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In a development likely to cheer those worrying about engineers' status, Russell Crowe is to star in a film about the kidnap and rescue of a civil engineer working in South America. The blockbuster, Proof of Life, is the due for release in December and will see Crowe, who starred in the recent movie Gladiator, play hostage negotiator Terry Thorne. His task is to find and rescue the unfortunate civil engineer Peter Bowman, played by David Morse of Green Mile fame. Crowe's leading lady is Meg Ryan who plays the civil engineer's wife Alice. She hires Crowe to find her husband after he is captured by an anti-government militia - and sadly for the civil engineer, falls in love with him. The plot revolves around a $6M ransom offered for his safe return. As Bowman's US employer is on the verge of insolvency and cannot pay, Thorne follows in hot pursuit while Alice slowly falls for her husband's potential saviour. The film was shot largely on location in Ecuador and was directed by Taylor Hackford, who previously directed An Officer and a Gentleman. It is based on the article 'Adventures in the Ransom Trade' by William Prochnau.

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