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Dr Richard Walker, a surgeon, is visiting Paris with his wife for a medical conference. At their hotel his wife is unable to open her suitcase and Walker tells her she has picked up the wrong one at the airport. While Walker is taking a shower his wife mysteriously disappears from their hotel room. Still jet-lagged, he searches for her in the hotel with the help of a polite but mostly indifferent staff, then wanders outside to look further on his own. A street-person overhears him in a café and tells Walker he saw his wife being forced into a car. Walker is skeptical until he finds his wife's ID bracelet on the cobblestones. He contacts the US embassy and the Paris police but their responses are bureaucratic and there is little hope anyone will look for her. As Walker carries on the search himself he stumbles onto a murder scene and then the streetwise young Michelle who mistakenly picked up his wife's suitcase at the airport. It transpires that she is a career smuggler but does not know for whom she is working, and thus reluctantly helps Walker. This begins his frantic attempt, with the young woman's help, to learn what was in the switched suitcase and trade whatever it was for his wife's life.
Music referenced in Frantic