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Bad Boys (1983) Poster

(1983)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Cameo (1) | Spoilers (2)
To play youth thug Mick o'Brien, actor Sean Penn wanted to have his perfect teeth filed down and capped with ugly tops and have "maybe a few cracked ones" but Penn's mother, a dentist's daughter, intervened, ruling that "ruining perfectly good teeth is definitely going too far!".
To prepare for the movie, Rick Rosenthal and Sean Penn went out riding with the Chicago Police Dept. Gang Squad Unit. On the second night, Penn was mistaken for a real criminal and was assaulted by one of the officers.
Real-life reformatory supervisors and about thirty real-life reformatory inmates featured in the film as actors, extras and background artists.
Actors Tom Cruise and Kevin Bacon auditioned for the lead role of Michael O'Brien which went to Sean Penn.
All the actors did their own stunts.
Debut feature film of actors Jason Gedrick (uncredited), Clancy Brown, Alan Ruck and actress Ally Sheedy.
Sean Penn once said of this film around the time of its first release: "This movie is a lot about drive, about frustrated drive and we all experience that. The kids in this movie feel they have very few choices - and they're unaware of those additional options they may have. I read the script and felt it was real. I went out into the areas of Chicago where we were going to shoot and there was stuff right out of our script, and even rougher. In a funny way I think people who see this film will be relieved to see that the rest of the world isn't like that. I want to see more films about the way the world 'really' is. With those so-called 'escapist' or 'pure entertainment' movies, you come out and the world seems so dull you want to go back inside. But I think reality should be more fun than fantasy. I think the real world's the most exciting of all, and that whatever is wrong with it can be fixed. I'm an opportunist".
During the scene where Sean Penn's character first enters the reform school and walks down the line in between the prisoners, Penn encouraged the actors to spit in his face and throw things at him. On the other hand, Esai Morales insisted that the actors who played the prisoners brush their teeth and use mouthwash before they spit in his face during his character's similar scene.
A cinema marquee shows Halloween II (1981), also directed by Rick Rosenthal.
The passage written on the board in the classroom is from Jack London's 'Call of the Wild'. Presumably, this is also the novel O'Brien and Horowitz read and discuss while sitting in their room during a later scene.
First ever film where actor Sean Penn received top first billing.
To prepare for his lead role as Mick O'Brien, actor Sean Penn let his hair grow long, had a tattoo inked on his arm, dressed in street gang garb, went on night patrol with the Chicago Police Gang Crimes Unit and almost got himself arrested at one point whilst doing all this.
The reform school was actually a set built in the Naval Armory in Chicago. The cost for the set was $500,000.
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The photos used during the opening credits were photos of Sean Penn and the other actors as children.
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Rick Rosenthal cast his real-life father as the judge.
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One of only four feature films featuring actor Eric Gurry who played Sean Penn's little cell-mate side-kick Horowitz. This was Gurry's second feature film after just being introduced to audiences the year before playing one of Al Pacino's children in Author! Author! (1982).
The majority of the film is set in a juvenile correctional facility. This was filmed on location at a real-life reformatory in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
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Sean Penn insisted on being called the name of his character, Mick O'Brien, during production of the movie. Moreover, when Penn spent a week's filming at the St. Charles maximum-security youth reformatory, his official name-tag identification read "Mick O'Brien".
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The prison's demerit points system was as follows: Smoking - 400; Fighting - 700; Gang Activity - 1000; Sexual Harrasment - 1200; Drugs / Alcohol - 1500 and Running for the Fence - 2000.
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The slang term for the prison's top dog was "Barn Boss".
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Predominantly, all the characters played by the movie's young lead cast were all facially disfigured at some point in the film's story.
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The film's DVD sleeve notes claim that the movie "sealed Sean Penn's reputation as the greatest young actor of his generation".
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Around twelve years later in 1995, actor Sean Penn would portray a prison inmate again in Dead Man Walking (1995). This was the same year when the other Bad Boys (1995) movie came out.
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Apparently, the movie's "Bad Boys" title inspired the name of the Croatian ultras group "Bad Blue Boys".
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When Esai Morales' character is leaving home to go to the drug deal, he tells his mother "La bendicion" (Blessings), to which his mother replies, "Que Dios te bendiga" (May God bless you), this is a traditional Hispanic cultural greeting and farewell that one gives to elder family members. It's also said as "Bendicion (insert elder family member's title), to which the same response is given. Although it's very very common among Hispanics of all countries, it is very rarely ever portrayed in movies or television programs with Hispanic characters.
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The name of the youth jail was the "Rainford Juvenile Correctional Facility". Established in 1919, it's motto was "Justice with Mercy". The name of the other prison facility, the gaol for adults, was the "Illinois State Penitentiary".
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The nick-name for the penitentiary was "The Zoo".
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According to Rick Rosenthal's commentary on the uncut DVD edition, he is still in possession of the pictures used in the beginning of the films credits. Several photos of the principal actors as kids.
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The nickname of Michael O'Brien (Sean Penn) was "Mick" whilst the nicknames of Lofgren (Clancy Brown) and Warren Jerome (Robert Lee Rush) were "Viking" was "Tweety" respectively.
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Often compared to the British film _Scum_ which covered similar territory.
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Horwitz gets even with everyone who has hurt or humiliated him. He fire bombed the alley where he was beaten up. He caused Wagner to get his finger snapped in a mouse trap after Wagner beat him up. He got even with Viking twice. First, when Viking insulted Horwitz and Horwitz dumped the tray of food on him. The second was when he wired the boom box to explode after Viking tripped him.
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The movie that the boys are seen watching is "Kiss of Death", 1947. The scene shown is where Richard Widmark shoves Mildred Dunnock down a stairs in her wheelchair. At the time this scene was considered very shocking.
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One of two 1983 movies featuring actor Sean Penn. The other film was Summerspell (1983).
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Jamie Lee Curtis and Clancy Brown are both in the movie. Clancy Brown has a large part and Jamie Lee Curtis has a very small cameo. Clancy Brown and Jamie Lee Curtis would also star in Blue Steel, seven years later in 1990.
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Clancy Brown who played an inmate nicknamed "Viking" in the movie would play a viking years later in 2007 in the movie called "Pathfinder".
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The movie was made and released about twelve years before the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Bad Boys (1995) action entertainment movie of the same title was made and released.
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Cameo 

Jamie Lee Curtis: A long-haired passerby on the street when Esai Morales' character ventures into the building of the drug deal. Curtis starred in Halloween II (1981), also directed by Rick Rosenthal

Director Cameo 

Rick Rosenthal: Uncredited, as a judge.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Sean Penn broke his ankle during the scene where he runs through the woods after escaping the reform school. Production had to be shut down for eight weeks because of his injury.
When Horowitz rigs the radio to explode in Lofgren's face, the song playing on it is The Little River Band's "Man On Your Mind".

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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