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He was where he shouldn't have been and saw what he shouldn't have seen. Now who will believe the word of a career thief and ex-con? Who will trust Luther Whitney when he says he saw a woman killed and that the man responsible for her death is the President of the United States? Clint Eastwood portrays Whitney and directs this crisp finely acted thriller based on David Baldacci's best-selling novel. A stellar cast which includes Gene Hackman and Ed Harris creates well-rounded characters that intensify constantly spiraling game of cat and mouse between Whitney local police and the highest levels of White House power. Eastwood is a master at steadily raising the stakes in thrillers. Here his mastery is absolute.Running Time: 122 min.System Requirements:Starring: Clint Eastwood Gene Hackman Laura Linney Ed Harris Special Features: Interactive Menus Production Notes Video Format: Widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio Standard 1.33:1 (4.3) Enhanced for 16x9 TV s Subtitles: English Spanish French Track Info: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Closed Captioning: Yes # Discs: 1 # Sides: Dual Running Time: 121 minutes; Closed Captioned. Copyright: 1997 Warner Bros.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: R UPC: 012569250826
Director Clint Eastwood's 1997 box-office hit stars himself as Luther Whitney, a highly skilled thief who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, witnessing the murder of a woman involved in a secret tryst with the U.S. president (played by Gene Hackman). Determined to clear his name, Whitney cleverly eludes a tenacious detective (Ed Harris) while investigating a corruption of power reaching to the highest level of government. Adapted by veteran screenwriter William Goldman from David Baldacci's novel, this thriller balances expert suspense with well-drawn characters and an intelligent plot that's just a pounding heartbeat away from real White House headlines. Absolute Power features the great Judy Davis in a memorable supporting role as the White House chief of staff who desperately attempts to cover up the crime. --Jeff Shannon
- TENSION DRIVEN BY CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, NOT CIRCUMSTANCE
Despite the plot's dainty pablum (morality plus blackmail in high quarters) and somewhat farfetched setup (even if Clinton and a certain intern may have made it very credible for recent generations), the strength of Absolute Power lies in its character interactions. It is simply captivating to watch stalwarts exchange fairly taut dialogue.
The denouement comes a bit hot-footed and wraps up loose ends a bit too neatly, making you think "Why didn't they just do that earlier?" and leaving you with an after-taste that the film lacked consistence or even any real depth. E.g., couldn't we have done without the subplot involving the daughter? Why not use Ed Harris a bit more? etc.
Nonetheless, while watching it is riveting in its buildup of suspense, and to its credit the pace doesn't dilly-dally. Certainly a very worthy rental....more info
- Outstanding thriller!
I enjoyed this movie very much. I didn't mind that there were plot holes here and there-I just didn't care. It was entertaining and gripping and I loved every minute of it. I especially loved that I didn't know *anything* about the plot of the movie as I watched it. There were a few extra surprises for me along the way, which enhanced my enjoyment of the movie.
I loved Clint Eastwood's character. He's such a wiley and resourceful fellow, definitely able and capable. But he's not above playing the "age card", and making mentions of his AARP membership, and trying to pass himself off as someone who is too old to do anything interesting anymore. The twinkle in his eye as he starts in with the age thing is very amusing indeed.
The rest of the cast in this film is also very good-special cudos for E.G. Marshall, in one of his last roles. His performance is articulate and strong and spot-on. Ed Harris has that friendly, open face, and he's very likeable in this movie. He's also able to show a sweet sense of humor. (The line, "I live alone" will have a special significance after you see this movie!) Gene Hackman is great as a wimpy yet simultaniously slimy character. Judy Davis is absolutely wonderful too-as an evil ice queen hiding behind the mask of an attractive woman. Dennis Haysbert (now playing Palmer in "24") and character actor Scott Glenn are good in their roles as well.
The best part in this film, in my opinion, are the scenes between Eastwood and his estranged daughter, played by Laura Linney. Their relationship is what makes this movie stand out. Eastwood's character has been seemingly so distant from his daughter for so many years; yet she's still his "little girl" and we see how deeply he loves her as the film progresses.
This is a worthwhile film, and very entertaining. Recommended....more info
- THIS TAKES A SWIPE AT CLINTON
"Absolute Power" had me thinking that somebody read my screenplay, "A Murderous Campaign", used my idea but gave me no credit. Maybe. "Absolute" is a Clint Eastwood picture, playing on the public perception that Bill Clinton might just be a murderer. However, the President bears no resemblance to Clinton.
AUTHOR OF "BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN"
- A gripping thriller
Clint Eastwood is a professional thief in the middle of plying his trade when a middle aged man brings a young woman into the bedroom. Hidden in a vault behind a one way mirror, Eastwood witnesses the woman's rape and her murder. And he noticed the killer is president of the United States. Now the question is what to do about what he has seen ?...more info
- Absolute Power-Absolutely a waste of time
A movie whose premise is intriguing, however it soon falls apart with the loose ends starting really early on in the film. Eastwood's direction is abominable; scenes drag on for no purpose. This movie seems like it was written in one evening, with not much thought going into the plot. The film takes a lot of stupid twists for no apparent reason. The dance scene with Gene Hackman and Judy Davis is really rediculous. The resolution to this film is even more unbelievable than the rest of the movie. Davis, Harris, Linney, Glenn, Marshall, and Hackman are all horribly wasted. This movie also seems to carry a racist undertone to it....more info
- Clint gives a suberb performance as a ageing cop
Clint gives one of his greatest performances as cooler king Virgil Hilts. Hilts is an American spy pretending to be a pilot in Vietnam. Watch out for the great chase scene at the end whe Hilts try's to jump the barb wire on a motor bike. Al Pacino is great as the Polish fireman as is Marlon Brando as the Scottish priest....more info
- THE MAN BEHIND THE MIRROR
The most important scene of ABSOLUTE POWER takes place in the middle of the movie when Luther's daughter is visiting her father's house. There, she realizes that Luther has always been at her side during her career, taking secretly pictures of her.
In fact, Luther is never where you expect him to be. He is the witness of a crime but stays invisible behind a mirror, he is a burglar at night and a painter during the day. He likes to disguise and disappear but is never more than a block away from his daughter.
He is definitely not the type of character Clint used to play. One could say that Clint Eastwood, the director, wanted Luther to be the most anonymous thief in the world. Luther is always present and absent in the same time, Luther doesn't exist.
Once Clint Eastwood, the actor, has disappeared, what's left ? - A man behind the mirror, behind the camera, a man who is one of the best american movie directors of the last 25 years.
Clint Eastwood. The director.
A DVD for him....more info
- Brilliant Thriller!!
In the dark times of the Clinton presidency of scandal and corruption ....this movie really hit home. I was amazed that Hollywood even let this movie slide by, considering their Leftist politics!
Gene Hackman plays a Clinton like President who cheats on his wife and biggest fund raising supporter,...with his chief of staff..seemingly resembling Hillary Clinton, who covers up for him...added to the dimension of realism to this movie. It almost resembles Tom Clancy's work with all the politics and secret service detail. Given the hilarious irony that a jewel thief/War hero (Clint Eastwood)had more honesty and character than this wife cheating President was even more funny!
This movie is one of Clint Eastwood's best...and is enjoyable no matter what party you are from....more info
- Decent first half, GREAT second half... Eastwood is perfect!
This was a very good, not great movie. It is a bit slow at first, but you will find that there are just so many little things about this movie that are great. Eastwood is perfect: excellent acting, flawless direction... and he's got some of his typical one-liners. Definitly see this movie....more info
- It has something missing
First, I must say that I am a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, since his early days as the man with no name.....
I bought this movie without even watching it once, I saw the actors list and read the plot on the back of the dvd and thought to myself "This got to be the hell of a movie".
After finishing I didn't think the same. I mean, it has great actors and the story is great but it has something missing for my opinion, things get smooth really easy at the end.
However I haven't regreted the fact of buying it, is a good movie, not just as good as you could imagine.
The caracter played by Eastwood is, opposite to what you may think a great father, and he would do anything to protect his daughter.
Ed Hackman's caracter is a coward hidding behind secret services... I love him when he loses (like in Runaway Jury for example).
Anyway, just watch the movie and since is a Eastwood movie, you already know who will win at the end...........more info
- One of Mr Eastwoods better films of late
It seemed that the last few films of Clint were slipping overall. But this one is not one of them. I really enjoyed this one as it was well thought out and well performed. Bravo to all hands involved! ...more info
I listened to the book on tape and bought the movie. It follows it closely and is very exciting. Anything Clint Eastwood does is usually top-notch. Been a fan since "Rawhide" days....more info
- Clint vs. The White House...Who Will Win?...Well, You Know!
This review refers to the Warner Home Video(DVD edition) of "Absolute Power"
This is one of Clint's best. It really shows off his expertise in front of and behind the camera. His on screen magnetism matches his superb direction in this great thriller. Also included is some of the best talent in Hollywood, as Clint has a knack for surrounding himself with the finest actors.
"Absolute Power" from 1997 is a terrific thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat(even after repeated viewings) as Clint goes up against some mighty powerful enemies. He is an aging master thief, and while in the process off pulling of the ultimate job, witnesses a murder.And this murder involves the most powerful man in the world. When Clint is the chief suspect, he must prove that the blood trail leads all the way to the Whitehouse. Not an easy task for our guy, as he is being persued by all sides.The film is multi-faceted as it also let's us in on this thief's softer side as he tries to build a relationship with his estranged daughter. A huge cast includes, Ed Harris, Gene Hackman, Laura Linney, Scott Glenn,Judy Davis, Dennis Haysbert and the great E.G. Marshall.
This film looks and sound magnificent on this superior quality DVD. You have the choice of widescreen(highly recommended), or standard format. Colors are vibrant, and the picture is crystal clear.The Dolby Dig 5.1 will have you thinking all the action is going on right in your living room. There are some production notes included and there are subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
This film is also offered as part of a 3-pack here at Amazon...The Clint Eastwood "Hero" collection. It also includes "Heartbreak Ridge" and "A Perfect World", which also stars Kevin Costner. If you are like me and can't live without ALL of Clint's work..the 3-pack would be a more economical way to go!
Washington is no match for our guy!(Who is?)....Go for it..and enjoy...Laurie
more Clint stuff:
The Gauntlet/True Crime
Paint Your Wagon
Music for the Movies of Clint Eastwood
Breezy Clint Eastwood Kay Lenz All Regions NTSC UNRATED(director)...more info
- Blech! And that's being generous!
A great opening twenty minutes, and then... nothing. The script, the direction, the acting- everything is fumbled. Eastwood asks the audience to condemn abuse of power but also indulges his own Dirty-Harry image. See "All The President's Men" (also from writer Goldman) instead, even if you already have....more info
- By far , the best film noir of Clint Eastwood !
Fantastic film ; memticulous and carefully built ,loaded of the highest suspense you may expect . In this clever film noir , Eastwood is an outsider . He is not a detective , but a jewel thief who watchs something he never had to see .
This brutal murderer will reach the highest governement levels in which a very well planned chase will be made behind the traces of Eastwood .
A great script . Hackman is absolute convincing in the best role which he has represented more than any one else ; the immoral, corrupt , decadent and perverse villain .
Intelligent puzzle and artistic film prove once more than industry and craft may join .
One of the best films in his career . ...more info
- A political thriller but also a strong father-daughter story
At the start of "Absolute Power" Luther Whitne (Clint Eastwood), cat burglar par excellence, finds himself in a very strange situation. While robbing a rich man's safe in a large bedroom closet, he is interrupted by the appearance of a man and woman who head straight for the bed. While hiding in the closet, where he sees what is going on through a two-way mirror, he watches while the sex play gets rough: the man hits her, she stabs him with a letter opener, and then two men come into the room and shoot her. Luther gets out of there, but while his presence was undetected it does not go undiscovered. The problem is that the man he was watching happens to be the President of the United States (Gene Hackman).
Now, I have to stop at this point and tell you that one of my cinematic pet peeves is the idea that the United States Secret Service will let the president do anything, no matter how stupid or reckless, without batting an eye. Indeed, in "Absolute Power" there are two such agents, who help to cover up the murder and then try to track down Luther and kill him. However, the actors playing those two agents happen to be Scott Glenn and Dennis Haysbert, which is an important fact because a lot of the faults in this film area absolved by the casting, the credit for which goes to the film's director: Clint Eastwood.
The hook for this thriller is the idea that the president, his Chief of Staff (Judy Davis), and the Secret Service are out to get Luther, whose stated intention is to get out of town and get lost as quick as possible. But the key to this film ends up being a rather odd romantic triangle that exists between Luther, his estranged daughter, Kate (Laura Linney), and the D.C. homicide cop, Seth Frank (Ed Harris), who is assigned to the murder. Frank interviews Luther, not because he thinks the old con is a murderer, but because he is one of the few that could have pulled off the heist. He then moves on to Kate, hoping to get her to persuade her father to turn himself in before the wrath of the rich man (E.G. Marshall) whose wife is dead comes crashing down on him. Frank clearly likes Kate and is rather impressed by Luther, which is good because I like smart cops. For his part, Luther clearly has some admiration for the detective and also likes his taste in women.
My favorite scene in this movie is when Frank takes Kate to her father's house, where she has never been, and (knowing where Luther hides the key), takes her inside. In one room she finds a gallery of photographs, of all of the key moments in her life after her father left. "She was at none of these," she insists to Frank, although clearly that was never the case and we can see in an instant that she is rethinking her entire relationship with her father. As much as it is fun to watch Luther outsmart the cops, the Secret Service, and the hitman sent by old man Sullivan, the heart of this film is between Luther and Kate. Even when she sets him up, believing it to be the only way of helping keep her father alive, he surprises her by showing up. His reasoning? He did not want her to believe he was a murderer. Besides, his daughter wanted to see him.
I understand the script by William Goldman is quite different from David Balducci's novel, but that simply has to do with Eastwood playing Luther (if you read the novel you will understand why this would matter in terms of the significant changes). Eastwood's direction is competent as always, and, as I mentioned above, he gets the credit for being able to bring together such a solid cast for one of his projects (who would turn down a Clint Eastwood movie?). Final Note: the White House Tour Guide is played by the director's daughter, Kimber Eastwood....more info
- absolutely awful
My BF and I watched this movie about Hackman being the Pres,and attacking his girlfriend, I became digusted when he smacks her around(likes [it] rough,does he?) and is drunk. Why would the Pres have his mistress in the White House?Even worse,why does she get shot defending herself after she is the victim of an... assault by the Pres?Scott Glen is a Secret Service agent who should ask first,why is this woman here with her clothes torn and bruises on her face?Why does she need a weapon and why isn't the adulterous Pres asked what th heck he's up to? Waste of time in my opinion.Total waste of cast and extermely offensive...more info
- Plot doesn't add up
Intelligent? Not the plot. In many places the plot does not add up, and the myth of the omnipotent, omnipresent character just doesn't wash anymore. Eastwood's ego would have him make movies into his eighties, when he should simply step down, or at least cut out the roles which require him to do things only a young man could do. And what, I ask, would the secret service have to gain by killing Eastwood's daughter? Twice? Just plain silly....more info
- Overdone and overrated.
This film tried too hard to be suspenseful. The book was great but the movie was too slow and tedious. Hackman as a menacing predator didn't work for me. Eastwood was typical Eastwood. Quiet and strong. Never budging. The plot was good but the film failed to meet the quality of the book. I found the film ludricous and boring. Just another president with all the power movie. Boring. Get a new idea or follow the book more closely next time....more info
- Absolute Power
Absolute Power, starring Clint Eastwood, is a well-cast, well-acted, fast-moving story. Good flick, one that can be seen again and again....more info
- If only the movie would have followed the book....
This movie was awful. That's all I can say about it. It killed the book, which happens to be one of my favorites. When I got this movie after reading the book, I excitedly stuck it in my VCR (yes, VCR-- no affordable DVD Players at the time), I was expecting so much more than what I received. I know movies have to cut out a lot from the books to fit them into 2-hours, but I've never before seen a movie cut out the main hero! Now, that's just ridiculous! If I were the author, David Baldacci, I would be furious that my story had been so badly butchered. Clint Eastwood had to be the star, so he twisted the whole plot around to make Luther Whitney the hero, when in the book Luther Whitney is gunned down half-way though. In the movie, the book's hero Jack Graham is totally non-existent.
My advice to you if you're looking to buy a good movie: look someplace else. Read the book. *sigh* If only the movie would've followed the book a little more closely... It might have been a blockbuster hit. Too bad.
- Perfect acting and directing
This is a case study for anyone serious about film. An excellent script adapted from a book brought to life with seemingly no effort showing. Ed Harris is just one of a fantastic cast, everyone more than pulls their weight and together what results is more than the sum of their parts. Gene Hackman has once again shown he can do "the villian" entirely differently than he has done before and again you forget it is him till the credits roll. The pace is perfect with no motion wasted....more info
All of Eastwood's directorial efforts are strong but this is one of his best. This film is like a great pulp story elevated to classic status by Eastwood's skillful direction of actors and his sense of pacing. My personal favorites of the films Eastwood has directed are in this order: 1. Play Misty For Me 2. Unforgiven 3. Mystic River 4. High Plains Drifter 5. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil 6. Absolute Power 7. A Perfect World. All of his films are good that he has directed so check them out. Hackman and Haysbert are ruthless in this. Great acting!...more info