71 user 18 critic

Running Scared (1986)

Two street-wise Chicago cops have to shake off some rust after returning from a Key West vacation to pursue a drug dealer who nearly killed them in the past.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Tony Montoya (as Jonathan Gries)
John DiSanti ...
Women's Room Lawyer
Robert Lesser ...
Supoena Lawyer
Betty Carvalho ...
Apartment Manager


Danny and Ray are two street wise cops in Chicago. When they are almost killed on a case, they are forced to take a vacation by their captain. Key West offers a substantial change over frozen Chicago. They decide to quit and open a bar in Key West. Upon returning, they find that Julio, the drug dealer who nearly killed them has made bail and is trying to complete a giant drug deal. They decide to complete their case against Julio before quitting, but then begin being careful. Their effectiveness drops as they find they can't operate the way they did before if they don't have the edge of a long time commitment. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

shootout | gunfight | cop | vacation | bar | See All (39) »


They've got 30 days to clean up Chicago before they retire to paradise... Losing their police car, their suspect, and their pants is a real bad start! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 June 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apunta, dispara... y corre  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,227,757, 29 June 1986

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


A spin-off music video was produced for Michael McDonald's hit single 'Sweet Freedom', which was a major part of the film's soundtrack. In the video, Ray and Danny are in their squad car looking at a postcard from 'McDonald' in Florida which says 'Wish You Were Here' (implying that was the inspiration for them choosing that as their holiday destination). We then see a montage of action scenes from the film over the song's intro, followed by Michael McDonald singing the song at his keyboard in a Florida bar. At the song's climax, Ray and Danny join up with him and have some beers, and then dance along to and join in the song's backing vocals as it draws to a close. See more »


During the chase through Chicago, Ray Hughes is moving his hand on the steering wheel but the wheel itself does not move. See more »


Danny Costanzo: Let's bust 'em.
Ray Hughes: For what?
Danny Costanzo: In this neighborhood, a Mercedes is probable cause.
See more »


Spoofs White Nights (1985) See more »


Say You Really Want Me
By Kim Wilde
See more »

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User Reviews

Unoriginal but great fun
21 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

Wisecracking Chicago cops Ray and Danny tackle drug lord Julio Gonzales in a battle of wits across the city. Essentially the plot doesn't matter, this is just another buddy cop movie from the eighties. However it rises above others by being good fun throughout. It even takes a break from the action midway for the two to go and live on the beach and lay low for a while.

The main reason it is so much fun is the chemistry between Hines and Crystal. It's very easy to believe that they are partners of many years. Crystal is especially funny but really they both make it good. Even chase scenes and action scenes contain witty dialogue throughout. Smits is not a great villain but he carries the role well and the supporting cast are impressive with other future big names Dan Hedaya and Joe Pantoliano.

Overall it's not a classic - it's a buddy cop movie. But even now it still feels fresh and fun due to the partnership of Hines and Crystal. Watch it, like the characters, enjoy the action and laugh at the comedy - a wonderful example of how the buddy cop genre can be good when everything is just right.

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