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Absolute Power is the name of an 1996 political thriller novel by David Baldacci and its 1997 film adaptation. The latter was directed by Clint Eastwood. The changes to the original story were excessive, including omitting protagonist Jack Graham.Luther Whitney (Eastwood) is a professional burglar looking for his next hit. He decides to target the mansion of elderly billionaire Walter Sullivan (E. G. Marshall), since Sullivan and his much younger wife Christy (Melora Hardin) are supposed to be vacationing. Instead the mansion is visited by Christy and her current lover, President Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman). Both are drunk and ready to mate, with Luther a reluctant peeping tom.Richmond suddenly turns violent, inspiring Christy to grab a letter opener and turn it on him. Two agents of the Secret Service respond to their President's call for help. Agents Bill Burton (Scott Glenn) and Tim Collin (Dennis Haysbert) shoot the woman down. Then the trio and Chief of Staff Gloria Russell (Judy Davis) arrange the scene to appear that an intruder killed her.Luther escapes, but not unnoticed. He finds himself both suspected for the murder, and with a price on his head. He has to prove he had nothing to do with it. His only allies are his estranged daughter, prosecuting attorney Kate Whitney (Laura Linney), and police detective Seth Frank (Ed Harris), who knows something fishy is going on. Naturally the President wants them all dead.The film received mixed reviews on release. Several critics felt that a murder case with the President of the United States and the Secret Service as murderers and a burglar as the sole hero was hardly believable, yet found the acting solid. The film earned $50,007,168 in the American market, the 37th most succesful film of the year. However this barely covered its budget.
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