disappears perhaps forever into the rocky mountains Written by Suspicious

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The hunter becomes the hunted. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and several views of nude pin-ups | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

31 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Going West  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,704,568, 2 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$6,482,195, 14 December 1997
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Fichtner has appeared with the two people from this film who portrayed the Joker, Jared Leto in Suicide Squad (2016), and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008). See more »

Goofs

At the car garage, we see a calendar for February 1996. Every day on the calendar is listed as falling on the wrong weekday to what they really did. For example, February 5 1996 was a Monday, on the calendar it is listed as falling on a Tuesday. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Missy, the Babysitter: Whoo! There. Your folks are going to be home soon, and they're going to get me if they see you're still up.
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Soundtracks

I Feel Alright
Written and Performed by Steve Earle
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By arrangment with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

An under-rated top-notch serial killer thriller.
15 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

I saw this film for the first time on late night television after returning from the cinema where I saw the disappointing 'Along Came a Spider'. There are similarities, but Switchback is by far the better film. Jeb Stuart has done a terrific job keeping us at the edge of the couch and there are very few cliches around. Danny Glover and the entire cast are just right, and all the characters, even the minor roles, are three-dimensional. The story centres on a young handsome hitchhiker picked up and befriended by the serial killer. But this is no ordinary serial killer -- he is Mr. Popularity along the mountain roads where they travel in buddy movie-fashion. But not for long. The killer isn't out to make new friends. What he is doing is cleverly framing the loner-hitchhiker (finger prints on murder weapon etc) so that the law will be searching for the hitchhiker, and not the real killer. That is the killer's modus operandi. So here we have this handsome hitchhiker with a mysterious past (a doctor who ran away) and a killer with a bloody past who is on the run. Enter an FBI agent (Dennis Quaid) who is wanted by the FBI. The FBI want Quaid off the case. But Quaid is a determined man: the serial killer, who he has tracked for 18 months, has kidnapped his son....All of these outsiders come through a small town where the local sheriff loses the election by opting to help the truant FBI agent find the real killer... Three quarters of the way through the film, everyone is chasing someone and the tension keeps mounting along with the altitude.

The killer has left a note with a cryptic clue that Dennis Quaid must decipher. But the key to his son's whereabouts lies elsewhere.....

This is a fresh breath of writing into a genre that has been abused and neglected of late. There are nice echos of our favourite films noir (...the hitchhiker, the loner, the car accident.....the guessing came about who is who...). There's a touch of The Fugitive, but not too much. On top of all the good acting, casting, plotting and suspense, there's nice atmosphere and locations in the Rockies.


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