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Down by Law (1986)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 30,882 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 65 critic

The story of three different men in a Louisiana prison and their eventual journey.

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Title: Down by Law (1986)

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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jack
...
...
Nicoletta
...
Billie Neal ...
Bobbie
Rockets Redglare ...
Gig
...
Preston
Timothea ...
Julie
L.C. Drane ...
L.C.
Joy N. Houck Jr. ...
Detective Mandino (as Joy Houck Jr.)
Carrie Lindsoe ...
Young Girl
Ralph Joseph ...
Detective
Richard Boes ...
Detective
Dave Petitjean ...
Cajun Detective
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Storyline

DJ Zack and pimp Jack end up in prison for being too laid-back to avoid being framed for crimes they didn't commit. They end up sharing a cell with eccentric Italian optimist Roberto, whose limited command of the English language is both entertaining and infuriating -but rather more useful to them is the fact that Roberto knows an escape route Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not where you start - It's where you start again.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 October 1986 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Bajo el peso de la ley  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,436,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only Jim Jarmusch film made with "American money" as Jarmusch himself calls it. He says that he prefers not to have his films funded by Americans because there are too many "strings attached". See more »

Goofs

Zack writes the number of the days that he's spent in cellar on the wall. Before he fights Jack for the first time, he angrily writes two big lines (two days). In the next scene with Roberto they are normal length. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack: Julie, what're you doing out here?
Julie: Just watching the light change.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Night on Earth (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Raining
Written by Naomi Neville
Performed by Irma Thomas
Used by permission of CBS Unart catalog, Inc. and Jefferson Jazz, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
No action, all mood – but it goes down like a cool beer on a hot summer evening
17 July 2014 | by (wherever good films play) – See all my reviews

A cult classic - and yet still relatively little known. Jim Jarmusch is a master when it comes to creating atmosphere (and nobody uses stretches of silence to better comedic effect than he does). Shot in beautiful black and white, this tale of three prisoners who make for very unlikely companions is all mood, deadpan humour and practically no action.

Don't expect a story - just enjoy the ride, the dialogues (consisting mainly of the word 'F***' - unless it's Benigni talking: his chaotic, broken English lines are another highlight of the film) and the fantastic soundtrack by John Lurie and Tom Waits. Perhaps the epitome of a cult movie, this one goes down like a cool beer on a hot summer evening (and as with all cult movies, it is best seen with an audience that already knows and loves the film). A minimalistic comedy masterpiece. 9 stars out of 10.

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/


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