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Safe House is a 1998 American independent thriller film directed by Eric Steven Stahl and starring Patrick Stewart, Kimberly Williams, and Héctor Elizondo. It premiered in the United Kingdom in late 1998 on Channel 5 and in the United States on Showtime on January 24, 1999.

Safe House
Safe house movie.gif
DVD cover
Directed by Eric Steven Stahl
Produced by Sean McLain
Eric Steven Stahl
Written by Eric Steven Stahl
John Schalter
Sean McLain
Starring Patrick Stewart
Kimberly Williams
Héctor Elizondo
Music by Kevin Kiner
Cinematography Vincent Donohue
Edited by Liza McDonald
Distributed by Showtime
Release date
  • October 15, 1998 (1998-10-15)
Running time
112 minutes
Country United States
Language English


Patrick Stewart stars as Mace Sowell, an ex-DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) agent who believes his life is in danger from his former boss, Admiral Thomas Michelmore, who is now running for President of the United States.

Sowell has information about the underhand dealings of his erstwhile boss at the DIA which would ruin his Presidential campaign if it ever was released into the public domain. The information is located in cyberspace and is scheduled to be sent to every major newspaper in the western world unless Sowell reprograms the mail server remotely from his computer every 24 hours using a special password only he knows.

To complicate the issue, Sowell is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and has difficulty in convincing people his information is not paranoia as a result of his condition. Sowell retreats to the safety of his barricaded home, kitted out with a variety of defenses and security devices to try to escape those he thinks are out to harm him.

Kimberly Williams (Father of the Bride) plays the part of Andi Travers, his caregiver.

Mace is initially extremely hostile towards Andi and only agrees to allow her to live and work with him as his daughter threatens to have him committed.

For the same reasons, he visits a Psychiatrist Dr. Simon but only after taking heavy precautions such as disguising himself as a Rabbi or Telecoms worker.

He is unable to convince his Psychiatrist or his daughter and her partner of the truth of the threat he faces, partly due to the fact that he never discussed his career in the DIA with his family and also because paranoia is a common symptom of Alzheimer's Disease.

Mace keeps a daily video log in his private study to track the progress of his 'operation' and also monitor his mental health, usually while working out.

He subjects Andi to a full background check but finds nothing suspicious. Their relationship is fraught at first as she tries to convert Mace to a macrobiotic diet. She also becomes enraged when she finds out that Mace has security cameras in every room of the house including her shower and that he has searched her underwear drawer.

Mace doesn't seem to have very many friends however he is close to Stu, a man who cleans his pool and does other odd jobs for him. Stu tells Andi that he has known Mace since before the onset of his mental degeneration. Stu often likes to impersonate Humphrey Bogart and Robert de Niro.

Amongst the jobs Stu carries out or Mace are drills — training exercises whereby Lou dresses up in quasi-military gear and balaclavas and simulates breaking into Mace's house and attacking him. Stu does this more out of friendship and lack of anything better to do than because he believes Mace's claims about being under threat.

During one such drill Andi mistakes Stu for a genuine burglar and severely injures him with a golf club. Mace's daughter Michelle chooses to call the house at this point to check on her Father and Andi covers for Mace saying that everything is fine, for which he is grateful.

Mace slowly begins to trust and depend upon Andi as his mental faculties continue to deteriorate. A trust which begins to have unexpected consequences.


Actor Role
Patrick Stewart Mace Sowell
Kimberly Williams Andi Travers
Héctor Elizondo Dr. Simon

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