Stuffy Peter Soffel is the warden of an out-of-the way US penetentiary. But his wife Kat becomes enamored with prisoner Ed Biddle and abandons her husband and kids to help him escape.
One of three films Gibson made in just over a year the other two being Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome and The River this is one of the strangest, and uncommercial choices of the actors career, a rather bleak, almost Dickensian period drama.
Diane Keaton is Mrs. Soffel, a devout turn-of-the-century woman trapped in a cold marriage to the warden of a Pittsburgh jail. Gibson and Modine are two brothers incarcerated there for murder, and after trying to save their souls,
Mrs. Soffel takes it upon herself to save their bodies as well, by helping them escape and going on the run with them, leaving hubby and kids behind.
A thoughtful Gibson and touching Keaton make up for the sometimes stodgy script.