121 user 45 critic

Nighthawks (1981)

Conservative street cop DaSilva reluctantly agrees to terminate an international terrorist who has demanded media attention. But DaSilva's "at-home" tactics are very much put to the challenge.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Matthew Fox
Peter Hartman
Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt
Lt. Munafo
E. Brian Dean ...
Caesar Cordova ...
Puerto Rican Proprietor
Charles Duval ...
Dr. Ghiselin
Tony Munafo ...
Big Mike
Howard Stein ...
Disco Manager
Tawn Christian ...
Disco Hostess


Deke DaSilva and Matthew Fox are two New York City cops who get transferred to an elite anti-terrorism squad. About this same time, an infamous international terrorist shows up in New York City looking to cause some chaos. It's up to DaSilva and Fox to stop him, but will they be in time...? Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Wulfgar, an international terrorist holds the City of New York hostage, but Deke DaSilva, the most dangerous cop known to man, can take him down. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Attack  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,525,360 (USA) (12 April 1981)


$14,905,359 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Reportedly, Sylvester Stallone did all of his own stunts in this movie. See more »


The subway train accelerates slowly as Deke and Fox chase it down the platform. However, when they are putting their guns in their holsters, the train is accelerating much faster. See more »


Deke DaSilva: Why'd you kill the woman?
Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt: I wanted to.
Deke DaSilva: So why don't you kill me?
Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt: In due time.
See more »


Referenced in This Changed Earth (2011) See more »


Performed by Libre
Courtesy of Mericana Record Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

Genuinely worthwhile thriller benefits from strong character development and great acting.
16 May 1999 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

Two dedicated albeit crackerjack cops (Sylvester "Sly" Stallone and Billy Dee Williams) are on a new case: They must apprehend a slick, nefarious international terrorist and not to mention notorious criminal mastermind, Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer). Wulfgar's schemes thrive on the destruction of World Order and democracy. The two detectives, whose beat have always been the petty criminals of the street, have at first expressed animadversion when they are forced to nail the wily villain, Wulfgar. They have never encountered such an eluding antagonist before. No longer can the cops use conventional tactics, but they must resort to new, fresh methods...

For Wulfgar dissembles his identity with several incognitos, thus making him a tougher target to capture.

NIGHTHAWKS is a well-mounted, well-paced thriller that puts the accent on suspense (with some bloodshed of course). NIGHTHAWKS is a neat powerhouse! The movie contains riveting chases, a spectacle for a final confrontation, and an aggressively structured formula throughout the entire film. There are lots of opportunities for combustible moments in this film as well.

What makes NIGHTHAWKS standout even greater and better than the ordinary action flick is its emphasis on characterization and morals. NIGHTHAWKS does a terrific interpretation of how fascinating and surreptitious the terrorist bad guy is compared to a troublesome criminal. Whereas the latter simply relies on survival and desperation in the derelict streets, the former is a very intelligent person with a respectively high I.Q. and an organized purpose. His mission is clear: to fight the oppressors who have destroyed his native land and people. The terrorist covers his tracks well and moves from location and location, making his presence less conspicuous. As for the heroic cops, Deke DaSilva (Stallone) manages to preserve ethics first when making a judgment before decisive action. He knows when to call out the shot. DaSilva refuses to jeopardize innocent lives just for the sake of shooting down the villain, and in most cases, he has earned a level of propriety. DaSilva's testament to moral values is also well demonstrated in NIGHTHAWKS.

Rutger Hauer gave a genuinely eerie and chilling performance as he portrays a very psychotic but also very convincing villain with a substantially bad attitude. Overall, NIGHTHAWKS is a high caliber action film. This "above and beyond the call of duty" type quality of motion picture is a consistently thorough and memorable film. This ranks among the finest cop dramas ever composed and for over a decade, this film's reputation and aura have managed to stand the test of time. NIGHTHAWKS is a recommended hit.

RATING: *** out of ****.

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