A gripping update on John Farrow's 1947 The Big Clock, its parallel duplicities relocated to the Pentagon. The mistress (Young) of devious Secretary of Defence Brice (Hackman) has been murdered, and Lt Farrell (Costner) is called in to catch the killer without stirring up the headlines. The problem is that Brice himself did the deed accidentally, while Farrell is the unknown man who had roused his jealousy by sharing her favours. Farrell's mission becomes a quicksand of double bluffs, concealments, and attempts to sabotage the clues in order to avoid the Pentagon fingering him for the murder. A very convincing nightmare, and if Hackman gives too rounded a performance to approach the omniscient evil of Laughton's original, Patton assumes the mantle as Brice's henchman, while Costner confirms his arrival as a star. Clearly, they can remake 'em like that any more.
Cast and crew
Fred Dalton Thompson