The Package (1989)

R | 108 mins | Drama | 25 August 1989

Director:

Andrew Davis

Writer:

John Bishop

Cinematographer:

Frank Tidy

Production Designer:

Michel Levesque

Production Company:

Orion Pictures
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HISTORY

A 14 Dec 1988 HR news brief reported that actress Veronica Hamel was scheduled to appear in the film, but she is not listed in credits.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state that the film marked Tobie Haggerty’s debut as a producer on a theatrical feature.
       Ike Pappas, who played himself in the film, was a former reporter for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) news. In 1963, while working as a radio reporter, Pappas had been in the middle of asking assassin Lee Harvey Oswald a question, when he was pushed aside by Jack Ruby, who then fatally wounded Oswald with a handgun. A 17 Aug 1989 Long Beach Press-Telegram news item claimed Pappas rewrote his lines to make them sound more authentic.
       According to an article in the 25 Aug 1989 HR, only one year passed from the time producer Beverly J. Camhe received the initial script for The Package to the time principal photography began on 12 Dec 1988.
       Production notes state that although the film’s opening sequences were shot in Berlin, Germany, the remainder of the film was shot in Chicago, IL, and surrounding areas. Locations included: Lake Forest Academy, which stood in for the German chalet, and a park in Willow Springs, which served as the surrounding woods around the chalet. The Field Museum of National History, the South Shore Country Club, and Union Station doubled for Washington D.C. landmarks. O’Hare airport doubled as itself, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and Frankfurt Airport in Germany. A bridge in the Chicago industrial district was used as the infamous Glienicker Bridge ... More Less

A 14 Dec 1988 HR news brief reported that actress Veronica Hamel was scheduled to appear in the film, but she is not listed in credits.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state that the film marked Tobie Haggerty’s debut as a producer on a theatrical feature.
       Ike Pappas, who played himself in the film, was a former reporter for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) news. In 1963, while working as a radio reporter, Pappas had been in the middle of asking assassin Lee Harvey Oswald a question, when he was pushed aside by Jack Ruby, who then fatally wounded Oswald with a handgun. A 17 Aug 1989 Long Beach Press-Telegram news item claimed Pappas rewrote his lines to make them sound more authentic.
       According to an article in the 25 Aug 1989 HR, only one year passed from the time producer Beverly J. Camhe received the initial script for The Package to the time principal photography began on 12 Dec 1988.
       Production notes state that although the film’s opening sequences were shot in Berlin, Germany, the remainder of the film was shot in Chicago, IL, and surrounding areas. Locations included: Lake Forest Academy, which stood in for the German chalet, and a park in Willow Springs, which served as the surrounding woods around the chalet. The Field Museum of National History, the South Shore Country Club, and Union Station doubled for Washington D.C. landmarks. O’Hare airport doubled as itself, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and Frankfurt Airport in Germany. A bridge in the Chicago industrial district was used as the infamous Glienicker Bridge where Cold War prisoner exchanges took place. Other Chicago sites included Grant Park, the Hilton Hotel, a downtown “El” station, and Carson’s Department Store were utilized.
       A large illuminated Christmas tableau was created across the street from the train station, and later donated to the Chicago Transit Authority.
       According to a 29 Aug 1989 LAT article, the film’s budget was $16 million.
       The following statements appear in end credits: “Special thanks to Suzy Kellett, Richard Moskal, Janet Kerrigan, Illinois Film Office, Kathryn Darrell, Charles Geocaris, Chicago Office of Film and Entertainment, Lt. Pete Schurla, Thomas Flanagan, James Cunningham, Chicago Police Department, Gerhard Seibert, Herb Nagel, Kit Bernardi, the Chicago Hilton and Towers, United States Federal Marshals, Chicago Transit Authority, Carson Pirie Scott, the Blackstone Hotel, Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, United Airlines, Chicago Studio Rentals, Mooseheart - the Child’s City, Village of Willow Springs, Lake Forest Academy, Lynne Madison/Willy Egger, Uniden Corporation of America, Canon Ambassador Office Equipment, Olympus Cameras, Mitsubishi Electric Sales America, Inc., Volkswagen, Gandolf Technologies, Inc.”; “Filmed on location in Illinois and the Soviet War Memorial, Berlin”; and, “In fond memory of James A. Riccio.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 1989.
---
Long Beach Press-Telegram
17 Aug 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Aug 1989
p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
29 Aug 1989.
---
New York Times
25 Aug 1989
p. 12.
Variety
23 Aug 1989
p. 28.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and
as "Whitacre"
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Beverly J. Camhe/Tobie Haggerty Production
An Andrew Davis Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d unit dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Rigging best boy
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Grip
Grip
2d unit photog
2d unit photog
Panaglide op
Panaglide op
Addl asst cam
Addl asst cam
Addl asst cam
Video asst op
Arriflex® cam equip provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Visual consultant
Art dir
Art dir
Story board artist
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Leadman
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop asst
Prop asst
Set des
Const coord
Head painter
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Orch cond
Scoring eng
Scoring eng
Scoring eng
Mus contractor
Synclavier programming
Mus supv, Butter Milk Sky Associates, Inc.
Mus supv, Butter Milk Sky Associates, Inc.
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Sd tech
Supv sd ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley ed
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Sd eff rec by
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opt eff
Main title des
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc scout
Extra casting
Extra coord
Extra coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Craft service
First aid
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Post prod auditor
Asst to Andrew Davis
Asst to Andew Davis
Office asst
Office asst
Office asst
Set asst
Set asst
Set asst
Set asst
Set asst
Asst to Marilyn Vance-Straker
Unit pub
Financial rep
Marketing coord
Voice casting by
Tech advisor
Tech advisor
Tech advisor
Tech advisor
Tech advisor
Tech advisor
Tech advisor
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Soul Of The Land," performed and written by William Olvis, published by William Olvis Music
"I Don't Know," performed and written by Richard Davis/Tony Brown/Wayne Stewart/Steve Grissette/Mark Ohlsen, co-published by Chi-Catz Music and S.E.G. Way
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," by Corelli/Jacobs Music.
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 August 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 25 August 1989
Production Date:
began 12 December 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Orion Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
7 November 1989
Copyright Number:
PA435914
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Prints
Deluxe® Laboratories, Inc.
Duration(in mins):
108
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29795
SYNOPSIS

In Soviet East Berlin, police burst into an apartment and arrest Sergeant Walter Henke, an American soldier who was sleeping with a German woman. As the perpetrators are being escorted out, a Russian colonel watches from an unmarked car. Days later, Sergeant Johnny Gallagher leads a patrol into the woods outside a German chalet where Soviet Union and U.S. officials are negotiating a nuclear arms agreement. Infrared sensors detect two unauthorized personnel in the area. Gallagher finds male and female “backpackers,” but before his team can search them, East German police arrive and take the trespassers away. Afterward, delegates announce an agreement has been reached and will be signed by the U.S. president and the premier of the Soviet Union in Chicago, Illinois. U.S. General Hopkins meets secretly with Soviet press secretary and Russian general, Yuri, and the two agree to initiate their plan. As U.S. General Carlson, a vocal opponent of the treaty, is being driven past the two backpackers Gallagher detained earlier, the male tourist presses a button. Carlson’s car explodes. Gallagher and his team arrive and a gunfight ensues. The assassins throw tear gas grenades and, after killing one of the soldiers, escape in an automobile bearing U.S. flags. Later, Gallagher and his squad are brought to West Berlin to be debriefed. As Gallagher gives his report, U.S. Colonel Glen Whitacre, who was spying on Henke when he was arrested in East Berlin, accuses Gallagher of incompetence for not searching the assassins. Gallagher protests that his orders were to stand down if police arrived. Whitacre then asks if Gallagher was involved in “Operation Sundown,” ... +


In Soviet East Berlin, police burst into an apartment and arrest Sergeant Walter Henke, an American soldier who was sleeping with a German woman. As the perpetrators are being escorted out, a Russian colonel watches from an unmarked car. Days later, Sergeant Johnny Gallagher leads a patrol into the woods outside a German chalet where Soviet Union and U.S. officials are negotiating a nuclear arms agreement. Infrared sensors detect two unauthorized personnel in the area. Gallagher finds male and female “backpackers,” but before his team can search them, East German police arrive and take the trespassers away. Afterward, delegates announce an agreement has been reached and will be signed by the U.S. president and the premier of the Soviet Union in Chicago, Illinois. U.S. General Hopkins meets secretly with Soviet press secretary and Russian general, Yuri, and the two agree to initiate their plan. As U.S. General Carlson, a vocal opponent of the treaty, is being driven past the two backpackers Gallagher detained earlier, the male tourist presses a button. Carlson’s car explodes. Gallagher and his team arrive and a gunfight ensues. The assassins throw tear gas grenades and, after killing one of the soldiers, escape in an automobile bearing U.S. flags. Later, Gallagher and his squad are brought to West Berlin to be debriefed. As Gallagher gives his report, U.S. Colonel Glen Whitacre, who was spying on Henke when he was arrested in East Berlin, accuses Gallagher of incompetence for not searching the assassins. Gallagher protests that his orders were to stand down if police arrived. Whitacre then asks if Gallagher was involved in “Operation Sundown,” a failed rescue attempt in Iran. Gallagher realizes he is talking to a covert operations officer and asks to be dismissed. Whitacre visits Walter Henke, apologizes for his rough treatment, and informs him he has been assigned to foil a neo-Nazi plan to assassinate the president in Chicago. Gallagher escorts Henke back to the U.S. to be court-martialed for striking an officer in a barroom brawl. Unbeknown to Gallagher, the man turned over by military police (M.P.) is not Henke, but Thomas Boyette. When they land in Virginia, Boyette asks to go to the bathroom. Three men dressed as sailors knock Gallagher unconscious and Boyette escapes. Gallagher visits Henke’s wife, and upon spotting the real Henke’s photograph on a wall, knows he has been duped. After Gallagher leaves, two of the men who jumped him at the airport arrive and strangle Mrs. Henke to death. Gallagher goes to the Pentagon to see his ex-wife, Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Gallagher, and asks her to pull Henke’s service records. The records confirm the man he was escorting was not Henke. Eileen drives Gallagher to the provost marshal’s office, where he is greeted by his old friend Sergeant Marth. M.P. officers arrive to inform Gallagher he is under arrest for Mrs. Henke’s murder. In Chicago, Boyette, disguised as an Anglican priest, is passed a suitcase containing a sniper’s rifle. Across town, the real Henke is taken to a neo-Nazi rally by his handler, Karl Richards. As the Gallaghers try to make sense of why someone would impersonate a prisoner, Marth suggests it is the perfect way of getting into the country without a passport. Following Gallagher’s hunch that Boyette served in Vietnam and that he mentioned being court-martialed when he was stationed in Guatemala, Eileen asks First Lieutenant Ruth Butler to investigate. Ruth informs Eileen that only Boyette's court-martial fits that description. Later, Ruth discovers her computer search alerted Army Intelligence. She telephones Eileen to meet her, but is struck by a hit-and-run driver outside her office building. Eileen telephones Gallagher, who tells her to go home. He then calls Marth to meet him outside. As he climbs out his room window, the two M.P.'s who escorted Boyette in Berlin appear with orders to take in Gallagher. Eileen drives into her apartment parking structure only to be accosted by three goons claiming to be police officers. Seeing through their ploy, she smashes her briefcase into one man’s face and runs up the parking ramp. Marth and Gallagher appear in a pickup truck and shots are exchanged. Instead of driving away, Marth speeds forward, killing one of the gunmen as the others escape. Gallagher orders Marth to leave, and he and Eileen search the dead man’s wallet. They find several identification cards, most with Chicago addresses. Gallagher knows a cop they can trust in Chicago. As they drive to Illinois, Gallagher reads Boyette’s file and realizes he was part of “Operation Sundown.” Although he remembers Whitacre was also involved in the operation, he does not see how it all fits together. In Chicago, Boyette pretends to be a tourist and photographs a “Peace On Earth” Christmas tableau on a train station roof. At a conference to decide the signing ceremony’s protocols, Whitacre informs Gen. Hopkins and the Soviet press secretary that a manhunt is underway to detain Gallagher. As the Gallaghers pull into town, Henke meets his handler, Karl Richards, who brings him to an office overlooking the train station and informs him of his cover as a travel agent. Gallagher and Eileen visit Henke’s mother and pretend to be friends. Thinking they are her son's co-workers, she gives the Gallaghers political pamphlets to be delivered to the neo-Nazis meeting hall. While Eileen telephones police detective Lieutenant Milan Delich, Gallagher delivers the pamphlets and asks for Henke. Karl demands that Gallagher leave. At a Chinese restaurant, the Gallaghers meet Milan, who offers to hide them at his house while he sorts out their story. Across town, Whitacre, Boyette, Karl and the Chicago Chief of Police discuss Gallagher. Although Boyette suggests they scrap the operation, Whitacre orders Karl to kill the Gallaghers instead. The next day, Milan and the Gallaghers hunt down Henke’s office, then see Henke at a neo-Nazi rally protesting the treaty. As the Nazis clash with pro-treaty protesters, Karl sees Gallagher and orders Henke to leave in a police cruiser. At the police station, Milan checks to see if Henke was brought in. Karl, pretending to be a detective, gives him a message from Tony, an undercover detective, claiming to have information on Henke. That night, Milan and Gallagher meet Tony, only to be ambushed by four hitmen. Tony and three of the hitmen are killed. The fourth man wounds Milan and flees to a liquor store, where he grabs a shotgun. He runs back outside firing. Milan guns down the killer. As Milan is put into an ambulance, the police chief arrests Gallagher and hands him over to the two fake M.P.'s. Driving away, Gallagher spots Karl and hears a radio report that the president has arrived in Chicago. Gallagher is brought to the building where Boyette is hiding. Later, Boyette brings him milk and cookies and hints he is going to assassinate the president. The next morning, a goon comes downstairs and pours gasoline on some clothes, framing Gallagher by making it look like he died while trying to destroy evidence that he was part of the assassination plot. When the man leans close, Gallagher grabs him and slams his face into a wooden post, knocking him out. Gallagher retrieves the goon’s key, unlocks his cuffs, and escapes with his gun and photographs of the Christmas tableau at the train station. He calls Eileen and orders her to get Milan from the hospital and meet him near the train station. Meanwhile, Karl takes Henke to the travel office and presents him with a sniper’s rifle. Boyette steps out of the shadows and shoots Henke in the head. Gallagher meets Milan and Eileen, and orders Eileen to get the secret service. He and Milan rush into the building to find Henke dead. Using Boyette’s photographs, Gallagher spots the Christmas tableau on the train station’s roof. As he runs off, Milan runs into Karl, and shoots him dead. As arranged by the Soviet press secretary, the president and secretary general arrive at the station to pose for photographs with mothers and babies grateful for the peace treaty. Gallagher bursts onto the station roof and shoots Boyette dead. Whitacre appears and is confronted by Gallagher, who threatens to expose him. Whitacre insists that if the arms treaty goes through it will cause World War III, and leaves yelling, “You’re a dead man, sergeant.” He climbs into a limousine with a Soviet general. Before the car starts, the driver shoots both officers dead. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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