(director: Roger Donaldson; screenwriters: Gregory Goodell/Robert Garland/based on the novel The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing ; cinematographer: John Alcott; editor: Neil Travis/John Hoy; music: Maurice Jarre ; cast: Kevin Costner (Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell ), Gene Hackman (David Brice), Howard Duff (Senator Willy Duvall), Sean Young (Susan Atwell), Will Patton (Scott Pritchard), George Dzundza (Dr Sam Hesselman), Jason Bernard (Major Donovan), Nina Beka (Iman), Fred Dalton Thompson (Marshall), Leon Russom (Kevin O’Brien), Dennis Burkley (Mate); Runtime: 114; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Laura Ziskin/Robert Garland; HBO (Orion); 1987)

The film is remembered for its limo sex scene.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Roger Donaldson (“The Recruit”/”13 Days”/”Species”) directs this gripping spy thriller that updates John Farrow’s film noir The Big Clock (1948). It’s based on the novel The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing. The original screenwriter, Robert Garland, updates the remake to fit the changing times.

The film is remembered for its limo sex scene.

Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) is a Pentagon officer assigned to the manipulative Secretary of Defense, David Brice (Gene Hackman). Farrell has a secret affair with good-time girl Susan Atwell (Sean Young), the mistress of Brice. When Brice accidentally murders her, Farrell is afraid he will be the fall guy. Trying to cover his tracks, Brice tries for a cover-up, as he saw someone leaving her apartment after the murder. He doesn’t realize it was Farrell. In any case, Brice puts Farrell in charge of the investigation–an investigation to catch himself.

Though it fails to improve the original, it’s still at least a decent version that doesn’t denigrate it.