No Way Out is one of several great suspense thrillers released in 1987. It makes the Ditto Review Top 3 List for that year, sharing the stage with Black Widow staring Debra Winger and Theresa Russell and Fatal Attraction starring Glenn Close and Michael Douglas. It was directed by New Zealand Film Director/Producer/Writer Roger Donaldson who also directed the movie Thirteen Days which also starred Kevin Costner.
No Way Out is a remake of the 1948 movie The Big Clock. Both movies were based on the 1946 novel, The Big Clock, written by Kenneth Fearing. The story line for the book was inspired by two things. A real life event, the murder of a New York brewery heiress in 1943, and the novel, The Dark Page, written by well respected director/writer Samuel Fuller. On a side note the book, The Dark Page, was a best seller and awarded Best Psychological Novel of 1944.
The setting for No Way Out is Washington, D.C. Our main character, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell, played by Kevin Costner, is portrayed as a up and coming hero type. He gets a job at the Pentagon working for Secretary of Defense, David Brice, played by Gene Hackman. The plot is pretty basic. There’s a woman, Susan Atwell, played by Sean Young, there’s a murder and there’s a cover-up. The CIA, FBI, CID and the KGB are all involved. What makes this movie thrilling is the way the events unfold and, of course, it wouldn’t be a thriller without a twist and this one has a bombshell. The first time I saw the movie, I was surprised, and I’m not easily surprised.
This movie is full of nostalgia starting with the music in the opening scene. It actually made me laugh. It is very 1980’s. There are pay phones, land lines, no cell phones, no DNA testing, oversized Ray-Ban sunglasses, and last but not least, dinosaur like computer systems and printers. Had this movie been set in modern day times it would have lasted about 10 minutes.
If you’re looking for some old fashion suspense coupled with a trip down memory lane, this is the movie for you and as a bonus, you get Kevin Costner. Don’t miss it!
Fun Flick Finds
1. Tom Farrell gets out of a taxi in one of the opening scenes. What is the mane of the cab company?
2. What is the name of the sail boat Tom and Susan rent?