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Nighthawks (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Nighthawks -- Sylvester Stallone and Rutger Hauer star in this riveting story of suspense and intrigue that starts in London, continues in Paris and reaches its chilling conclusion on the streets of New York.
Nighthawks -- 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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David Shaber (screenplay)
David Shaber (story) ...
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Release Date:
10 April 1981 (USA) See more »
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 »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Genuinely worthwhile thriller benefits from strong character development and great acting. See more (108 total) »


  (in credits order)

Sylvester Stallone ... Deke DaSilva

Billy Dee Williams ... Sgt. Matthew Fox

Lindsay Wagner ... Irene

Persis Khambatta ... Shakka Holland

Nigel Davenport ... Peter Hartman

Rutger Hauer ... Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt
Hilary Thompson ... Pam (as Hilarie Thompson)

Joe Spinell ... Lt. Munafo

Walter Mathews ... Commissioner
E. Brian Dean ... Sergeant
Caesar Cordova ... Puerto Rican Proprietor
Charles Duval ... Dr. Ghiselin
Tony Munafo ... Big Mike
Howard Stein ... Disco Manager
Tawn Christian ... Disco Hostess

Jamie Gillis ... Designer
Luke Reilly ... Conductor
Yvette Hawkins ... Mrs. Ntembwe
Einar Perry Scott ... Mr. Sostrom
Erle Bjornstad ... Mrs. Sostrom
Jacques Roux ... French Ambassador
Clebert Ford ... Nigerian Ambassador
Avind Harum ... Swedish Ambassador (as Eivind Harum)
Obaka Adedunyo ... Mr. Ntembwe
Corine Lorain ... Suzanne Marigny
Jean-Pierre Stewart ... Rene Marigny

Thomas Rosales Jr. ... Ripper (as Thomas Rosales)
John Shamsul Alam ... Ripper
José Angel Santana ... Ripper (as José Santana)
Patrick Fox ... Reporter
John Cianfrone ... Mugger - Central Park
Tim Marquart ... Mugger - Central Park
Tony Maffatone ... Mugger - Central Park
Tom Degidon ... Immigration Officer
Rita Tellone ... Brunette

Al Cerullo ... Helicopter Pilot (as Al Cerullo Jr.)
Karl A. Wickman ... Helicopter Pilot (as Karl Wickman)
Cliff Cudney ... A.T.A.C. Man
Joe Dabenigno ... A.T.A.C. Man

Steve Dash ... A.T.A.C. Man (as Steve Daskawisz)
John Devaney ... A.T.A.C. Man
Paul Farentino ... A.T.A.C. Man

Edward Fox ... A.T.A.C. Man
Randy Francklan ... A.T.A.C. Man
Roger Caine ... A.T.A.C. Man (as Al Levitsky)
Richard Noyce ... A.T.A.C. Man
Dar Robinson ... A.T.A.C. Man
Judee Wales ... A.T.A.C. Man
Luke Walter ... A.T.A.C. Man
Zoya Leporska ... Subway Hostage
Brian Osborne ... Orchard - London

Robert Pugh ... Kenna - London

Catherine Mary Stewart ... Sales Girl - London
Frederick Treves ... Chief Police Inspector - London
Sue Vanner ... Girl at Party - London (as Susan Vanner)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Santo Alam ... Ripper 1

Catherine Carlen ... Disco dancer

Maria Baan ... Hostage (uncredited)

Jim Beaver ... Subway Passenger (uncredited)

Jellybean Benítez ... DJ at Xenon (uncredited)
Wendy Hammers ... Dancer (uncredited)
Diane H. Kelly ... Dancer (uncredited)

Carrie Klein ... Mother / Hostage (uncredited)
Ralph Morse ... Furtive Customer (uncredited)
Gerard Murphy ... Detective Mooney (uncredited)
Jerry Schram ... Club Dancer (uncredited)
Tieg Thomas ... Disco Dancer (uncredited)

Directed by
Bruce Malmuth 
Gary Nelson (uncredited)
Writing credits
David Shaber (screenplay)

David Shaber (story) and
Paul Sylbert (story)

Produced by
Franklin R. Levy .... executive producer
Herb Nanas .... producer
Martin Poll .... producer
Kathryn Stellmack .... associate producer
Mike Wise .... executive producer (as Michael Wise)
Bill Badalato .... line producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Keith Emerson 
Cinematography by
James A. Contner (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Stanford C. Allen 
Christopher Holmes 
Casting by
Cis Corman 
Production Design by
Peter S. Larkin  (as Peter Larkin)
Set Decoration by
Frederic C. Weiler  (as Fred Weiler)
Costume Design by
Robert De Mora  (as Bob DeMora)
John Falabella 
Makeup Department
Fern Buchner .... makeup artist
Romaine Greene .... hair stylist (as Romaine Green)
Dick Smith .... special makeup effects artist
Production Management
Bill Badalato .... production manager
Terry Lens .... production manager: London
Serge Touboul .... production manager: Paris
Susan Zwerman .... assistant unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William J. Cassidy .... second unit director (as Bill Cassidy)
Robert V. Girolami .... first assistant director (as Robert Girolami)
Joseph P. Reidy .... second assistant director (as Joseph Reidy)
Duncan Scott .... dga trainee
Art Department
Richard T. Allen .... construction coordinator
Joseph Zackiewicz .... scenic artist
Sound Department
Bub Asman .... sound effects editor
Fred J. Brown .... supervising sound editor
Les Lazarowitz .... sound mixer
Tod A. Maitland .... boom operator (as Todd Maitland)
Mel Metcalfe .... sound re-recordist
Robert Sciretta .... sound recordist (as Bob Sciretta)
Michele Sharp .... sound effects editor
Richard Tyler .... sound re-recordist
Ray West .... sound re-recordist
Caryl Wickman .... loop dialogue editor
Special Effects by
Nick Allder .... special effects: London
Edward Drohan .... special effects
Walter Tatro .... special effects
Dar Robinson .... stunt coordinator
Cliff Cudney .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Farentino .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Earl Hatch .... stunt double (uncredited)
Zoya Leporska .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Maffatone .... stunts (uncredited)
Gary Robert .... stunts (uncredited)
Dar Robinson .... stunts (uncredited)
Victoria Vanderkloot .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Enrique Bravo .... camera operator (as Ricky Bravo)
Gene Engels .... gaffer
Gary Muller .... assistant camera
Hank Muller .... assistant camera
Peter Norman .... camera operator: second unit
Ed Quinn .... key grip (as Edward Quinn)
Josh Weiner .... still photographer
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (as Bob Willoughby)
Casting Department
Louis DiGiaimo .... additional casting (as Lou Digiamo)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marilyn Bishop .... wardrobe: women
Tom Bronson .... wardrobe: men
William A. Campbell .... wardrobe: men (as Bill Campbell)
Danajean Cicerchi .... wardrobe: women
Editorial Department
Darren T. Holmes .... assistant film editor (as Darren Holmes)
Virginia Katz .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Harry Betts .... arranger: musical score
Kenneth Hall .... music editor
Godfrey Salmon .... conductor
Keith Emerson .... music producer (uncredited)
Keith Emerson .... musician (keyboards) (uncredited)
Joel Fein .... music mixer (uncredited)
Paul Hardiman .... music engineer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Michael Fennell .... transportation captain (as Mickey Fennell)
Patrick Hogan .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Charlie Alfano .... technical advisor: NYPD
Billy Badalato .... production assistant
Bruce Bahrenburg .... unit publicist
Fred Baron .... production assistant
Russell L. Bintliff .... technical advisor
Nick Chiarolanzio .... location auditor
Celia D. Costas .... production assistant (as Celia Costas)
Jane Nerlinger Evans .... assistant production associate (as Jane Nerlinger)
Jean Gilpin .... voice looping
Jerry Jaffe .... production assistant
Florence Nerlinger .... production associate
Gladys Poll .... assistant to producer
Karen Standard .... assistant to producer
Barbara Stoia .... script supervisor
Clayton Townsend .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Night Hawks" - International (English title) (alternative spelling), USA (alternative title)
See more »
99 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R18+ | Canada:18 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) | Finland:K-18 | France:Tous publics | Iceland:16 | Ireland:15 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:16 (1981) | Philippines:R-18 | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:18 | South Korea:15 (cut) (1987) | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | UK:X (original rating) | USA:R (certificate #26087) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Originally the script was based on a real character - the international terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal.See more »
Continuity: During the opening sequence as DaSilva chases the mugger along the station platform, headlights of approaching trains from both directions can be seen. However, these disappear once DaSilva removes his coat belt to tackle the mugger.See more »
Immigration Officer:Are you here for business or pleasure?
Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt:Pleasure, I hope.
Immigration Officer:Welcome to the United States.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Last CallSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Genuinely worthwhile thriller benefits from strong character development and great acting., 16 May 1999
Author: David Choi from New Jersey, USA

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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Deleted Scenes guitarace62
Wulfgar before the surgery fenimore2
Did this influence Die Hard With a Vengeance? morganakastevesmith
Well written and entertaining jeremy3
Keith Emerson (1944-2016) modano1973
Stallone's pettiness/ stare in final confrontation with Wulfgar jackdalton770
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