The Rock (1996)

Alcatraz. Only one man has ever broken out. Now five million lives depend on two men breaking in.

Plot outline

A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

Personal notes



A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco. - Anonymous

Stanley Goodspeed, who lives in Washington, D.C., is a biochemist who works for the F.B.I. Soon after his fiancée Carla Pestalozzi announces that she is pregnant, Stanley gets a call from F.B.I. Director James Womack. Womack tells Stanley that San Francisco's Alcatraz Island has been taken hostage, along with eighty-one tourists, by Marine General Francis Xavier Hummel who, for years, has been protesting the government's refusal to pay benefits to families of war veterans who died during covert military operations. The death of his wife Barbara on March 9, 1995 drove General Hummel over the edge, and now he's holding hostages in order to get his point across. Stanley is needed because General Hummel has stolen some VX gas warheads and has announced that he will launch them onto San Francisco unless his demands are met. Stanley knows how to disarm the bombs, but he needs someone who knows Alcatraz well enough to get him inside. That man is former British Intelligence Agent John Patrick Mason, who has been in prison for the past thirty years without a trial because he was accused of stealing the private files of J. Edgar Hoover. In 1962, John became the only inmate ever to escape from Alcatraz, and he stayed out of Alcatraz long enough to father a daughter named Jade Angelou. Despite his extreme hatred of the F.B.I., John agrees to help Stanley. When John and Stanley are sent into Alcatraz with a Navy S.E.A.L. team, General Hummel's men kill the entire S.E.A.L. team, leaving Stanley and John to work on their own to rescue the hostages. - J. Edgar Hoover

With a madly daring scheme to unleash a devastating chemical warfare on the unsuspecting citizens of San Francisco, the disillusioned war hero, General Francis X. Hummel, and a handful of loyal men take over the impregnable prison island of Alcatraz. Demanding $100 million in reparations to the families of his lost brothers-in-arms, the highly decorated military man threatens to launch deadly rockets filled with nerve gas, unless the Pentagon takes him seriously. Now, the fates of millions rest in the hands of two unlikely companions: the nervous FBI chemist, Stanley Goodspeed, and the experienced British ex-spy and former Alcatraz inmate, John Patrick Mason, who must break into the abandoned fortress to thwart the general's plans. Many tried to break out of this rugged and impervious jail; however, only one succeeded. Can Mason and Stanley escape from the Rock in one piece? - Nick Riganas

A group of renegade Marine commandos seizes a stockpile of chemical weapons and takes over Alcatraz, with eighty-one tourists as hostages. Their leader, a former highly-decorated General, demands one hundred million dollars to be paid in ransom, as restitution to families of Marines who died in covert operations and were thereby denied compensation. Otherwise, he is threatening to launch fifteey rockets carrying deadly VX nerve gas into the San Francisco Bay area. An elite S.E.A.L. team, with support from an F.B.I. chemical warfare expert (Stanley Goodspeed) and a former Alcatraz escapee (John Patrick Mason), is assembled to penetrate the terrorists' defenses on Alcatraz and neutralize the rocket threat before time runs out. - Tad Dibbern

It's a quiet day in San Francisco. There are eighty-one civilians on a tour of Alcatraz, the prison famous for the fact that no prisoner had ever successfully escaped. During one of the tours, Marine General Francis Xavier Hummel takes the civilians hostage, with the help of other Marines. He has fifteen rockets of deadly VX gas at his disposal, ready to launch at San Francisco. His reason for doing this is simple. He has seen Marines under his command get killed in combat without a military burial or benefits to their families. He makes a threat to the F.B.I.: give the fallen Marines recognition or he will launch the VX rockets. After learning that one rocket is enough to take out sixty or seventy thousand people, the F.B.I. sends for their top chemical weapons expert: Dr. Stanley Goodspeed, engaged to his pregnant girlfriend. While trying to figure out a countermeasure to the current situation, the F.B.I. is forced to resort to John Patrick Mason, an ex-con who broke out of Alcatraz in 1962. - Ridley Lavine

Marine General Francis Xavier Hummel has spent most of his career carrying out covert operations, but there's no record of these operations. Over the years, nearly a hundred of his men have been killed or left behind, and they have not received any recognition. After trying to get them that through normal channels, Hummel now decides that it's time for drastic measures. He and some other Marines take some rockets that are equipped with a biological weapon. They then go on a tour of Alcatraz, and take the tourists hostage. He then calls the Pentagon and informs them that unless they pay him one hundred million dollars as reparation for him, he will launch the rockets. Now the Pentagon doesn't want to capitulate. So they decide to send in a team of Navy S.E.A.L.s. Now they need someone who knows Alcatraz and the best person they could find is John Patrick Mason, a man who escaped from Alcatraz, and who has been in every prison in the U.S. for the past thirty years. Also accompanying them is Stanley Goodspeed, an F.B.I. chemical weapons expert. When they go in, the Marines ambush the S.E.A.L.s. Only Mason and Goodspeed are left, and the two have to try and neutralize the weapons. The only problem is, that Goodspeed is not really a man of action and Mason knows that when he returns, he will be sent back to prison, and Mason doesn't really deserve that. -