MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 257 this week

Down by Law (1986)

7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 31,065 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 65 critic

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

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Top 10 TV Shows

Brooke Anderson from "Entertainment Tonight" and Melanie McFarland take a look at the Top 10 TV Shows of 2014 in our new series "IMDb Countdown".

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 09 Dec 2010
 
a list of 46 titles
created 16 Oct 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 21 Jul 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 38 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Down by Law" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Down by Law (1986)

Down by Law (1986) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Down by Law.
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson
Mystery Train (1989)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Yûki Kudô, Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Winona Ryder, Gena Rowlands, Lisanne Falk
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young slacker wanders New York City searching for some meaning in life and encounters many idiosyncratic characters.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Chris Parker, Leila Gastil, John Lurie
Dead Man (1995)
Drama | Fantasy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Tom Waits, Roberto Benigni
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, John Tormey
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of a mysterious loner, a stranger in the process of completing a criminal job.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Isaach De Bankolé, Alex Descas, Jean-François Stévenin
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This film documents Neil Young and Crazy Horse's 1996 concert tour. Jim Jarmusch interviews the band about their long history, and we see backstage footage from the 1970s and 1980s.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Neil Young, Jim Jarmusch, Ralph Molina
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A depressed musician reunites with his lover, though their romance - which has already endured several centuries - is disrupted by the arrival of uncontrollable younger sister.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a vignette called "Strange to meet you," Roberto sits at a small table in a coffee bar. Five cups of coffee and two ashtrays are in front of him; he drinks and smokes. Steven joins him. ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jack
...
...
Nicoletta
...
Billie Neal ...
Bobbie
Rockets Redglare ...
Gig
Vernel Bagneris ...
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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Roberto Benigni's line "It's a sad and beautiful world" was the result of a misunderstanding. The script read "That's sad and beautiful music", but Benigni said "It's a sad and beautiful word", but Waits and Jarmusch misheard it and though he said "WORLD", and so, the line stuck. 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 O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Crying
Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson
Performed by Tom Waits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Brilliant in every way
29 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first saw Down By Law when it first came out, and loved it. I watched it again recently, and it really hasn't aged at all. In fact, it has gotten even better. I'm not sure there's another movie like it (unless the other Jarmusch ones are -- I haven't seen them). There are very few movies that spend so much time on character development that still have great plots. Like the "Big Easy" where it is filmed, this one takes its time but has an easy charm once the plot gets where it was going. The dialogue is wonderfully written, and better acted. Each scene is like a work of art in how it is staged. The soundtrack uses one of the best albums ever recorded, "Rain Dogs" by Tom Waits, who stars. One of my all time favorites.


32 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I saw Down by Law for the first time last night and... Wylie-Times
More Classic Indie Movies like this? intruderz_
What do you think of the acting? wanbaclone
'I am a good egg' zaptista
italian mumbling irie44
i scream...you scream...we all scream for ice cream jambles
Discuss Down by Law (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?