Absolute Power (1997)

Cast & Director


Absolute Power (1997)

121 min | Action | Crime | Drama | Thriller | 14/08/1997
Rating: 6.7 / 10 from 40233 users
MPAA Rating: MA15+
Language: English
Director: Clint Eastwood
Creator: David Baldacci|William Goldman|Clint Eastwood|Gene Hackman|Ed Harris
Actors: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Scott Glenn,
Official Website: Official Website (Depending on the age of the movie the website may no longer be active)

Corrupts Absolutely.

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

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  • Clint Eastwood as Luther Whitney (Actor)
  • Gene Hackman as President Allen Richmond (Actor)
  • Ed Harris as Seth Frank (Actor)
  • Laura Linney as Kate Whitney (Actor)
  • Scott Glenn as Bill Burton (Actor)
  • Dennis Haysbert as Tim Collin (Actor)
  • Judy Davis as Gloria Russell (Actor)
  • E.G. Marshall as Walter Sullivan (Actor)
  • Melora Hardin as Christy Sullivan (Actor)
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  • Clint Eastwood as (Director)

Check the censor’s rating in your region.

Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Belgium:KNT | Finland:K-16 | France:Tous publics | Germany:12 (bw) | Iceland:14 (original rating) | Iceland:16 (video rating) | Netherlands:16 | Netherlands:12 (TV version) | Norway:15 | Peru:18 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Singapore:M18 (re-rating) | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #35038)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language

David Baldacci|William Goldman|Clint Eastwood|Gene Hackman|Ed Harris

  • Columbia Pictures
  • Castle Rock Entertainment
  • Malpaso Productions
Plot for Absolute Power
Plot (Warning: May contain spoilers)

During the course of a burglary, master jewel thief Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) is forced to hide upon the unexpected arrival of Christy Sullivan (Melora Hardin), the beautiful young wife of elderly billionaire Walter Sullivan (E. G. Marshall), during her drunken rendezvous with Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman), the President of the United States. Walter Sullivan is Richmond’s friend and financial supporter, and the owner of the mansion Luther has broken into. Hiding inside a large bedroom vault with a one-way mirror, Luther watches as Richmond becomes sexually violent towards Christy and she attacks him with a letter opener in self-defense. Richmond screams for help, and Secret Service agents Bill Burton (Scott Glenn) and Tim Collin (Dennis Haysbert) burst into the bedroom and shoot Christy to death. Chief of Staff Gloria Russell (Judy Davis) arrives, and they agree to stage the scene to look like a burglary gone wrong. They are unaware of Luther until he begins his escape. Both agents chase Luther, but he escapes with millions in jewelry, collectible coins and cash as well as the incriminating letter opener.

The next day, Detective Seth Frank (Ed Harris) begins his investigation of the crime. Luther quickly becomes a prime suspect in the burglary because of his reputation as a master thief, but Frank does not believe Luther is a murderer. Just as Luther is about to flee the country, he sees President Richmond on television, publicly commiserating with Walter on his loss. Incensed by the fake sympathy, Luther decides to bring the President to justice. Meanwhile, Burton asks Frank to keep him informed about the case while a Secret Service agent wiretaps Frank’s office telephone.

Luther’s estranged daughter Kate (Laura Linney), who works as a prosecutor, accompanies Frank to Luther’s home to search for clues. Photographs in the house indicate that Luther has secretly been watching her for years. She still suspects Luther of the crime and therefore agrees to set him up. Frank guarantees Luther’s safety, but through the wiretap Burton learns of the plan, and Collins prepares a sniping attack. Someone also tips off Walter, who hires a hitman (Richard Jenkins) to kill Luther. The two snipers, each unaware of the other, try to shoot Luther when he arrives at an outdoor cafe to meet his daughter. They both miss, and Luther escapes through the police cordon wearing the uniform of a police officer he had hidden beneath his coat. Luther later explains to Kate exactly how Christy was killed and by whom.

Luther begins to taunt Russell, first by sending her a photograph of the letter opener, then tricking her into wearing Christie’s diamond necklace during a public event at the White House. Correctly suspecting that Kate knows the truth, President Richmond decides she must be eliminated. When Luther learns from Detective Frank that the Secret Service has taken over surveillance of Kate, he races back to Washington D.C. to protect her. He arrives at her jogging area just moments after Collin has used his SUV to push her and her car off a cliff. Collin tries to kill her again at the hospital with a poison-filled syringe. Luther, who is waiting for such an attack, subdues Collin by jabbing him in the neck with a syringe of his own. Collin pleads for mercy, but Luther instead delivers a fatal dose.

Luther incapacitates Walter’s chauffeur and replaces him, telling Walter what happened on the night his wife was killed. Walter is unconvinced until Luther explains how Richmond lied in his speech by citing Christy’s excuse for staying home, which he could only have learned from her. He shows Walter the letter opener with Richmond’s blood and fingerprints on it and also informs him that he has since returned the items he had stolen.

Luther stops the car and hands over the letter opener, dropping off Walter outside the White House. Walter, who is absolutely trusted by everyone in the White House, is able to get through security with the letter opener and enter the Oval Office. Meanwhile, alerted by Luther that his phones have been bugged, Frank discovers that a remorseful Burton has committed suicide and uses the evidence Burton left behind to arrest Russell. On television the next morning comes the shocking news by Walter that the President committed suicide by stabbing himself to death (it is left unrevealed if Richmond committed suicide or if Walter killed him). Luther is satisfied that justice has prevailed, and he is happy his daughter is safe and they are no longer estranged.

Back at the hospital, sketching on a pad, Luther watches over Kate in her hospital bed. Detective Frank visits briefly, whereupon Luther suggests to Kate that she invite Frank to dinner sometime and then continues to draw a picture of his daughter.

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Excerpt: Review of the movie Absolute Power. A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.

Duration: 121 min

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