Absolute Power (film)

1997 film directed by Clint Eastwood

Absolute Power is a 1997 film about a career thief who witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.

Directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by William Goldman, based on the novel by David Baldacci.
Corrupts Absolutely.

Luther Whitney

  • I've got to go have my pacemaker checked, it has been so exciting talking to you.
  • Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one.


  • Bill Burton: Miss Russell, I should've called the police that night but I was weak. You convinced me to stay silent. I regret that. Know this: every time I see your face, I wanna rip your throat out.


Gloria Russell: Allen, did you have sex with her?
Allen Richmond: I... I don't know.
Gloria Russell: Bill, I need you to examine her.
Bill Burton: I'm no gynecologist.
Gloria Russell: I just made you one!
Bill Burton: Oh, Christ...

Gloria Russell: He's got the letter opener. Blood. Fingerprints. Jesus... Think what he can do.
Bill Burton: The man's a thief. A thief who witnessed a murder.

Allen Richmond: What do we know, so far?
Gloria Russell: Well, we've checked his license plates. He stole the car from a police impoundment lot.
Allen Richmond: We're not dealing with a fool here, are we? Has he initiated contact?
Gloria Russell: Burton doesn't think he will.
Allen Richmond: I agree. I apologize for my behavior. It won't happen again. Consider it a blip on the screen. As far as I'm concerned that's all he is, too.
Gloria Russell: Well, he could be a little more than that, Allen. He saw.
Allen Richmond: He saw nothing. He saw a drunk woman who liked rough sex too much. He's a burglar. Who's gonna believe him? After all, it's not as if he has any evidence or anything.

Medical Examiner: Looks like he tried to strangle her.
Seth Frank: He strangled her, then he went to the door to shoot her from behind?
Medical Examiner: He also inspected her vagina.
Seth Frank: He did what? Why?
Laura Simon: Maybe he didn't remember that he did her.
Seth Frank: A strong burglar with a weak mind. Obviously another open-and-shut case.

Seth Frank: Why does he bother to dig a slug out of the wall when he knows there's already another one stuck in her head?
Laura Simon: Uh, different from the one in her body?
Seth Frank: Two guns means two burglars. They broke in together, they both went out the window? That's bullshit! And by the way, why did he, or they, go out the window in the first place when he, or they, got in by breaking a zillion-dollar security system?

Walter Sullivan: For eighty years, I've tried to live... a decent life. I've given a billion dollars to charity. If this comes to trial... none of that will be remembered. I'll just go out... the joke of the world.
Seth Frank: I understand, sir. I'll do what I can.
Walter Sullivan: [chuckles] Will you listen to me whine? I apologize, Mr. Frank. Bother me all you want, just do your job. And I'll try to do mine.

Kate Whitney: Why'd you come?
Luther Whitney: I couldn't have my daughter thinking I was a murderer.
Kate Whitney: No, I mean why did you come to the restaurant this afternoon? You must have suspected something, or else you wouldn't have been prepared.
Luther Whitney: My daughter wanted to see me.
Kate Whitney: But then you go to the police. That's what innocent people do. They go to the police.
Luther Whitney: Sure. And that young man who was just here, he'd believe me over the President, wouldn't he?
Kate Whitney: Well, why should I believe you?
Luther Whitney: Because I swear to you, Kate. I swear to you on Mattie's grave. Yeah, that's right. Your mother's grave, I'd kill myself before I lied about that.
Kate Whitney: Oh Jesus, Luther.
Luther Whitney: Yeah, I know.

Walter Sullivan: I don't yet know who it is I'm after. Until I do, you'll have to wait in Washington for instructions.
Michael McCarty: I'm afraid that's out of the question. Mine is not particularly creative work, and I do it only because I enjoy living beyond my means. I can't afford to just sit around.
Walter Sullivan: My father died when I was nine years old. He was a miner. He died of lung disease. I became rich at twenty-five, and the first thing I did was to buy that mine, close it down, and give every miner fifty thousand dollars to retire on. You *will* wait in Washington, Mr. McCarty. You will choose a penthouse suite, and I will put one million dollars into a Swiss bank of your choosing. And when the time comes... two million dollars a bullet.
Michael McCarty: ...You are a salesman, sir.
Walter Sullivan: Selling sin is easy.

Gloria Russell: What do I do?
Bill Burton: Nothing. Because he's making a terrible mistake. He thinks he has time. He doesn't. Seth Frank's too good. He'll bring him in.
Gloria Russell: Then what?
Tim Collin: Then I kill him.

Kate Whitney: Quit wasting my time. He doesn't want you to find him, you're not gonna find him.
Seth Frank: You're saying what? He left town, he skipped the country? What?
Kate Whitney: I'm saying, you won't recognize him. I'm saying, he could be right around the corner.

[Collin, disguised as a doctor, tries to kill Kate with an injection; Luther, also disguised as a doctor, comes up behind him and jabs a syringe into his neck]
Luther Whitney: Dr. Kevorkian, I presume? My guess is this is right in your carotid artery about now. You're gonna get a little woozy. But if I give you the rest of this, it's gonna fry your brain down to the size of a peanut! Drop that.
[Collin drops the syringe, and Luther eases him down to the floor]
Tim Collin: [whispering] Luther, he's my president, right or wrong.
Luther Whitney: Well, he made a mistake. *You* made a mistake. When you went after my little girl, that was entirely unacceptable.
Tim Collin: [pleading weakly] Mercy.
Luther Whitney: I'm fresh out.
[Luther plunges the injection into Collin's neck; Collin groans as he dies]
Kate Whitney: [starts waking up in hospital bed] Daddy?
Luther Whitney: [softly] Go to sleep, darling.

Walter Sullivan: Are you taking your shortcut, Tommy?
Luther Whitney: I'm your substitute drive tonight, Mr. Sullivan. Oh don't worry about Tommy; he's just fine.
Walter Sullivan: It's very unusual. What do I call you?
Luther Whitney: Luther, sir.
Walter Sullivan: Are you familiar with to get to my townhouse, Luther?
Luther Whitney: Oh yes, sir I know where all your houses are. I'm the man who robbed you. And you're the man who tried to kill me.
Walter Sullivan: I'm sorry I've missed. I believe in the Old Testament, sir. There's nothing wrong for an eye for an eye for when a terrible deed has been done. A deed such as yours.
Luther Whitney: Which you'd like to believe, wouldn't ya? That'd be simple for you to believe that. What do you think that I have to gain by being here?
Walter Sullivan: I have no idea. Are you going to rob me again?
Luther Whitney: Oh I don't need your money, Mr. Sullivan. Now did you check your vault lately? I put everything back.
Walter Sullivan: I'm afraid we're a little late for an attempt at leniency.

Luther Whitney: [about the night when Christy was killed] A lot of crap is coming down tonight, sir. Do you want to be a player, or not? Do you want to know what happened that night, or don't you? Because I was there.
Walter Sullivan: I want to know.
Luther Whitney: Do you think you can, stand hearing about it, how he beat her, tried to strangle her, you want to really know about that?
Walter Sullivan: I could walk through the fire.
Luther Whitney: Well, I was in the vault when they came in, they were drunk. He started knocking her around, but she fought back, then he started getting really rough, she tried to defend herself, while he started screaming, like the sniveling SIMP HE IS.
Walter Sullivan: Who else was in my house?
Luther Whitney: The Secret Service, they're the ones who shot her.
Walter Sullivan: Nonsense!
Luther Whitney: And Gloria Russell she handled the cover up.
Walter Sullivan: STOP THIS!
Luther Whitney: Don't you want to know who it was?
Walter Sullivan: IT WAS YOU!
Luther Whitney: Oh come on Mr. Sullivan, we're too old to bullshit each other.
Walter Sullivan: WHO WAS IT THEN?
Luther Whitney: You know? [Mr. Sullivan nods his head] Don't shake your head at me. When you're alone at night, and your rage takes over and you want to avenge her. What face do you put with your enemy?


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