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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

  • At a formal ball in Washington D.C., U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) meets a young woman, Susan Atwell (Sean Young). The two immediately begin an affair when they have quick sex in the backseat of Farrell's limousine and later at Susan's apartment. Although Farrell is clearly in love, it is implied that Susan is involved with someone else.

    During his next Naval deployment to the Phillippines, Farrell rescues a sailor from his ship during a storm and becomes a hero. He is brought back to Washington to work at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Secretary of Defense David Brice (Gene Hackman) is aware that his General Counsel Scott Pritchard (Will Patton) is an old friend of Farrell's. Brice is attempting to cancel a white elephant "Phantom Sub" project that has powerful political backing. Brice decides that Farrell should act as his direct liaison to the CIA. The real purpose is to gather information about whether the Soviets really are working on such a project.

    Soon after, Farrell finds out that the other man in Susan's life is Secretary Brice. However, Brice in turn learns of Susan's infidelity. While demanding the name of her new lover, he slaps Susan in a jealous rage and fatally knocks her off an indoor balcony.

    Ready to turn himself in, Brice is persuaded by Pritchard to cover up everything and blame it on someone else. They concoct a story that claims Susan's other lover was in fact a KGB sleeper agent code-named "Yuri." In the aftermath, they focus all attention on an attempt to capture him. Confident that "Yuri" doesn't exist, Director of Central Intelligence Marshall (Fred Dalton Thompson) dismisses the possibility of it being Pritchard having an affair with Susan, saying that Pritchard is homosexual.

    Brice appoints the unknowing Farrell to lead the investigation to find Susan's other lover; the KGB spy. Farrell is thus placed in the position of attempting to find evidence that could falsely implicate himself. The only forensic evidence in the case is a badly damaged Polaroid negative recovered from Susan's house, which requires lengthy computerized processing to become visible. Aware that it is his face on the blurred photo, Farrell pleads with systems analyst Sam Hesselman, an old friend, to slow down the processing and confides in him about his secret affair with Susan Atwell. While the processing takes place, Farrell sets about re-directing attention back onto Brice. He does this by searching government printouts for evidence that Brice gave Susan a present which was a government-registered gift from Morocco.

    Pritchard harasses Nina Beka, a close friend of Susan's, by threatening deportation back to South Africa. Then he sends covert assassins to "take care of" her. Farrell comes to Nina's rescue just in time.

    A suspicious Sam goes to Pritchard with concerns about what Farrell told him. Realizing that Sam can implicate Brice, Pritchard shoots him in cold blood.

    A race develops between two pieces of evidence: the processing of the picture implicating Farrell and a printout of the gift's registration implicating Secretary Brice. Farrell obtains the printout first and confronts Brice with the evidence. Brice shifts the blame to Pritchard, arguing that Pritchard was jealous of his relationship with Susan. A devastated Pritchard commits suicide with a pistol right there in his office. When the military police enter, the guilt-ridden Brice then turns himself in as being the one who killed Susan Atwell and that her KGB lover never existed.

    The film ends with a surprising plot twist; The following day, Farrell is mourning at Susan's grave when two plainclothes men arrive and take him away for questioning to a local hotel where another man emerges from behind a two-way mirror. The interrogator is Farrell's landlord Mr. Schiller (Michael Shillo). After a few moments, he addresses Farrell in Russian and Farrell responds in kind. Farrell is, in fact, the real "Yuri," and his landlord is his KGB supervisor and handler. Yuri/Farrell was planted in the U.S.A. as a teenager and became the "mole" in the Department of Defense this whole time. As the KGB was aware of Brice's affair, Farrell was assigned to seduce Atwell and gather intelligence from the Secretary of Defense's mistress. Although his handlers demand that he return to the Soviet Union immediately since his cover was nearly blown, Farrell refuses and leaves. The KGB agents are about to chase after him when Schiller stops them and tells them to let Farrell go for the time being. Schiller quips: "He'll be back. Where else does he have to go?"

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