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No Way Out (1987) - Plot Summary Poster

(1987)

Plot

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Summaries

  • A coverup and witchhunt occur after a politician accidentally kills his mistress.

  • Tom Farrell is a navy officer who gets posted at the Pentagon and is to report to the secretary of defense David Brice. He starts an affair with Susan Atwell not knowing that she is Brice's mistress. When Susan is found dead, Tom is assigned to the case of finding the killer who is believed to be a KGB mole! Tom could soon become a suspect when a Polaroid negative of him was found at Susan's place. He now has only a few hours to find the killer before the computer regenerates the photo.

  • In Washington, the Defense Secretary David Brice has a political dispute with Senator William 'Billy' Duvall about the project of a submarine. He asks his advisor Scott Pritchard to invite the Navy Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell, who has become a national hero after rescuing a sailor during a storm, to join his team. Farrell meets Susan Atwell in a party and they have a torrid love affair. Farrell Learns that Susan is Brice's mistress but he falls in love with her. They spend a weekend together and when they return to Susan's apartment, Brice rings the bell. The upset Farrell leaves the apartment and sees Brice waiting for Susan. Brice has an argument with Susan and pushes her from the balcony. She falls on a glass table and dies. Brice panics and reports the accident to Pritchard. However, the Machiavellian chief of staff accuses the imaginary Soviet mole Yuri of murdering Susan. Farrell is assigned to lead the investigations to find the identity of Yuri, and gets in serious situation with the presence of witnesses of his weekend with Susan and the regeneration of a Polaroid photo that was found in Susan's apartment.

  • Commander Tom Farrell of the US Navy's hired to work for Secretary of Defense Brice after being introduced by Scott Pritchard, Brice's General Counsel and Farrell's former college mate. Tom also meets Susan Atwell, and they begin a relationship. It isn't until they fall in love when Susan discloses to Tom she's Brice's mistress. When Brice discovers that Susan's seeing another man (Tom), Brice accidentally kills her in a fit of jealousy. In an effort to protect Brice from being charged with murder, Pritchard devises a plan which they will pin Susan's murder on a suspected but unsubstantiated Soviet spy. During the investigation, Tom has to protect himself against anyone finding out he was Susan's lover and therefore a suspect, but it may be difficult, because of Pritchard's plan to protect Brice at any cost.

    Huggo
  • Washington Defense Secretary David Brice has a political dispute with Senator William 'Billy' Duvall about the project of a submarine. He asks his advisor Scott Pritchard to invite the Navy Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell, who has become a national hero after rescuing a sailor during a storm, to join his team. Farrell meets Susan Atwell at a party and they have a torrid love affair. Farrell Learns that Susan is Brice's mistress but he falls in love with her. They spend a weekend together and when they return to Susan's apartment, Brice rings the bell. The upset Farrell leaves the apartment and sees Brice waiting for Susan. Brice has an argument with Susan and pushes her from the balcony which kills her. Brice panics and reports the accident to Pritchard. However, the Cunning chief of staff accuses the imaginary Soviet mole Yuri of murdering Susan. Farrell is assigned to lead the investigations to find the identity of Yuri. Now he must find the real killer before the computer regenerates the Polaroid negative of the two found in Sudan's apartment.

    janie
  • David Brice, the Secretary of Defense is feuding with a powerful Senator over a project that Brice wants to discontinue which the Senator wants to push through and Brice knows that the Senator will the Director of the CIA whom he has in his pocket to get an edge on Brice. So Brice has Tom Farrell a Naval Intelligence officer assigned to him to help combat the Director. Farrell upon arriving in Washington hooks up with Susan Atwell a woman whom he had a brief liaison with when he was in Washington a few months ago. He doesn't know that Atwell is Brice's mistress as well. When Brice learns that she's been seeing someone else kills her. Now to find the man she's been seeing so that he could not tell anyone about her and Brice, Scott Pritchard, Brice's confidant suggests that they claim that Yuri, a Russian spy whom some people believe is an urban legend killed her. So the search commences, Farrell tries to find a way to get Brice to stop the search before they find him cause he knows Pritchard plans to kill the guy when they find him.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) is being interrogated by two men about how he first met Secretary of Defense David Brice (Gene Hackman).

    Several months earlier....

    Farrell describes being invited to an inaugural ball in Washington DC by his college buddy Scott Pritchard (Will Patton), who intends to introduce him to Brice. Pritchard hopes that Brice will transfer Farrell to the Pentagon. On meeting Farrell, Brice is unimpressed and virtually ignores him. Moments later, Farrell begins flirting with another guest, Susan Atwell (Sean Young). The two have sex in her limousine and a little later at the apartment of Nina Beka (Iman), a friend of Susan's, even though she has admitted to Farrell that she is also involved with a married man. The next day, Farrell bids her good-bye at the airport, on his way back to active duty; but their one-night encounter has clearly had a profound romantic effect on both of them.

    Farrell returns to sea and single-handedly rescues a crewman from being washed overboard during a storm. Brice reads a newspaper story about the rescue and orders Farrell transferred from the Phillippines to his intelligence staff. Brice and Pritchard, Brice's second-in-command, orient him to his new assignment which clearly involves surreptitiously getting secret information from other government agencies, such as the CIA, and passing it on to Brice. Farrell also finds that he may be at times working with Sam Hesselman (George Dzundza), an old friend now working in the Pentagon's new computer center as its chief programmer-analyst. But before this, Farrell has already gone to Susan's apartment, where their fledgling romance is re-ignited in earnest. The only hitch comes when she tells Farrell that her married "consort" is his superior, David Brice.

    Some time later, after Susan and Farrell return from a romantic weekend in the country, Brice visits her unexpectedly. After urging a hurt and jealous Farrell to leave through the back door, Susan assures him that she loves him and will leave Brice. Brice sees a man leaving Susan's house but cannot see that it was Farrell. After Susan lets him in, the suspicious Brice demands to know the name of her other lover, but Susan refuses and orders him to leave. Brice becomes enraged, slaps her several times, and accidentally pushes Susan to her death over an upstairs railing.

    Brice then rushes to Pritchard's apartment and tearfully confesses what has happened, stating he is ready to turn himself in since he had been seen by Susan's other lover. However, Pritchard suggests that if the other man is made out to be a suspected Russian KGB sleeper agent code-named "Yuri", then Susan's death could be made a matter of national security and "Yuri" could be killed "in the line of duty" by operatives under Pritchard's control. Pritchard then cleans Susan's house of all evidence that Brice was there, and discovers the negative of a photograph Susan had taken of Farrell earlier. The negative shows a very poor, unidentifiable image of a man.

    CID officers, commanded by Major Donovan (Jason Bernard), scour Susan's apartment for evidence. Pritchard secretes the negative which possibly shows the murderer into the items brought in by the agents. Initially the negative, along with a few others, seems to be too faint to reveal a picture, but attempts to enhance the blurred image via computer begin to bear fruit when it is given to Hesselman.

    Meanwhile, as his initial shock begins to wear away, Farrell becomes convinced that Brice is the actual murderer and that Pritchard is helping him cover up the crime. At the same time, he becomes aware that the most valuable pieces of evidence so far accumulated would make him the prime suspect. Farrell determines to play along with the bogus investigation until he can develop evidence linking Brice to Susan, so that he can defend himself against being charged with both murder and espionage (as "Yuri").

    Farrell learns that one piece of evidence is a Moroccan jewel box he's seen, a gift to Susan from Brice. As any foreign gift must be registered with the State Department, Farrell gets Hesselman to "raid" State's computerized registry of such items, which should link the gift to Brice by name. However, Farrell's plan begins unraveling when Pritchard finds an address book of Susan's with Nina's name in it. When Pritchard and Farrell roust Nina for information about Susan's "men", she pretends not to recognize Farrell but Pritchard learns she has heard the name "Brice". Pritchard sends two former CIA assassins to eliminate her. Overhearing this, Farrell races from the building and engages the assassins while warning Nina, who goes safely into hiding. This activity raises Pritchard's suspicions of Farrell's loyalty to Brice and himself, as well as his motives for attempting to disrupt the cover-up.

    Farrell convinces Hesselman to delay the enhancement work on the photograph by confiding to him that he and Susan were in love and it will be him who is seen if the photo is cleared up. Other CID officers bring in two witnesses, who saw "Yuri" with Susan during their romantic weekend, to Donovan. They cross paths with Farrell in the Pentagon corridors and recognize him at a distance. The CID begins a search of the Pentagon on grounds that "Yuri" is somewhere in the building, using the witnesses to identify him. Farrell eludes the search and tells Hesselman that Brice had slept with and killed Susan. Thinking that Farrell is delusional, Hesselman tells Pritchard about Farrell's relationship with Susan and his belief that Brice murdered her. Pritchard thanks Hesselman... and then executes him.

    Still trying to avoid the search, Farrell returns to Hesselman's office, where the printout of State's registry has linked the jewel case with Brice. He confronts Brice with this evidence and threatens to go to the police if the search is not called off. After Donovan reports that Hesselman has been murdered by "Yuri", Pritchard tells Brice that Farrell was Susan's lover, then adds that if the man in the photo is "Yuri" then Farrell must be "Yuri", and Brice will still be in the clear as he (Pritchard) will claim that Brice was at his home the night Susan was killed. Knowing that Farrell has the printout, Brice improvises a different story: Pritchard, who is homosexual, killed Susan because he was jealous of Brice's relationship with her. The devastated Pritchard commits suicide and, when guards break in, is accused of having been "Yuri", concluding the search for the spy and murderer. Farrell quietly sends the printout by courier to the Director of the CIA, an enemy of Brice, then leaves the Pentagon, as the finished image enhancement of the photograph positively reveals Farrell as Susan's lover.

    A little later on the next day, Farrell is picked up by two men while sitting despondently at Susan's grave; they are the ones who were interrogating him at the film's beginning. It is revealed in this out-of-the blue twist that Farrell actually IS "Yuri", a Russian mole in the Department of Defense. The KGB ordered Farrell to seduce Brice's mistress to gather intelligence from her. Farrell's handler is revealed to be his quirky artist-landlord Mr. Schiller (Michael Shillo), who tells "Yuri" that America is no longer safe for him, and that it is time for him to return to the Soviet Union. Revealing that he genuinely loved Susan, Farrell refuses and tells his handlers that he is finished being a spy. After Farrell leaves the safe house, the two Russian agents want to chase after him, his handler stops them and snaps, "He'll return. Where else does he have to go?"

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