Proof of Life
  • Proof of Life
  • Proof of Life

Proof of Life

4.6 3
Director: Taylor Hackford

Cast: Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse


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A woman whose marriage is in trouble finds herself falling for a new man as her husband's life hangs in the balance in this thriller. Peter Bowman (David Morse) and his wife Alice (Meg Ryan) have relocated to a small Latin American nation called Tecala; Peter works for an American engineering and construction firm, and his latest assignment has him building a dam that…  See more details below


A woman whose marriage is in trouble finds herself falling for a new man as her husband's life hangs in the balance in this thriller. Peter Bowman (David Morse) and his wife Alice (Meg Ryan) have relocated to a small Latin American nation called Tecala; Peter works for an American engineering and construction firm, and his latest assignment has him building a dam that is intended to bring power to the developing nation. The ELT is a radical Marxist faction gearing up for political revolution in Tecala that has turned to kidnapping as a way to raise capital, and Peter is chosen as its next target. When Peter is ambushed on his way to work, his firm brings in Terry Thorn (Russell Crowe), a former Australian intelligence operative who now works as a private "kidnapping and ransom" negotiator. Alice is told Terry is her best hope for bringing Peter back safe and sound, but when Terry's employers run into a tight squeeze financially, they cancel their K&R insurance (which is considered a standard benefit for American employees assigned to South America), leaving Alice to rehire Terry on her own, especially since she can't possibly pay the $3 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers. As Terry and his partner Dino (David Caruso) map out a rescue plan, Alice and Terry find themselves increasingly attracted to each other. Alice's marriage to Peter was going through a rough patch when he was kidnapped, and while she's deeply concerned for his safety, she must reconcile her fears for Peter's life with her new feelings for Terry. Proof of Life is based on Adventures in the Ransom Trade, an article by journalist William Prochnau that was published in Vanity Fair, as well as on the case of real-life kidnapping victim Tom Hargrove.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
In this suspenseful, romantic thriller, theatrically released on the heels of his smash hit Gladiator, Russell Crowe again exhibits the charisma that has quickly made him one of the screen's most dynamic stars. He's suitably forceful as the professional negotiator hired by frantic wife Meg Ryan to bargain with the South American guerrillas who've kidnapped her engineer husband (David Morse). The protracted haggling becomes doubly difficult for Crowe once he realizes he's fallen in love with Ryan. Director Taylor Hackford (Devil's Advocate) expertly conveys that added tension without sacrificing pace or action, allowing his leading players to reveal the barely sublimated passion animating their characters. Their unmistakable chemistry -- which ultimately inspired a brief but tumultuous offscreen romance -- adds considerable oomph to the film, as do the colorful supporting turns by Pamela Reed (as Morse's feisty sister) and David Caruso (as Crowe's opportunistic compatriot). Gripping, provocative, and realistic enough to have been torn from today's headlines, Proof of Life is slick entertainment that will delight fans of its talented, personable stars. Hackford delivers a feature-length commentary on the DVD, which also sports a documentary covering the film's arduous and eventful production.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
While the central relationship at the center of this romance-cum-political thriller is somewhat undeveloped and stilted, leaving female lead Meg Ryan with less than optimal screen time, this riveting and underrated film marks a comeback of sorts for director Taylor Hackford. As with his earliest and best films An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) and Against All Odds (1984), Hackford returns with great success to the theme of romance doomed because of outside societal forces pulling his protagonists apart. Russell Crowe continues his career of playing smoldering, strong but silent, and intelligent types. Supporting player David Morse practically steals the show with his harrowing portrayal of a kidnap victim growing more feral and desperate as his captivity unfolds. A comeback of sorts is also on hand for co-star David Caruso, who gives his most energetic and zealous performance since Mad Dog and Glory (1993). A real-life romance between the film's leads compelled Hackford to excise some of the love story between their onscreen characters, a decision that may dim the film's box-office prospects, but the suggestive nature of their attraction is perhaps more realistic and artistically valid than what was filmed. Apt comparisons can be made between Proof of Life and the sorts of films that attracted golden-age Hollywood stars such as Humphrey Bogart.
New York Times - Stephen Holden
Taylor Hackford's cold, savvy political thriller, "Proof of Life," proves at least one thing. If Hollywood were to remake "Casablanca" (and let's fervently hope it has no such plans), Russell Crowe should be on the short list of candidates to play Rick.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; behind-the-scenes documentary The Making of Proof of Life; Feature-length audio commentary by director taylor Hackford; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Meg Ryan Alice Bowman
Russell Crowe Terry Thorne
David Morse Peter Bowman
Pamela Reed Janis Goodman
David Caruso Dino
Anthony Heald Ted Fellner
Stanley Anderson Jerry
Gottfried John Eric Kessler
Alun Armstrong Wyatt
Michael Kitchen Ian Havery
Margo Martindale Ivy
Mario Ernesto Sanchez Fernandez
Pietro Sibille Juaco
Vicky Hernandez Maria
Norma Martinez Norma
Diego Trujillo Eliodoro

Technical Credits
Taylor Hackford Director,Producer
Chris Carreras Asst. Director
Yves de Bono Special Effects Supervisor
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Tony Gilroy Executive Producer,Screenwriter
David Hopkins Art Director
Slawomir Idziak Cinematographer
Sheldon Kahn Editor
Nancy Klopper Casting
Charles B. Mulvehill Producer
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Steven E. Reuther Executive Producer
Bruno Rubeo Production Designer
Ivan Sharrock Sound/Sound Designer
Steve Shewchuk Set Decoration/Design
John Smith Editor
John Smith Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Proof of Life
1. Lenoir Case Report
2. Tecala
3. Missing Persons
4. Not an Agenda
5. kidnapped
6. New Assignment
7. A Game and a Business
8. The Bereaved Spouse
9. Dino and Wyatt
10. Uninsured
11. Alice Confronts Terry
12. Never Done This Before
13. Who Would You Trust?
14. Guns and Money
15. Trust Me
16. Captors Provoked
17. The Way It's Done
18. Eric Kessler
19. Proof of Life
20. janis Departs
21. Nowhere Near
22. Things Happen
23. The Right Number
24. Making a Map
25. Escape
26. Until I Know
27. Meeting Marco
28. Rescue Operation
29. Uptown Downtown
30. For Real
31. Going Loud
32. The Path to Alice
33. Juaco's Last Stand
34. Liftoff
35. We're Even
36. Last Look
37. End Credits


Customer Reviews

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Proof of Life 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Proof of Life was a good movie. Russell Crowe gave an incredible performance, as usual. He truly is an incredible actor. Meg Ryan was also very good. I would of prefered a better love scene, but neverthless, it was a good movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not bad at all. Strange ending. Not quite clear what's up. But overall is not bad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
super exciting and entertaining