Alice hires a professional negotiator to obtain the release of her engineer husband, who has been kidnapped by anti-government guerrillas in South America.
2.35 : 1
Rated R for violence, language and some drug material.
Action, Drama, Thriller
English, Spanish, Russian, Italian, French
Negotiator, Ransom, South America, Money, Revolving Door
DTS, Dolby Digital, SDDS
Romantic Drama, Political Thriller
Hostage Situations, Daring Rescues, Kidnapping
Bittersweet, Forceful, Gritty, Tense, Atmospheric
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
Proof of Life is a 2000 American film, directed by Taylor Hackford. The title refers to a phrase commonly used to indicate proof that a kidnap victim is still alive. The film's screenplay was authored by Tony Gilroy, who also was a co-executive producer, and was inspired by William Prochnau's Vanity Fair magazine article "Adventures in the Ransom Trade," and the book The Long March To Freedom by Thomas Hargrove in which Hargrove recounts how his release was negotiated by Thomas Clayton, played by Russell Crowe, who went on to be the founder of kidnap-for-ransom consultancy Clayton Consultants, Inc.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Youtube Video Code
Alice Bowman (Meg Ryan) moves to the (fictional) South American country of Tecala because her husband, Peter (David Morse), has been hired to assist with building a dam. Though Alice is unhappy at this most recent move, she agrees to stay. When Peter is in the city one day, a convoy of automobiles (including his) is ambushed by guerrilla rebels of the Liberation Army of Tecala (ELT). Believing that Peter actually works for an oil pipeline company, ELT soldiers abduct him and lead him into the country’s jungles.
Terry Thorne (Russell Crowe), an ex-Australian SASR soldier, who later served with the British SAS due to lack of action in Australia, arrives in Tecala, fresh from a successful hostage rescue in Chechnya (Chechenskaya Respublika). Because of his expert skill in kidnapping-and-ransom cases, he is hired by Peter’s company to assist in bringing about Peter’s safe return. Unfortunately, it turns out that Peter’s company actually has no insurance coverage for kidnapping, so they cannot afford Thorne’s services. Despite Alice’s pleas to stay, Thorne leaves the country. Alice gets teamed up with a local hostage negotiator, who immediately urges her to pay the ELT’s first demand: a $50,000 “good faith” ransom payment. Not knowing what to do, Alice agrees, but the transaction is stopped by Thorne, who, following his conscience, has returned to help. He is aided by Dino (David Caruso), an ex-Green Beret.
Over the next several months, Thorne uses a radio to talk with an ELT contact, and the two argue over terms for Peter’s release—including a ransom payment that Alice can afford. With much downtime between conversations, Thorne and Alice talk, and an implicit attraction between the two seems to emerge. After much negotiation, it appears that the ELT will release Peter for a sum of $650,000.
Meanwhile, Peter is led through the jungle by a group of younger rebels before arriving at the main jungle camp. There, he meets another hostage, Kessler, a missionary and former member of the French Foreign Legion, who has lived in the camp for nineteen months. The two concoct a plan to escape through the jungle. During their attempt, they are tracked by the ELT. Kessler falls into a river and manages to evade capture, but Peter steps on a trap and is recaptured. Kessler is found and hospitalized. In the hospital, he meets Alice and, having heard a gunshot at the time Peter was recaptured, tells Alice he believes her husband is dead.
Thorne refuses to believe this, but he is unable to contact his ELT radio negotiator. Luckily, Alice’s housekeeper's daughter reveals the true identity of the ELT radio contact; she knows his voice quite well because she has done laundry service for him in the past. Thorne goes to the Tecala race track and confronts the ELT contact, who is actually a high-ranking government official. The contact confirms that Peter is indeed alive, but because Peter has seen secret ELT maps the opportunity for a deal has passed, and the ELT army will no longer negotiate.
At Thorne's urging Alice convinces the Tecala government the ELT is about the mount an attack on the pipeline being built through their territory. The government ar
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