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)

Opening Weekend:

$49,840 (USA) (28 September 1986)

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

When Roberto is drawing a window on the wall, an indistinct impression of the same drawing of a window can already be seen, presumably drawn during an earlier take and later erased. 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

Jockey Full of Bourbon
Written and Performed by Tom Waits
from his 'Rain Dogs' album
Courtesy Island Records, Inc.
(opening title)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you can only take ONE movie to an island...
12 August 2006 | by (London, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

...then "Down By Law" should be among those to consider.

Great cinematography, a superb soundtrack by John Lurie & Tom Waits, and brilliant performances by the three lead actors as well as Ellen Barkin and Nicoletta Braschi (Benigni's wife).

In my hometown Berlin, this movie is one of the evergreens during the popular open air cinema season and it very well deserves it.

I screama, You screama, We all screama for .. DOWN BY LAW!

There are two scenes I find particularly noteworthy. One is the opening sequence which is a long take passing through a small town, the other is the three escapees journey in a boat through a seemingly endless swamp. See for yourself. No explanations required.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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