The Presidio (1988)

The Presidio (1988)

Jay Austin is now a civilian police detective. Colonel Caldwell was his commanding officer years before when he left the military police over a disagreement over the handling of a drunk driver. Now a series of murders that cross jurisdictions force them to work together again. That Austin is now dating Caldwell’s daughter is not helping the relationship at all.

The Presidio is a 1988 American crime drama film directed by Peter Hyams, starring Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan, Jack Warden, Mark Blum, Dana Gladstone, Jenette Goldstein, Marvin J. McIntyre, Robert Lesser and Rick Zumwalt. Peter Hyams also handled the cinematography. The score was composed by Bruce Broughton.

About the Story

At the Presidio Army base in San Francisco, MP Patti Jean Lynch (Jenette Goldstein) is shot dead while investigating a break-in on the base, and two San Francisco Police officers are killed in the getaway. Jay Austin (Mark Harmon), a San Francisco police inspector, is sent to investigate. He clashes with Lieutenant Colonel Alan Caldwell (Sean Connery), the base Provost Marshal.

Years ago, Austin and Lynch were partners while serving as MPs and Caldwell was their commanding officer. When Austin arrested Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lawrence (Dana Gladstone), Caldwell did not support him. In the aftermath, Austin was demoted and decided to leave the army. Austin and Caldwell share a dislike for one another.

The Presidio (1988)

The murder investigation casts suspicion on Lawrence, as Lynch was killed with a Tokarev, a Russian pistol. Lawrence is the registered owner of a Tokarev, but claims he lost it in a poker game. Austin also learns that the getaway car used by Lynch’s killer was registered to a civilian named Arthur Peale (Mark Blum), who is wealthy and owns a holding company that, in turn, owns other companies.

Austin tries to question Lawrence about the Tokarev, but Caldwell intervenes. This fuels Austin’s suspicions that Caldwell will do anything to protect a fellow officer from civilian authorities, even if he is a killer. Recognizing that part of the case is under Caldwell’s jurisdiction at the Presidio and part is under Austin’s jurisdiction in San Francisco, they uneasily team up to investigate the case.

Caldwell states that if the Tokarev bullet that killed Lynch were to match a bullet fired earlier from Lawrence’s Tokarev at the Presidio firing range, then Caldwell will arrange for Lawrence to surrender to Austin for arrest. In the meantime, Caldwell and Austin visit Peale, who claims his car was simply stolen and has an alibi for the night Lynch was shot. Caldwell, though, noticed Vietnam-era paraphernalia in Peale’s office. Using his own contacts, Caldwell learns that Peale was previously in the CIA, and a spy and military advisor in Vietnam at the same time Lawrence was there as an officer. It becomes clear that Lawrence and Peale knew each other.

The Presidio Movie Poster (1988)

The Presidio (1988)

Directed by: Peter Hyams
Starring: Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan, Jack Warden, Mark Blum, Dana Gladstone, Jenette Goldstein, Marvin J. McIntyre, Robert Lesser, Rick Zumwalt
Screenplay by: Larry Ferguson
Production Design by: Albert Brenner
Cinematography by: Peter Hyams
Film Editing by: Diane Adler, Beau Barthel, James Mitchell
Set Decoration by: Marvin March
Art Direction by: Kandy Stern
Music by: Bruce Broughton
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 10, 1988