Alex Walker (Kevin Anderson), a sailor accused of murder, flees the authorities to the shabby town of Tampico, Mexico. He meets an American smuggler, who runs off with his money. An enraged Walker locates the miscreant’s flat, but when he raids it, he finds the man dead. Naturally, he is the prime suspect for the Mexican police. With the ground once again getting too hot for him, Walker seeks refuge in the backseat of a big, red Chevrolet. This classy car is owned by Phillip Mills (John Lithgow), a somewhat shady businessman, and his sexy wife Missy (Rosanna Arquette). The trio seem to get along well and decide to take the Chevy for a trip from Tampico to Guatemala. Soon, a steamy, erotic love triangle develops. Alex falls in love with Missy, who sees in the handsome sailor a ticket to a new life away from her domineering husband. Tension, conflict, lust, murder, and everything goes on the Mexican highway.
After more than 10 years of struggling with the script, producer Alan Beattie finally found the cash and a director to turn The Wrong Man into pictures. Jim McBride, who had already made a name for himself with Breathless, a remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s À Bout de Souffle and the brooding The Big Easy, made one of those films that is hard to fail. A clever script, a tight budget and an enthusiastic cast led to an exciting, sultry psychological thriller. Rosanna Arquette (Baby, it’s You, Desperately Seeking Susan, Silverado) succeeds in getting rid of her somewhat bitchy image. John Lithgow (Raising Cain) is “the man on the run” and Kevin Anderson plays the role of the bad husband. The beautiful music is by none other than Los Lobos.