4 user 2 critic

Badge of the Assassin (1985)

Three black revolutionaries gun down two New York City police officers. The subsequent investigation puts a white assistant DA and a black police detective on the trail of the killers that ... See full summary »



(written for television by), (book) | 1 more credit »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

In Love and War (TV Movie 1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

This movie is an account of US Navy Commander James Stockdale's 8 year imprisonment in North Vietnam. During his confinement in such camps as the infamous "Hanoi Hilton", Stockdale, among ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Aaron
Stars: Jane Alexander, James Woods, Concetta Tomei
Crime | Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A romantic comedy which explores the pressures on police officers.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Robert Foxworth, Paula Prentiss, Harry Dean Stanton
Split Image (1982)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Young man is sucked into an unnamed religious cult by beautiful girl and gets increasingly under the mind control of the cult leader. After his parents fail in their efforts to talk him out... See full summary »

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Michael O'Keefe, Karen Allen, Peter Fonda
City Limits (1984)
Sci-Fi | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.1/10 X  

A series of teenage gangs struggle against each other in a not-so-distant future. Eventually they united against an evil corporation, as represented by evil CEO Robby Benson who wants to control everything.

Director: Aaron Lipstadt
Stars: John Stockwell, Darrell Larson, Rae Dawn Chong
The Arena (1974)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Two thousand years ago, the people of Rome are so blasée, so used to violence, that entertaining them becomes a political problem. Someone suggests, after a hectic girl fight in a kitchen ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Carver
Stars: Margaret Markov, Pam Grier, Lucretia Love
The Boost (1988)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to ... See full summary »

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: James Woods, Sean Young, John Kapelos
Cop (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An obsessive, insubordinate homicide cop is convinced a serial killer is loose in the Hollywood area and disobeys orders in order to catch him.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning
Cool Breeze (1972)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Thalmus is the leader for a group of criminals who gather in L.A. to rob a bank. Their goal is to found a new bank.

Director: Barry Pollack
Stars: Thalmus Rasulala, Judy Pace, Julian Christopher
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of a Jewish writer, from his life as a young boy in Montreal to his more complicated grown-up life.

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: James Woods, Gabrielle Lazure, Alan Arkin
Drum (1976)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A mid-19th century mulatto slave is torn between his success as a pit-fighter and the injustices of white society. In HD.

Directors: Steve Carver, Burt Kennedy
Stars: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Ken Norton
Tough Enough (1983)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An aspiring country/western singer, whose money is disappearing faster than his career opportunities, enters a "Tough Man" amateur boxing contest to earn some cash to pay his bills. ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Carlene Watkins, Stan Shaw
Bucktown (1975)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Duke Johnson visits a small Southern town, intent on burying his brother. After the funeral, he learns that he must stay for 60 days, for the estate to be processed. A few locals convince ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Marks
Stars: Fred Williamson, Pam Grier, Thalmus Rasulala


Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert K. Tanenbaum, Assistant District Attorney
Detective Cliff Fenton NYPD
Detective Bill Butler NYPD
Lester Bertram Day
Steven Keats ...
Harold Skelton, Defense Attorney
Larry Riley ...
Herman Bell
Christine Horn
L.J. Delsa
Albert Washington (as Kene Holliday)
Toni Kalem ...
Diane Piagentini
Tamu Blackwell ...
Gloria Lapp
Anthony 'Tony' Bottom
Foreman #1


Three black revolutionaries gun down two New York City police officers. The subsequent investigation puts a white assistant DA and a black police detective on the trail of the killers that leads from New York to San Francisco and down to New Orleans. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They killed in cold blood. Not for money. Not for revenge. But for an even more ruthless motive.




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Marca do Assassino  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The San Francisco police cars in the movie are painted blue and white. In real life, SFPD patrol cars were painted black and white in 1971, when the scene takes place. See more »


Detective Cliff Fenton NYPD: It doesn't make sense!
Herman Bell: It does not have to! It just has to get noticed! They have to learn - -oppressing people COSTS!
Detective Cliff Fenton NYPD: Now I know what you are. You're not a man; you're not a leader; you're a black thug!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Peculiar Institutions
12 June 2003 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

I can understand why some people might consider this movie dated and filled with stereotypes. All the symbols are there. "Let's off the pigs," and so on. It helps, though, to dispel that impression if you remember the 1960s and early 1970s when US cities were almost in a state of open warfare. Stepin Fetchitt never existed outside of the imagination of white people, but organizations like the Black Liberation Army, depicted here, did. And hate crimes based on race were all too common. (A bit of historical research will dig up Eldridge Cleaver's explanation for why he switched from raping black women to raping white women -- because raping white women was "a political act.") And Afros were so sizeable they had their own weather systems. It certainly makes it a bit difficult for us to put ourselves in the places of the characters in this movie.

"The Badge of the Assassin" is an admirably candid story. The B.L.A. executes two cops in New York (one black, one white) and then disperses, only to be rounded up after exhaustive effort by agents of several justice organizations, mainly the office of the NYC DA, Tannenbaum, played by James Woods, whose book this movie is based on.

First-person accounts are often self serving, as Cleaver's was. But here, Woods is a member of an ensemble -- and an extremely good cast too. Pam Grier is no longer the epitome of beauty she'd been ten years earlier but is attractive, and a surprisingly subtle actress. Rae Dawn Chong is not beautiful but her features are magnetic and her performance fine. Alex Rocco is a reliable subordinate, although it's hard to accept him as a police officer who's last name is "Butler." Woods shows his usual mannerisms, which fit the character of a principled but ambitious DA rather well. His scenes with the New Orleans police are hilarious: the obstreperous New York Jewish lawyer and the soft-spoken, quietly menacing Good Old Boys trying to understand each other.

The standout performance is an underplayed one by Yaphet Koto, who is a New York City detective. He's on the side of justice. Wow, is he smooth. His expression hardly alters, regardless of the scene he happens to be in, but he manages to project a considerable spectrum of emotions, including humor. (When he's stopped at an airport gate and asked to surrender his weapon before boarding the plane he goes into a mock rage and threatens to call "the president, my congressman, the Muslims, and the B'nai Brith!") In another scene he uses almost none of his features except his eyes when, questioning two black prisoners, he is called an "Uncle Tom." Later, the prisoners ask to speak to the black officer alone. With scarcely a twitch he replies, "A few minutes ago I was Uncle Tom. Now I'm a black officer." He and his character provide the kind of stability that a movie with James Woods so often needs. In another scene he bops his way down a rural street to make an arrest, bobbing and jumping, as if to some inner soul music.

Of all the characters in the story, and there are many, aside from the victims and their families, I felt saddest about the BLA assassins. No one is born a murderer. They did it out of a sense of group loyalty. "This is my proof that I belong with you." You murder a complete stranger because of the color of his skin or the kind of clothes he's wearing. If anything in this movie is dated, homicide committed for reasons of race or resentment against any faceless group is dated, at least in most countries, and thank God for that.

Editors rarely get much credit for their contribution to a film but in this case they deserve some. Many of the cuts are precisely timed, not a second too soon or too late.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who is the other girl with Pam Grier when interviewed by Woods character imdb-16141
Discuss Badge of the Assassin (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: