Cast: Clint Eastwood, Genevieve Bujold, Dan Hedaya, Alison Eastwood, Jennifer Beck, Marco St. John, Rebecca Perle, Regina Richardson, Randi Brooks, Jamie Rose, Margaret Howell, Rebecca Clemons, Janet MacLachlan, Graham Paul, Bill Holliday, John Wilmot, Margie O’Dair, Joy N. Houck Jr., Stuart Baker-Bergen, Donald Barber, Robert Harvey, Ron Gural, Layton Martens, Richard Charles Boyle, Becki Davis, Jonathan Sachar, Valerie Thibodeaux, Lionel Ferbos, Eliott Keener, Cary Wilmot Alden, David Valdes, James Borders, Fritz Manes, Jonathan Shaw, Don Lutenbacher
In 1984 New Orleans, a young woman walks home at night following a birthday party. She carries boxes of presents given her by her friends. Someone wearing rubber-soled shoes follows her. Hearing footsteps behind her, she picks up her pace. The girl stops suddenly when a figure appears out of the dark. A moment of terror ends when she sees the man’s Police uniform. As she moves on and enters her home, the man’s shoes come into view. Instead of regulation black leather shoes, he wears distinctive sport shoes. Wes Block (Clint Eastwood) is a single father preparing to take his two daughters, 12 year-old Amanda (Alison Eastwood) and 9 year-old Penny (Beck) to a football game. Just at the moment of leaving home, the telephone rings and the smiles on the girls’ faces fade. Block’s work as a Police detective takes precedence over family plans. Later that night, Block arrives at a crime scene. The nude body of Melanie Silber (Rose) lies on her bed. Melanie is the same girl seen earlier carrying birthday presents. She had been raped and tortured before being strangled. Forensic evidence and the slaying method link Melanie’s killer to an earlier murder victim. At the Police station, Block is approached by Beryl Thibodeaux (Bujold), the head of a rape counseling center. Aware of the similarity between the two recent rape-murders, Beryl wants to be involved in the investigation. She suggests putting up posters warning of a possible serial killer. Block refuses to discuss the case with her, saying a common killer in the two murders is just a possibility. After his divorce, Block has made an effort to be a good father. Although supportive and loving toward his two girls, he finds it difficult to balance job and family responsibilities. His ex-wife is dating a guy that drives a Mercedes, and if she marries she may want the girls to move in with her. Block and his associate, Detective Molinari (Hedaya), find out that the two rape-murder victims were prostitutes. The investigation leads Block to a seedy side of town. The streets he walks at night in the French Quarter are lined with garish clubs and disreputable hotels. A third young woman is found raped and murdered in the same way as the first two. At a press conference Block announces that the victims are connected by the method used to kill them and by their participation in unusual sexual activities. Block finds relief from the stress of his job and his family situation by visiting the same hangouts that the victims and their killer frequented. Some of the hustlers, pimps and comely women he meets during his investigation are known to him from his private life. Block’s daughter Amanda is a perceptive girl. Her love for her father does not prevent her suspicion that he is up to more than crime investigation on his night jaunts. Beryl Thibodeaux’s interest in the cases mounts when her notions about a serial killer of young pretty women are confirmed. A romantic relationship builds between Beryl and Block after he agrees to keep her abreast of the investigation. Another girl is found raped and murdered and, chillingly, Block recognizes the victim as someone he has had relations with. As Block closes in on the killer, he realizes he has something in common with him. Somehow, there’s a link between Block and the murderer, something personal and dangerous. Block must figure out how to end the threat to his career and to those closest to him. Screenplay by director Richard Tuggle.