A movie special effects man is hired to fake a real-life mob killing for a witness protection plan, but finds his own life in danger.

Director:

On Disc

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Ellen Keith
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Martin Lipton
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Col. Mason
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Nicholas DeFranco
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Mickey
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Andy
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Capt. Jake Wallenger
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Lt. Murdoch
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Varrick
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Gallagher
Jossie DeGuzman ...
Marisa Velez (as Jossie deGuzman)
Jean De Baer ...
Whitemore
M'el Dowd ...
Joyce Lehman (Miss Lehman) (as M'eL Dowd)
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Storyline

A movies special effects man is hired by a government agency to help stage the assassination of a well known gangster. When the agency double crosses him, he uses his special effects to trap the gangster and the corrupt agents. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Murder by Illusion See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

F/X - Murder by Illusion  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$20,603,715 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Special effects man John Stears claimed that he had been offered money by government agencies to simulate various things as depicted in the film. See more »

Goofs

The Justice department doesn't issue social security numbers. The Social Security Administration does that. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The director: Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Great. Great. Great. We got it. Great. You ladies alright? What about you? You okay?
Rollie Tyler: Ellen, come on out of there.
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Crazy Credits

Just at the start of the end credits, the camera flashes briefly through out-take type shots of the eight principal players (Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora, Cliff De Young, Mason Adams, Jerry Orbach, Martha Gehman, and Joe Grifasi). Each actor smiles out-of-character at the camera as though in appreciation to the audience of their performances. See more »

Connections

Spin-off F/X: The Series (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL
Performed by Huey Lewis & The News (as Huey Lewis and The News)
Written by Johnny Colla (as J. Colla) and Huey Lewis
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Good film - finally saw, by accident
20 August 2006 | by (Tulsa OK) – See all my reviews

I missed this movie when it was originally issued, and after all I read and heard about "Cocktail" (in which Bryan Brown starred a couple of years later) I had no desire to seek it out. But upon just surfing to cable's AMC channel one weekend morning, and finding it having just begun - I watched for a couple of minutes and found myself absorbed in it. After looking at some of the previously-posted comments in this section of IMDb, during commercials, I was even more interested.

First, my regard for Brown is heightened. Anyone married to Rachel Ward, for 23 years, has to have a lot going for him - even beyond what you see on-screen. And actors with British/Australian accents all provide effective "men-on-the-run, harried, danger-beset" characterizations. The acting here is all good. The late Trey Wilson, as Denehy's unctuous NYPD colleague evokes memories of his small-but-key, scene-stealing roles in "Twins" and "Raising Arizona." Cliff De Young, as the even more unctuous pursuer/would-be killer of the endangered Brown, could (from this and prior roles) be Hollywood's solution to replace Dabney Coleman as the quintessential, smarmy, "horse's ass," now that Dabney is getting well-along in years. As with all his roles, Mason Adams gives a good performance - but I can never watch him without expecting that any moment he is going to take a Smucker's jar from his pocket and begin a spiel.

Brian Dennehy is always fun to watch, and his "gruff-but-still-likable" persona was never better-suited to a role than here - he's the only one (except for one assistant) who has a clue, literally and figuratively, of the shenanigans occurring and besetting poor Rollie (Brown). Give this film a solid "8." Enjoyed the final minutes and the ending. I'm looking forward to getting a copy of the sequel.


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