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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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Down 29% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
David Shaber (screenplay)
David Shaber (story) ...
View company contact information for Nighthawks on IMDbPro.
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 »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Promising beginning and a good ending but a weak, underdeveloped middle part. See more (107 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:U | 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?

Amongst the scenes which were deleted from the original cut of the movie are almost all scenes between Sylvester Stallone and Lindsay Wagner, 'Rutger Hauer' and Persis Khambatta, more scenes explaining the plot better, and many other scenes because Universal wanted a fast-paced action movie. They also cut most of the graphic and gory scenes due to the concern that the movie will get X rating. And indeed, even though it was already cut for violence by the studio, Nighthawks (1981) still got an X rating when it was submitted to the MPAA and it again had to be heavily cut for R rating. Stallone also had a hand in reediting of the movie. He was jealous of Hauer whose performance dominated the movie, so during filming he wrote and added more scenes for his character, and later he also cut some Hauer's scenes from the movie.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When DaSilva and Fox are at the first Tram scene, they are wearing jumpsuits with Sergeant's stripes but wearing Detective's badges. Additionally, when DaSilva lands on the Tugboat, another person is in a jumpsuit with Sergeant's stripes but wearing a Police Officer's badge.See more »
Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt:I represent the oppressed, the powerless of the world. I am their voice. I am a liberator.
Deke DaSilva:[disbelieving] You think you're a liberator?
Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt:[smiles knowingly] It fascinates you. Yes, it does.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in This Changed Earth (2011) (V)See more »
Love to RideSee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Promising beginning and a good ending but a weak, underdeveloped middle part., 16 July 2006
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands

The movie starts well and promising. Initionally the movie seems like a cool, simple, typical '80's action flick, with some well known actors in it. However as the movie progresses the pace is gone and the movie gets filled with underdeveloped plot lines and characters. Luckily the movie re-finds its pace toward the ending, which helps to make this movie still a watchable and good one, for the genre-fans.

I think that the main problem with this movie is that its too short. Because of this nothing in the movie really fully gets developed, such as Sylvester Stallone's character's relationship with his ex-wife or who exactly was Peter Hartman, who seemed like a good and interesting enough character but unfortunately was highly underused and developed in the movie. He walked around without a real purpose despite the fact that he could had been a so much more relevant and interesting character for the movie and its story. Also they could had made the whole hunt of DaSilva (Sylvester Stallone) on Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer) so much more exciting, tense and spectacular. An hunter who hunts a hunter. Instead now their hate toward each other feels unfounded and perhaps even silly and unlikely at certain moments.

Yet the tree main characters of the movie are still quite good. The two cops played by Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams form a nice and credible duo and Rutger Hauer perfectly plays a villainous cold-hearted terrorist. Hollywood needs more villain actors like him, it would make so many movies so much better. Its definitely true that the presence of this tree fine actors uplift the movie and help to make this a still slightly above average one.

The whole plot line of a ruthless, professional terrorist causing mayhem in New York is quite original (at least for its period) and works refreshing and help to make this movie quite an original action-flick, although his motivations still remain a bit in the dark and shaky to find it all credible enough.

But of course the movie works well enough as mindless entertainment, though it perhaps could had used some more and bigger action sequences.

The movie has '80's written all over it. Movies from the '80's don't have the greatest visual style and also mostly always have some horrible '80's music. This movie is unfortunately no exception on this all.

All in all its not a bad action flick and it will most likely please the genre-fans, also thanks to the presence of '80's action icon Sylverst Stallone and villain expert actor Rutger Hauer.


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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Did this influence Die Hard With a Vengeance? morganakastevesmith
Well written and entertaining jeremy3
Keith Emerson (1944-2016) modano1973
Deleted Scenes guitarace62
Stallone's pettiness/ stare in final confrontation with Wulfgar jackdalton770
Did'nt recognise Stallone! speccy1
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