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Beyond the Limit (1983)

The Honorary Consul (original title)
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1:35 | Trailer
During Dirty War, half-English doctor in Argentina befriends the police, the rebels and the alcoholic Honorary British Consul, whose Latino wife he seduces. When the consul is mistakenly kidnapped by the rebels, he must pick a side.

Director:

John Mackenzie

Writers:

Graham Greene (novel), Christopher Hampton (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Consul Charley Fortnum
Richard Gere ... Dr. Eduardo Plarr
Bob Hoskins ... Colonel Perez
Elpidia Carrillo ... Clara
Joaquim de Almeida ... Leon (as Joaquim De Almeida)
A Martinez ... Aquino
Stephanie Cotsirilos Stephanie Cotsirilos ... Marta
Domingo Ambriz Domingo Ambriz ... Diego
Eric F. Valdez Eric F. Valdez ... Pablo (as Eric Valdez)
Nicolás Jasso Nicolás Jasso ... Miguel (as Nicolas Jasso)
Geoffrey Palmer ... British Ambassador Sir Henry Belfrage
Leonard Maguire Leonard Maguire ... Dr. Humphries
Jorge Russek ... Senor Escobar
Erika Carlsson Erika Carlsson ... Senora Escobar (as Erika Carlsen)
Josefina Echánove ... Senora Sanchez (as Josefina Echanove)
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Storyline

During the rule of brutal right wing military juntas in Paraguay and Argentina, Dr. Eduardo Plarr, half-English and half-Paraguayan medical doctor, returns from Buenos Aires to work in the small town of Corrientes, Argentina, where he first arrived after his escape from Paraguay years earlier. He quickly begins to form new friendships such as the one with the alcoholic British Honorary Consul, Charley Fortnum, whose beautiful Argentinian wife, a former high-class prostitute named Clara, Eduardo seduces and they have a passionate affair. He also re-establishes old ones like the one with junta's Colonel Perez and Leon, a former priest turned rebel leader, who also happens to be Eduardo's childhood friend from Paraguay. All of this comes together to create a serious problem for Eduardo when he is asked to help the rebels kidnap the US ambassador, who's coming to visit Corrientes and whose kidnapping might force the US to force the Paraguayan junta to release several political prisoners, ... Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Against a background of treachery, intrigue and torture . . . the poignant story of the love of two men for the same woman. [Australia Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Limit See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico City, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,208,976, 2 October 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,997,566
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Caine once said of his character: "The character is a weak man, a loser, but in the end he turns out to be something of a winner, and I've played parts like that before. It's good, because the public can identify with a man like that. He's a sad person in many ways, but he also has a sense of humor, and I could see how to bring some comedy into the part. It was a tremendous departure for me, after having played strong, young men. But another reason I was keen to take it, was because of John Mackenzie, after seeing The Long Good Friday (1980). I always wanted to work with him." See more »

Quotes

Colonel Perez: Who is in here?
Dr. Eduardo Plarr: Signora Fortnum.
Colonel Perez: Oh, I see... Is this why you've been lying to me?
Dr. Eduardo Plarr: An affair always involves a few lies.
See more »

Alternate Versions

NBC edited 6 minutes from this film for its 1987 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Version of Honorární konzul (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Nuya Deya
Composed & played by Amazulu
By courtesy of Towerbell Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Contrived Political Drama with a Misleading Title
18 May 2014 | by FilmfandaveSee all my reviews

Richard Gere plays Dr. Eduardo Plarr, an Anglo-Paraguayan doctor who unwittingly gets entangled in the kidnapping plot of an American consul by a novice group of Paraguayan rebels in exchange for ten of their imprisoned comrades.

The plan goes awry as the rebels mistakenly kidnap his new friend instead - Charley Fortnum (Michael Caine), a British honorary consul who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Complicating the matter, the doctor falls head over heels in love with Charley's young wife, Clara (Elpidia Carrillo) - an ex-prostitute who has the same feelings toward him.

Meanwhile, the police have tracked down the rebels hide-out and are closing in. With his life at stake, he is forced to decide between betraying his love or friendship.

Sounds interesting, right? Sadly, it is not. The main problem is that the characters are not likable. Gere's character is a doctor who lusts after his friend's wife. Caine's is a heavy drinker who often creates problems than solves them while Carrillo's is a fickle-minded woman who can't decide who is best for her life.

The title itself "The Honorary Consul" does not fit into the main plot, which is more about Gere's character than Caine's. Even less fitting is the alternate US title "Beyond the Limit".

This is one of three John Mackenzie's films that I have watched and also the most unconvincing because of its tepid performances, contrived plot and ending, and lackluster direction. Only for Gere's or Caine's die-hard fans.


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