6.2/10
3,127
35 user 24 critic

Tuff Turf (1985)

The new kid in school must battle a gang of street toughs after stealing the gang leader's girl.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jimmy Parker (as Robert Downey)
...
Panchito Gómez ...
Mickey (as Panchito Gomez)
Michael Wyle ...
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Man at Bus Stop (as Frank McCarthy)
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Mr. Russell
Ceil Cabot ...
Secretary
Donald Fullilove ...
Howard
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Storyline

At the start of his senior year in high school, Morgan's father has lost his company, so the family moves from Connecticut, where they've been in the yacht club, to an apartment in the San Fernando Valley. Morgan has grown up in the shadow of his high-achieving older brother, and he seems to have a knack for getting into trouble. He also has a stubborn streak, so when he finds himself attracted to Frankie, the girlfriend of the leader of a local gang of youthful thugs, he can't stop himself from pushing her for a relationship. The thug thinks of Frankie as his property and sees the cool, urbane Morgan as dead meat. Is this a struggle to the death? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where enemies are made, reputations are earned and love is the most risky affair of all. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love-Fighters - Tuff Turf  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,509,380, 13 January 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,400,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Downey, Jr. became good friends with James Spader, and even named his cat Jimmy in honor of him. See more »

Goofs

Video Only: At the beginning of the shot looking at the fallen body, a crewmember's hand can be seen reaching out from just under the platform to make the rope swing. See more »

Quotes

Morgan Hiller: You going to college?
Frankie Croyden: I'll be lucky if I even graduate. I'll probably just get married, don't need college for that.
Morgan Hiller: Your parents happy about that?
Frankie Croyden: My dad is... my mom died last year of cancer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, we see Morgan, Frankie, Jimmy and Ronnie dancing and playing instruments with Jack Mack and the Heart Attack at Club 60's. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rough Streets (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

SO TUFF
Written by Andrew Kastner & Larry John McNally
Performed by Jack Mack & the Heart Attack
Published by Drewness Music, Unicity Music Inc. and McNally Music Publishing C/O MCA Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Not like every other 80s film
23 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

Robert Downey Jr. AND James Spader? This could be a total turkey and I'd still watch it.

The performance of both is excellent, but that's no surprise. You get to see the formation of some of their respective trademark mannerisms.

Overall: strange plot, seems to sit between genres, starts off as a sort of High School rom-com but quickly descends into a rough teen thriller, with two major and totally random music numbers in the first part, both of which are arse-numbingly boring and ludicrous.

Having said that - James Spader's singing is nice - he's got a good voice but nothing wow, which is why it's interesting that the filmmakers have included it, but it lends a touch of authenticity to a highly stylized 80s flick. The song is odd, unknown to me, but it served its plot purpose I suppose - I would have preferred something else but we can't have it all can we.

Side note: what a beautiful man (James Spader). As penetrating and mesmerizing as ever.

Moving onto the girl: she's good. Intriguing. Playing with the concept of the good/bad girl credibly. Her back story is convincing (and so is Spader's).

The "baddy" of the piece is suitably threatening - you do feel intimidated by the violence and his gang throughout, and I did hold my breath on a few occasions - in terms of the suspense and fight scenes - two thumbs up.

Interesting ending - they didn't go for any cheapshots but saw it through to the end.

All in all - I think it's a bit of a gem, if a bit of a mongrel one.


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