Follow TV Tropes


Context Film / Frantic

Go To

1%% Administrivia/ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them. [[quoteright:350:]]->''"I'm looking for my wife."''-->-- '''Dr. Walker''' (several times)A 1988 thriller film directed by Creator/RomanPolanski, starring Creator/HarrisonFord and [[Film/{{TheNinthGate}} Emmanuelle Seigner]].Dr. Richard Walker (Ford) is a San Francisco surgeon visiting Paris with his wife Sondra for a medical convention. At their hotel Sondra is unable to unlock her suitcase, and Walker realises [[PickingUpTheWrongBag she's picked up the wrong one at the airport]]. While Walker is taking a shower, his wife mysteriously disappears from their hotel.A witness claims to have seen Sondra being forced into a car, but both the French police and the U.S. embassy are skeptical, assuming shes just run off with another man. Forced to investigate the matter himself, Walker runs into the owner of the suitcase, a young French girl called Michelle (Seigner) who works as a smuggler. As Michelle's contact (who was going to pay her) has been murdered, she and Walker must work together, finding themselves caught between two rival Middle East factions trying to get their hands on whatever it was Michelle was smuggling.No relation to a [[VideoGame/{{Frantic}} series of browser games]].----!!This film provides examples of:* ActionSurvivor: Walker starts as a surgeon attending a conference, and ends up solving a crime and facing down spies and bureaucrats alike.* AndAnotherThing: The French detective does this trick on Walker.* BadassIsraeli: Mossad's famed professionalism is subverted -- one of the two Israelis is short-tempered and unprofessional.* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Walker gets his wife back but Michelle gets killed during the exchange.]] Though by Polanski standards it practically counts as HappilyEverAfter.* ComeBackToBedHoney: Walker [[HoldingTheFloor pretends]] to do this [[WeNeedADistraction to stop two agents from roughing up Michelle]] (actually Walker had just sneaked in through the bedroom window).* DeadFootLeadfoot: Walker nearly gets run down by an Arab agent who is shot [[spoiler:during the botched first HostageForMacGuffin exchange.]]* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler: Michelle dies, much to no-one's surprise.]]* {{Eagleland}}: An InvokedTrope of the BoisterousBruiser flavour. When the Mossad agents hear Dr. Walker's American accent, [[ComeBackToBedHoney as he's pretending to wake up in Michelle's bed]], one of them says: "He's American, he may be crazy". Then Dr. Walker pushes one of them and says: "[[BerserkButton Don't mess with me, man]], I'm an American and I ''am'' crazy!".* EarWorm: Grace Jones singing "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)" is heard during key moments of the film, and Walker even asks what song it is at one point.* EiffelTowerEffect: Averted; we only catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower towards the end of the movie. In fact Walker is momentarily confused to see the [[ Statue of Liberty.]]* EmptyQuiver: [[spoiler: The item Michelle was smuggling turns out to be a krytron, a small electronic switch used in the detonators of nuclear devices.]]* FrenchJerk: Averted; while most Frenchmen are skeptical and reluctant to help Walker, no-one is openly rude about it.* GayParee: Averted with a modern and multicultural Paris.* GoingByTheMatchbook: Walker's first clue is a matchbook of the Blue Parrot nightclub, with the number of Michelle's contact written on it.* GreyAndGrayMorality: The film takes no sides with Arabs vs. Israelis, and both use morally dubious methods.* HandOrObjectUnderwear: Ford does this with a stuffed animal during the ComeBackToBedHoney scene. He manages to hold it there even after being savate-kicked unconscious.* HostageForMacGuffin: Unfortunately it takes a while for the kidnappers to work out what happened with the suitcase swap, then there's a delay in contacting Walker as he's out searching for his wife, not waiting in his hotel room for her to call.* [[HellBentForLeather Hot in Leather]]: Emmanuelle Seigner, especially with her CommissarCap.* IHaveYourWife: What the protagonist is frantic about.* ImColdSoCold: [[spoiler: The fatally injured Michelle.]]* ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin: [[spoiler:Michelle slips the kryton into Walker's pocket as she's dying.]]* ManlyTears: Shed while Walker is trying to pretend to his daughter back in the States that everything is normal.* MatingDance: Walker is rather uncomfortable when Michelle starts dancing sensuously close to him in a [[LadyInRed tight red dress]] in the nightclub scene.* MistakenForCheating: Everyone except Walker assumes his wife has run off with another man, and refuses to take seriously his talk of kidnapping. Likewise whenever one of Walker's medical colleagues [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend sees him with Michelle]]. Walker however uses this trope for his advantage when the French detectives start to question Michelle.* MistakenForSpies: The Walkers are assumed to be the next stage in the smuggling ring when they pick up the wrong suitcase.* NoMacGuffinNoWinner: [[spoiler: Walker ends up throwing the krytron into the river, so neither the Arabs or the Israelis can get it.]]* NoNameGiven: The Mossad agents are described in the credits as "Man in Tweed" and "Man in Leather", while the Arab agents are "The Kidnapper" and "The Bodyguard".* NothingGoodEverHappensInAParkingGarage: [[spoiler:The first attempt at a HostageForMacGuffin exchange is set up in a multilevel parking garage; unfortunately it's gatecrashed by Mossad agents who turn it into a shootout.]]* NotWhatItLooksLike:** PlayedForDrama when a concierge tells Walker he saw his wife leave with another man who was holding his arm around her. Walker fails to convince the US embassy staff that the man was doing this because he has a gun in her ribs.** Walker runs into some colleagues at the airport when he goes with Michelle to recover the suitcase; it's obvious what they think he's up to with a young trashy-looking French girl.** Invoked by Walker when the French police show up at his hotel room and find him with Michelle; he plays up this appearance, acting the part of a sleazy American tourist so the police assume Michelle is just a young hooker rather than a key witness to the murder and kidnapping being investigated.* ObstructiveBureaucrat: The U.S. Embassy officials and the French police. The former in particular are portrayed as moronic.* RansackedRoom: Walker returns to his hotel room to find it's been thoroughly searched.* RedHerring: [[spoiler:The suitcase doesn't contain drugs as Walker initially believes.]]* RippedFromTheHeadlines: [[spoiler:The MacGuffin was likely inspired by attempts in TheEighties by Pakistani and Israeli agents to buy nuclear triggers in the United States.]]* RippedFromThePhonebook: Walker rips the page where the gym address is, because, you see, it's très important.* ShirtlessScene: A couple involving Ford, and there's a ToplessnessFromTheBack scene of Seigner changing her shirt.* TakeItToTheBridge: The climax of the film takes place underneath the pont de Grenelle.* TooDumbToLive: Michelle trying to get her payment from the Arabs, even after Walker had previously offered to reimburse her.* TranslationConvention: Played straight but realistically -- those Frenchmen who can speak English have a reason to do so, e.g. officialdom, travelers to the U.S., or a connection to the tourist trade.* UnresolvedSexualTension: Loads of this due to the OddCouple relationship between HappilyMarried Walker and WrongSideOfTheTracks Michelle.* UnusualEuphemism: A black man in a nightclub offers to lead Walker to the "white lady". It turns out he's referring to cocaine.* YouHaveToBelieveMe: Walker can't convince anyone his wife hasn't just run off with another man.----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: