Career thief Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) witnesses a horrific crime involving U.S. President Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman).

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

David Baldacci (book), William Goldman (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Luther Whitney
Gene Hackman ... President Richmond
Ed Harris ... Seth Frank
Laura Linney ... Kate Whitney
Scott Glenn ... Bill Burton
Dennis Haysbert ... Tim Collin
Judy Davis ... Gloria Russell
E.G. Marshall ... Walter Sullivan
Melora Hardin ... Christy Sullivan
Kenneth Welsh ... Sandy Lord (as Ken Welsh)
Penny Johnson Jerald ... Laura Simon (as Penny Johnson)
Richard Jenkins ... Michael McCarty
Mark Margolis ... Red Brandsford
Elaine Kagan ... Valerie
Alison Eastwood ... Art Student
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Storyline

Inspired by David Baldacci's novel, and the ruthlessness of people in power. President Alan Richmond 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.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house in the beginning of this movie is a real castle in Brooklandville, Maryland. It belongs to Maryvale Preparatory school. Classes are held inside, as well as some administration and offices. The carpet and the painting seen hanging were left in the castle after filming was finished. See more »

Goofs

On leaving the mansion, when the President's chief of staff realizes the bloody knife is not in her purse, she sends the two Secret Service men back into the house to retrieve it.

They dutifully charge up to the bedroom with guns drawn, which doesn't make sense. There was no reason for them to have drawn their guns, since they had no reason to believe anyone else was in the house. If anything, it was dangerous to be running up flights of stairs waving their guns for no apparent reason. See more »

Quotes

Laura Simon: Who is he?
Seth Frank: That's Luther Whitney. One of the great thieves of the world.
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Soundtracks

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

 
Eastwood plays and directs a professional work dealing with a thief who witnesses a grisly event
23 April 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

When expert thief Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) breaks into the luxurious mansion of a politically influential billionaire (E.G. Marshall) , he is surprised by the arrival of a couple (Gene Hackman , Melora Hardin) . After their drunken shenanigans turn nasty that leads to crime and taking place a set-up in which everyone around him is involved . There is only one witness , an ultra-secretive master burglar . Luther is soon pursued by two cops (Ed Harris , Penny Johnson) , a hit man (Richard Jenkins) and the President security guards (Dennys Haysbert , Scott Glenn).

This is a light thriller in Hitchcockian style including action , suspense , thrills , improbable events and twisted intrigue . It is about the ruthlessness of people in power but the plot lacks even a political analysis or comment . This Eastwood film is solid but nothing really stick out . It is hard to take against contemporary time , as portraying a coward , cynical , traitor President , being politically incorrect for Hollywood standards . In addition , it contains some unlikely scenes as when the silly dancing between President/Gene Hackman and his cabinet chief/Judy Davis who wears a robbed necklace . Based on the novel by David Baldacci , being screen-writer the notorious William Goldman , who wrote such important successes as Marathon man , Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid , All the President's Men , The princess bride , Misery , among others . This Absolute power (1997) was well-received as well as the subsequently shot Space Cowboys ; however , both of them don't rank with Clint's best jobs as actor/filmmaker . Adequate Clint Eastwood in his ordinary stoic acting as a professional burglar who witnesses both a crime and a cover-up . Nice acting by Gene Hackman as a philander President believes that everything he does is beyond reproach . Support cast is frankly well such as Laura Linney , Melora Hardin , Kenneth Welsh , Mark Margolis, Penny Johnson , Richard Jenkins and cameo of Alison Eastwood , Clint's daughter . Furthermore , the picture displays an atmospheric and sensitive musical score by means of piano composed and performed by Lennie Niehaus , Eastwood's usual . Colorful cinematography by Jack N. Green filmed on location in Washington and Los Angeles .

The film was professionally performed and directed by Clint Eastwood . It has some flaws and gaps ; but it's nevertheless solidly agreeable . The picture is far from his other big hits such as his first directed western , Unforgiven (1992) also with Gene Hackman , which garnered him an Oscar for Best Director, and a nomination for Best Actor . Then he took on the secret service in Open fire (1993), which was a success , followed by the interesting but poorly received drama , A perfect world (1993), with Kevin Costner as a thief . Next up was a love story , Bridges of Madison (1995), which was yet again a hit . Subsequent pictures were enjoyable but nothing to do with previous works . Among them were the and the badly received True crime (1999) and Blood work (2002) . Then in 2004, Eastwood surprised yet again when he produced, directed and starred in Million Dollar Baby (2004). The movie earned Eastwood an Oscar for Best Director and a Best Actor nomination for the second time . He had other successes directing the multi-award-winning films Mystic River (2003), Flags of our fathers (2006), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), and The changeling (2008) . After a four-year hiatus from acting, Eastwood's return to the screen in the successful Gran Torino (2008) .


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Details

Official Sites:

WarnerBros.com

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Absolute Power See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,678,016, 16 February 1997

Gross USA:

$50,068,310

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,068,310
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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