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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Morgan Hiller
...
Frankie Croyden
Paul Mones ...
Nick Hauser
...
Stuart Hiller
...
Page Hiller
...
Jimmy Parker (as Robert Downey)
...
Ronnie
Panchito Gómez ...
Mickey (as Panchito Gomez)
Michael Wyle ...
Eddie
Catya Sassoon ...
Feather
...
Man at Bus Stop (as Frank McCarthy)
...
Security Guard
Herb Mitchell ...
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  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Spader is merely lipsynching during the piano sing. See more »

Goofs

In James Spader's first appearance in the film the patch on the back of his leather jacket is slashed with a car antenna. Although the patch is still slashed when he arrives at school the next day, it next appears fully intact later the same day at school while Spader is talking to Robert Downey, Jr. See more »

Quotes

Frankie Croyden: I thought things were supposed to be easy when you have money.
Morgan Hiller: It is, if you don't take it seriously.
Frankie Croyden: How do you do that?
Morgan Hiller: By letting it go. I don't think you can hold onto anything until you let it go.
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 To the Devil a Dog (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

VOICES
Written and Performed by Jim Carroll
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User Reviews

 
Image is everything.
23 January 2009 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Anyone with a music shout-out? 'Tuff Turf' is a uneven, but overly stylised and fashionable mixture ranging from a lesser take on 'Rebel without a Cause' with a constant spray of social and class references/forbidden romance in a L.A suburban backdrop and being backed-up by a pumping soundtrack led by Jim Carroll and Jack Mack and Heart Attacks. The music was non-stop and the story's tone and shape zips-around, as early on we seemed to move from one joint to another featuring blaring tunes and raving dance moves.

Morgan Miller and his family have just moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles, where he encounters and interferes with the local gang led by the psychotic Nick Hauser. To make matters worse, his fallen for Hauser's girlfriend Frankie and goes about trying to grab her attention, despite the warnings and beatings to stay away from her.

The young cast are quite good. James Spader genuinely fits blending a rebellious attitude with easy-going suaveness. The gorgeous Kim Richards is completely transfixing in who wholesome performance and punk appearance. Paul Mones nails down his role as the hot-headed thug and Robert Downey Jr. lends in with an agreeable performance. Also dependable character actor Matt Clark makes for solid support.

Director Fritz Kiersch truly gets the beat on with its breakneck pack (despite some editing in the story wouldn't have gone astray) and stylishly muscular verve. When it calls for it, Kiersch isn't afraid to pack a punch, as the jarring violence is sweaty and a bloody pulp. Jonathan Elias' booming, sullen synthesiser score helps cement the rough atmosphere and saucy energy. Some set-pieces seem to work better than others, but there's no question there are a couple of powerful, moving and harsh illustrations. The script isn't as foreseeable, but the humour at times seemed to get in the way or not entirely fit.


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