The Package (1989 film)

The Package is a 1989 American political thriller film directed by Andrew Davis and starring Gene Hackman, Joanna Cassidy, Tommy Lee Jones, John Heard, and Dennis Franz.

The Package
Directed byAndrew Davis
Produced by
Written byJohn Bishop
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyFrank Tidy
Edited by
Distributed byOrion Pictures
Release date
  • August 25, 1989 (1989-08-25)
Running time
108 min
CountryUnited States
Budget$18 million
Box office$10,647,219

Set during the Cold War, the film depicts the U.S. and Soviet governments as they are about to sign a disarmament treaty to completely eliminate nuclear weapons. However, elements within each country's military are vehemently opposed to such a plan, and determined to stop it at all costs.

Roger Ebert awarded the film three stars out of four, calling it "smarter than most thrillers".[1]


Gene Hackman stars as Johnny Gallagher, a Special Forces Master Sergeant in the United States Army who is assigned to escort a prisoner, an Army deserter named Thomas Boyette (Tommy Lee Jones), from West Berlin back to the United States. When Boyette escapes, Gallagher pursues him and discovers that Boyette is actually a professional assassin hired to kill the leader of the Soviet Union (clearly resembling Mikhail Gorbachev) after a meeting in Chicago with the President of the United States. Gallagher is joined by his ex-wife Eileen (Joanna Cassidy), a lieutenant colonel in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army, and Chicago police Lt. Milan Delich (Dennis Franz) with whom Sgt. Gallagher served in Vietnam. Sergeant Gallagher is later confined to the base. Later, when one of his ex-wife's people is killed and fearing that she's in danger, the sergeant escapes and saves her just as some people are trying to kill her. The sergeant and his ex-wife learn that something is happening in Chicago. They travel to the city and Sergeant Gallagher asks a cop he knows to help him. Sergeant Gallagher finds out that disarmament talks are taking place in Chicago.


Production notes

Although the story takes place in Germany, Washington, D.C., Arlington, Virginia, and Chicago, the film was shot entirely in Chicago and at the Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten, Berlin.


The Package holds a 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 14 reviews.[2]

Home video

The film was first released on VHS by Orion Home Video in 1989. It was re-released by MGM Home Entertainment in 1999, under the MGM Movie Time series. The film was released on DVD on January 18, 2000.


  1. Roger Ebert (August 25, 1989). "The Package".
  2. The Package (1989), Rotten Tomatoes
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