Summary of the Movie "Double Jeopardy"

by Leah Waldron-Gross Google

Directed in 1999 by Bruce Beresford, "Double Jeopardy" is an action-packed film about retribution. Libby (Ashley Judd) plays a well-off, happily-married mother who is framed for murder by her con-man husband (Bruce Greenwood). While she is imprisoned, she learns the double jeopardy rule, which states that a convicted murderer can not be tried twice in court for the same crime. Since her husband was never killed in the frame-up, she is free to kill him.

The Frame-Up

"Double Jeopardy" begins with a picture-perfect scene of Libby, her husband Nick and their young son Matty (Benjamin Weir) enjoying an afternoon at their New England home. As a surprise, Nick buys Libby a sailboat and suggests a weekend getaway. Leaving Matty with her best friend, Angela (Annabeth Gish), the two embark on a romantic sailing trip. That weekend, Libby wakes up in a blood-streaked sailboat with a missing husband. Despite her pleas of innocence, she is imprisoned for six years when Nick's body can not be found.


As Libby is carted away to prison, she arranges for her friend Angela to take care of Matty until she is released. In prison, she tries to contact Angela, only to find that she has moved and has no forwarding address. When she finally finds a forwarded phone number, she uses the prison phone to call her and is relieved when Matty answers the phone. However, she hears Angela's and then Nick's voice in the background, followed by a dial tone. Convinced her husband is alive and that she has been framed by the two of them, she begins to lift weights and plans revenge.


Libby is released from prison into a woman's group home, where she must answer to her down-and-out, ex-cop parole officer, Travis (Tommy Lee Jones). Libby escapes Travis's watchful eye and does some illegal snooping, and she finds Nick's address. She is now on the run, and Travis must find her or he will lose his job at the group home. At one point, he finds and handcuffs her, but she escapes by jumping over the side of a ferry boat.


Libby runs to New Orleans, where she has tracked down Nick. Travis is still on her tail, and there are more cat-and-mouse chase scenes on the crowd-filled streets. When she finds Nick, he has changed his name and is a wealthy bachelor trying to scheme another young woman. At gunpoint, she talks Nick into giving her Matty in exchange for his life. Nick agrees, but then attempts to kill her in a local cemetery. Meanwhile, Travis has done some sleuthing and discovered that Libby was telling the truth about Nick, and the three of them meet and end up at gunpoint.