Absolute Power

Stretch your imaginations, please. Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) is the meticulous cat-burglar who needs a last lot of goodies to see him through an easy retirement. Unfortunately, it's his rotten luck that, while hidden from view in the treasure trove behind a secret door with a one-way mirror, he witnesses a brutal and vicious crime. The lover of the wife of the rich powerbroker (whose house Whitney has broken into) kills his mistress in a fit of rage. His presence almost remains undetected by the assailant and his cohorts (Secret Service agents), but at the last minute they clock the uninvited guest who has seen what he should not have seen and must, as a result, be stopped from telling the tale. Oh, by the way, the killer is the President of the United States (Gene Hackman). Have I got your attention yet? If you get past this much (which takes place in the first ten minutes) you might even believe the rest of the film.

Castlerock International © 1997 ABSOLUTE POWER .
Photo by: Graham Kuhn.

Now, the American nation has always found it necessary to keep some secrets from the people, but this one, as you can imagine, is mighty important to keep under covers. After all, nobody wants a presidential impeachment, do they? Solution to the problem: shift the blame. Easiest method: aim it toward the untrustworthy thief that broke into the house unannounced. This seems to be the easiest way out (as opposed to "No Way Out") for all concerned except, of course, Mr. Whitney, whose mission now becomes revealing the truth and saving his ass. A reel tale of honor among thieves.

Producer Karen Spiegel met lawyer David Baldacci in 1992 and, after working together on 4 screenplays, they discussed a 3 paragraph outline that eventually became Baldacci's best-selling novel "Absolute Power". (Talk about success stories.)

Direction by Eastwood of a script adapted by William Goldman with a cast including Gene Hackman, Judy Davis, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn and E.G. Marshall make this more palatable than it might otherwise have become. But puh-leze, gimme a break. Would you vote for this man?

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett