IMDb > Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
Assault on Precinct 13
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Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 14 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Assault on Precinct 13 -- A street gang vows revenge on the police officers who ambushed them in this vintage trailer
Assault on Precinct 13 -- The lone inhabitants of an abandoned police station are under attack by the overwhelming numbers of a seemingly unstoppable street gang.

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   25,375 votes »
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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
John Carpenter (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Assault on Precinct 13 on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 November 1976 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
L.A.'s deadliest street gang just declared war on the cops. See more »
Plot:
The lone inhabitants of an abandoned police station are under attack by the overwhelming numbers of a seemingly unstoppable street gang. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Brilliant, Suspenseful and Beautiful See more (205 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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Directed by
John Carpenter 
 
Writing credits
John Carpenter (written by)

Produced by
Steve Fine .... assistant producer
J. Stein Kaplan .... producer (as J.S. Kaplan)
Joseph Kaufman .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
John Carpenter 
 
Cinematography by
Douglas Knapp (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
John Carpenter  (as John T. Chance)
 
Art Direction by
Tommy Lee Wallace  (as Tommy Wallace)
 
Makeup Department
Don Bledsoe .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
James Nichols .... post-production supervisor
John Syrjamaki .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James Nichols .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Dick Girod .... set painter (as Richard Girod)
Craig Stearns .... property master
 
Sound Department
Alan Cassidy .... boom operator
William Cooper .... sound recordist
Bill Varney .... sound re-recordist
Tommy Lee Wallace .... sound effects (as Tommy Wallace)
 
Special Effects by
Richard Albain .... special effects (as Richard Albain Jr.)
Ken Speed .... special effects technician (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Rueben Joe Melendez .... stunt driver
John Roy Rogers .... stunt driver
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack English .... gaffer
Michael Everett .... best boy
Trippy Gafford .... grip
William E. Mareneck .... best boy (as William Mareneck)
Douglas Olivares .... assistant camera
Rena Small .... still photographer
William Waldman .... assistant camera
Kurt Young .... key grip
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Nancy Kyes .... wardrobe mistress (as Louise Kyes)
 
Editorial Department
Debra Hill .... assistant editor
Curt Schulkey .... second assistant editor
 
Music Department
Peter Bergren .... music engineer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Trippy Gafford .... driver
 
Other crew
Tom Hansen .... production assistant
Debra Hill .... script supervisor
Marla Miller .... production assistant
Randy Moore .... production assistant
Blake Schaefer .... production assistant
Jocelyne Stoikovitch .... production assistant
Maxine Syrjamaki .... payroll
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
91 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:R | Canada:PA (Manitoba) (original rating) | Canada:18A (Manitoba) (re-rating) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia/Ontario) | Finland:K-16 (uncut) (1995) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1978) | France:16 (cut) (original rating) | France:12 (re-rating) | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2005) | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | Netherlands:16 (Original rating) | Norway:18 | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:15 (cut) | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (re-rating) (2008) | UK:18 (video rating) (1986) | USA:R | West Germany:18 (original rating) (1976)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
As a result of this film, Donald Pleasence would appear in Carpenter films like Halloween (1978) and Escape from New York (1981), because his daughters were big fans of the movie.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the patrol car turns around at the station before the final assault the two officers are clearly seen wearing their uniform hats inside the car. Before and after that scene the officers are shown inside the patrol car with no hats on.See more »
Quotes:
Lt. Ethan Bishop:[looking at the maintenence hole, before Wells goes out] Looks pretty good to me.
Wilson:Looks like hell. It's all we got.
See more »

FAQ

Is this film a remake?
See more »
48 out of 53 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant, Suspenseful and Beautiful, 6 February 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

Set in gang-riddled Los Angeles in the 1970s, director John Carpenter was inspired to make a film that was basically a combination of Rio Bravo (1959) and Night of the Living Dead (1968) with rookie cop Ethan Bishop in John Wayne's Rio Bravo role/Duane Jones' Ben, a recently vacated police precinct as the small town jail/farmhouse, and with gang members in place of Night of the Living Dead's zombies/Nathan Burdette's men.

For some viewers, that premise alone may be enough for them to not be able to grant this film a 10, but Assault on Precinct 13 is yet another example of why quality isn't correlated to having unprecedented ideas.

One of the first striking things about Assault on Precinct 13 is that it looks beautiful. It was made on a relatively low budget, and it looks like a large percentage of the money must have gone into camera rental, film stock and film processing. Douglas Knapp's color cinematography is crisp, innovative (I just love the shot with the camera mounted in front of the car headlight, with the sunset in the background) and marvelously portrays Los Angeles as a gritty, suburban wasteland as well, if not better, than any other film I can think of. What makes it effective isn't over-the-top, run down buildings and heavily populated streets, but vast, wide-open spaces, with squat, nondescript houses and buildings, all fading into nothingness. Knapp even manages to make the streets look like this, and a couple scenes are set in what is effectively a sand-logged desert, with a lonely, dangerous phone booth sitting in isolation. The police station also reflects the suburban wasteland look in terms of its spaces and their relationship to each other, its sparseness and its colors.

The low budget nature of the film forced a very successful straightforward, brutal and realistic approach to the action, especially the violence. Carpenter, on his commentary track on the DVD, notes that some scenes weren't as he would have liked because they didn't have the coverage they needed, and had to let them play out, longer than normal, from a single angle. Thank the heavens for a lack of time and funding! Despite the over-the-top mayhem in subsequent action films by other directors, the impact of many of the scenes in this film cannot be topped, and it's often because of the unusual, almost documentary-like feel of the film.

Also adding to the effect is Carpenter's score. Although it's technically primitive, it's just as good as any of his other music, and Carpenter is as talented as a film composer as he is as a director. His use of motifs, often in an almost trance-like repetition, is similar too, and just as effective as, both Bernard Herrmann and Ennio Morricone.

The performances are all excellent, and the staging is even better. If you know anything about the premise of the film before you begin watching it for the first time, you may have difficulty figuring out how they're going to pull off the central situation of the film. The logistics seem to be against creating a prolonged tense situation. Carpenter and company create the perfect scenario with just a couple ingenious moves, and the unending threat, combined with the unusual pacing of the zombie-like menace make Assault on Precinct 13 as frightening as any horror film could be.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Music Soundtrack EvansWetmore
Saw a Similar Movie, but Don't Know the Title... Please Help! rs_marinoff
Where did all the thugs come from why were they attacking? clarkous2000
W-A-A-A-Y Overrated! raketex
title music wabsnazm2007
Watched this high... qbaseball2393
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