Taglines: The one weekend of the year you won’t want to miss.
CIA director Maxwell Danforth (Burt Lancaster) watches a recording of agent Laurence Fassett (John Hurt) and his wife (Merete Van Kamp) having sex. When Fassett goes into the bathroom to take a shower, two assassins enter the bedroom and kill his wife. Fassett, unaware of his employer’s involvement, is consumed by grief and rage. He hunts the assassins, eventually uncovering a Soviet spy network known as Omega.
Fassett tells the director that he wants to turn some of Omega’s agents to the side of the West. He sees an opportunity in John Tanner (Rutger Hauer), a controversial television journalist who is highly critical of government abuses of power. Fassett explains that Tanner’s closest friends are Omega agents. He believes Tanner could convince the Soviet spies to defect.
He offers videotaped evidence of Tanner’s friends discussing financial matters with a Russian man, whom Fassett identifies as a KGB agent. Tanner met his friends in college, and they have all gone on to successful careers. The spies are Bernard Osterman (Craig T. Nelson), a television producer who knows martial arts; Richard Tremayne (Dennis Hopper), a plastic surgeon; and stock trader Joseph Cardone (Chris Sarandon). Tanner agrees, but only on the condition that someone from the CIA appear as a guest on his show. Danforth agrees to this condition.
Tanner’s troubled marriage is not improved when he asks his wife, Ali (Meg Foster), to take their son out of town for the weekend without him. He does not want them involved but cannot tell her why he wants her to stay away. While Tanner is driving his wife and son to the airport, their car is ambushed, and Ali and the child are kidnapped. With Fassett’s intervention they are rescued unhurt and the kidnapper is shot dead. In the meantime, Tanner’s home has been wired with closed circuit video so Fassett can gather more evidence. Now fully aware that Tanner is involved with the CIA, Ali and their son are allowed to stay.
The Osterman Weekend is a 1983 suspense thriller film directed by Sam Peckinpah, based on the novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum. The film stars Rutger Hauer, John Hurt, Burt Lancaster, Dennis Hopper, Meg Foster and Craig T. Nelson. It was Peckinpah’s final film before his death in 1984.
The Osterman Weekend (1983)
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Starring: Rutger Hauer, John Hurt, Craig T. Nelson, Meg Foster, Dennis Hopper, Chris Sarandon, Helen Shaver, Cassie Yates
Screenplay by: Ian Masters
Cinematography by: John Coquillon
Film Editing by: Edward M. Abroms, David Rawlins
Set Decoration by: Keith Hein
Art Direction by: Robb Wilson King
Music by: Lalo Schifrin
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: November 4, 1983