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Against All Odds (1984)

aka Against All Odds

"From the director of "An Officer and A Gentleman" comes a different kind of film."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 128 mins · English · R (USA)


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Small Terry Brogan
Small Jessie Wyler
Small Jake Wise
No_movie_poster Hank Sully
Small Mrs. Wyler
Small Ben Caxton
Small Tommy
Small Edie
Small Steve Kirsch
No_movie_poster Hank Sully
No_movie_poster Ed Phillips


No_movie_poster Taylor Hackford Director
No_movie_poster Taylor Hackford Production
No_movie_poster William S. Gilmore Production
No_movie_poster Daniel Mainwaring Writer
No_movie_poster William Steinkamp Editing
No_movie_poster Fredric Steinkamp Editing


"From the director of "An Officer and A Gentleman" comes a different kind of film."

"Sometimes love is the most dangerous game of all."

"She was a beautiful fugitive. Fleeing from corruption. From power. He was a professional athlete past his prime. Hired to find her, he grew to love her. Love turned to obsession. Obsession turned to murder. And now the price of freedom might be nothing less than their lives."


Professional football player Terry Brogan (Jeff Bridges) is released by his team, the (fictitious) Los Angeles Outlaws. Aging, injured and in need of money, he is contacted by an old acquaintance, the shady gambler and nightclub owner Jake Wise (James Woods), who wants him to find Jake's girlfriend Jessie Wyler (Rachel Ward), daughter of the Outlaws' owner. Jake claims that Jessie assaulted him, stole money and fled. Terry is reluctant to take on the job, but needs the money and is reminded by Wise that Wise is capable of blackmailing him.

Terry gets in touch with Jessie's mother (Jane Greer), ostensibly to find out where Jessie can be found, but mainly to convince Mrs. Wyler and her business partner Ben Caxton (Richard Widmark) to reinstate him on the team. Mrs. Wyler makes clear that she has no interest in his football career. She's willing to pay him more than Jake would if he will find Jessie for her, rather than for Jake. Beyond that, however, she has no use for him. Sully, the team's trainer, strongly advises Terry to stay away from Jake and offers to help Terry get a coaching job. But Terry is convinced his days as a player are not over and instead decides to go ahead and work for Jake to tide him over until the next season, when he can try to continue his playing career.

Terry finds Jessie living in Cozumel but continues to tell Jake that he has not located her. Terry makes multiple attempts to approach Jessie, but she rebuffs him, aware that he must have been sent by either Jake or her mother. Terry tires of pursuing a spoiled brat and packs to leave, but Jessie appreciates his not revealing her whereabouts and invites him to see where she is staying. The two unexpectedly fall in love. Terry confides the leverage Jake has over him is the knowledge that Terry once shaved points in an important game after he had fallen into debt.

Terry and Jessie remain happily together for a few weeks, with Terry continuing to tell Jake he's been unsuccessful in locating her. Eventually, Sully is sent by Jake to investigate. He catches the lovers alone at the ruins of Chichen Itza. Wielding a gun, Sully demands that Terry turn over the girl and warns him she's "no good." He, too, has been involved in corruption with Jake's sports syndicate. A struggle between the men ensues and Jessie fatally shoots Sully. Jessie urges Terry to flee with her, as the two will be unable to offer an explanation for the killing that allow them to avoid jail. But when Terry refuses, insisting that the two cannot just run away from the matter, Jessie abandons him.

After disposing of Sully's body, Terry returns to Los Angeles and finds to his astonishment that Jessie has returned to Jake. He is bitter toward her, but Jake maintains a hold over him with the point-shaving incident, as well as Sully's sudden disappearance. Terry is sent to break into the office of Kirsch, the team corrupt lawyer, who is also involved in Jake's gambling operation. Terry's mission is to retrieve files possessed by the lawyer that implicate everyone involved.

Terry breaks into the office only to find Kirsch dead. A security guard has been hired to kill Terry and make it look like he murdered Kirsch. Terry fights off and escapes the security guard, then hides Kirsch's body. Terry then leaves a local bar frequented by Edie, Kirsch's secretary. He tells her what has happened and that she too is in danger. She tells him about a secret box that contains the information to bring down the entire syndicate and local politicians. Edie and Terry return to the office to retrieve the box, where a fight occurs with another two guards, and again Terry escapes, this time with Edie and the files.

Jessie remains at Jake's side but is still in love with Terry. She knows that Jake is behind Kirsch's murder and informs Ben Caxton, telling him that Jake has been handling bets on the Outlaws using information he's been given by Sully and Kirsch. What she doesn't know is that Caxton is actually Jake's boss at the syndicate.

Caxton takes charge of the effort to retrieve the files and arranges to meet Terry at the site of a new construction project that he and Mrs. Wyler are backing. Terry is able to disarm Caxton's henchman, and says that his price for turning over the files is that Caxton must take down Jake. When Caxton indicates he is receptive to that idea, Jake pulls his own gun and threatens to kill Jessie, forcing Terry to drop his weapon. While Terry and Jake have their attention focused on each other, Jessie retrieves the dropped gun and shoots and kills Jake.

Having killed both Jake and Sully, Jessie must agree to terms set by Caxton to avoid being held accountable for the crimes and going to jail. Caxton's terms include Jessie returning to her estranged mother's side and ending her relationship with Terry.

Months later, Terry stays in the background while attending a publicity function for Caxton's and Mrs. Wyler's construction project. He just wants a last look at Jessie before leaving LA to play for the Miami Dolphins. Caxton reminds him that he is no longer a part of Jessie's life. Terry acknowledges that this is true for the moment, but predicts that some day Jessie will break free of the hold that Caxton and Mrs. Wyler have on her. In the meantime, though, all Terry and Jessie can do is stare at one another from a distance.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1984-03-02 : United States of America

DVD : 1999-12-14