Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.

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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. 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
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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 Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Intricate filmmaking, a masterpiece
15 August 2002 | by (minneapolis) – See all my reviews

Down by Law is a film that has mesmerized me for years. The first time I saw it, it sunk into me like the smile from a homeless person. It told me something I should've already known.

I've heard people use the word "quirky", when drawing comparisons to a Jarmusch character, but, I like the phrase: "Spot On". He has captured man's fear within himself, and, the ability to hide that fear. It takes a director of great courage and knowledge of self to pull that one off without boring you.

If you're a fan of Joel Schumaucher or James Cameron, this is not the film for you. But if your a fan of people, and, the human condition, the mirror reflects back, 2 hours at a time, and Jarmusch is right behind it.


41 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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