Taglines: Suspect. Investigator, Passion. Betrayal.
Betrayed is a thriller about an FBI attempt to infiltrate a violent white supremacist group in the Midwest. An undercover female agent becomes close to one of the suspected leaders, eventually agreeing to marry him. Much of the script concentrates on the lives and thought processes of family members belonging to a hate group, in some ways quite normal but in other ways extremely distorted.
The film opens as Sam Kraus, a Chicago radio shock jock, challenges any anti-Semite to call him on the phone. After his broadcast, Kraus is shot while approaching his car in a parking garage. The killer then spray paints the letters ZOG over the body of his victim. The scene shifts to a large wheat field being harvested by a combine, a large farm vehicle. The driver, a woman named Katie Miller, makes the acquaintance of farmer Gary Simmons, a widower. He invites her to dinner, and she meets Gary’s mother and two young children, Joey and Rachel.
She finds them all likable people. Later, Katie tells Gary that she has been called away to Texas, where her mother is having an operation. Instead, she goes to the Chicago office of the FBI. She is actually Cathy Weaver, an undercover agent assigned to investigate Gary. She reports that he seems to be a normal family man. She is ordered to return to her assignment. Katie becomes romantically involved with Gary, whom she finds attractive. She even attends church with him and his family. The farmer invites her to join his hunt one evening.
Most of the local farmers turn out for this event, acknowledging Gary as their leader. Katie is shocked to discover that they are actually hunting a black man. She reluctantly pretends to join the hunt, but screams in shock when the man is killed. Gary tells her that her reaction is normal, but she must realize they are in a war against ZOG or the “Zionist Occupation Government.” Katie reports to the FBI that their suspicions about Gary are correct. They insist she resume her undercover mission.
When she returns, Gary seeks her out and makes love to her, asking her to marry him. She moves into his home. The children are overjoyed, particularly now that they no longer have to keep secrets. Even Rachel, the little girl, uses racial epithets against blacks and Jews. Wes, one of Gary’s associates, does not like Katie, suspecting she may be a “grasshopper,” a spy for the federal government.
Gary takes Katie and the kids on an outing to a Ku Klux Klan conference, combining camping, rifle training, and information seminars. When Jack Carpenter, an ultra-conservative candidate for president, shows up at the camp, Gary shouts him down as a phony and not really dedicated to their cause. Katie also learns that Gary is a shooter, a professional assassin, for the group and he had murdered Sam Kraus.
Betrayed is a 1988 American drama thriller film directed by Costa-Gavras, written by Joe Eszterhas, and starring Debra Winger and Tom Berenger. The plot is roughly based upon the terrorist activities of American neo-Nazi and white supremacist Robert Mathews and his group The Order.
Directed by: Costa-Gavras
Starring: Debra Winger, Tom Berenger, John Heard, Betsy Blair, John Mahoney, Ted Levine, Jeffrey DeMunn, David Clennon, Richard Libertini
Screenplay by: Joe Eszterhas
Production Design by: Patrizia von Brandenstein
Cinematography by: Patrick Blossier
Film Editing by: Joële Van Effenterre
Costume Design by: Joe I. Tompkins
Set Decoration by: Jim Erickson
Art Direction by: Stephen Geaghan
Music by: Bill Conti
Distributed by: United Artists
Release Date: August 26, 1988