Following the disastrous Pirates (1986), director Roman Polanski got back on creative track with this finely-wrought thriller that, while failing to impress at the box office, was nevertheless his most critically well-received film of the decade.
Harrison Ford stars as Richard Walker, an American doctor who has come to Paris, where he's scheduled to deliver a paper to a medical conference. Richard has brought along his wife Sondra (Betty Buckley), because Paris was the site of their honeymoon 20 years earlier.
Sondra picks up the wrong suitcase at the airport, which leads to her kidnapping and an ever-more complicated quest that takes Richard into the seedy and dangerous underworld of European drug smuggling and terrorist arms sales.
Along the way, he is rebuffed by skeptical officials at the American Embassy and meets Michelle (Emmanuelle Seigner), a sexy courier who agrees to help him in exchange for the money she's owed for trafficking in narcotics.
Playing cleverly on American fears about Europe's Byzantine politics and decadent society, Frantic received, from many observers, perhaps the greatest compliment possible for a thriller, comparison to the work of Alfred Hitchcock.