IMDb > Death Before Dishonor (1987)
Death Before Dishonor
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Death Before Dishonor (1987) More at IMDbPro »

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Death Before Dishonor -- When a high-ranking Israeli diplomat and his family are brutally murdered by terrorists, U.S. Marine, Jack Burns (Hunter's Fred Dryer) defies his commander's orders and launches his own bloody war of revenge against the world's deadliest assassins


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Writer (WGA):
John Gatliff (written by)
View company contact information for Death Before Dishonor on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 February 1987 (USA) See more »
In a world of compromise, he wouldn't! See more »
Gunnery Sergeant Burns reports for duty to an American Embassy in the Middle East. However due to the 'enlightened' views of the Ambassador... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
Death before watching this again! See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Fred Dryer ... Gunnery Sgt. Burns

Joseph Gian ... Sgt. Manuel Ramirez (as Joey Gian)

Sasha Mitchell ... Ruggieri

Peter Parros ... James

Brian Keith ... Col. Halloran

Paul Winfield ... Ambassador

Joanna Pacula ... Elli
Rockne Tarkington ... Jihad
Daniel Chodos ... Amin

Mohammad Bakri ... Gavril (as Mohammed Bakri)

Chaim Girafi ... Zabib (as Haim Gerafi)
Tuvia Tavi ... Elias
Yossi Ashdot ... Hamed
Yossi Virginsky ... Attache
Yossi Virzansky ... Attache
Katya Bishoff ... Daughter
Rassan Tanus ... Arab boy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kasey Walker ... Maude Winter

Directed by
Terry Leonard 
Writing credits
John Gatliff (written by)

Produced by
William Braunstein .... executive producer
Frank Capra Jr. .... executive producer
Lawrence Kubik .... producer
Nava Levin .... associate producer
Arthur H. Maslansky .... executive producer
Original Music by
Brian May 
Cinematography by
Don Burgess 
Film Editing by
Steve Mirkovich 
Casting by
Michael McLean 
April Webster 
Production Design by
Kuli Sander 
Art Direction by
Ladislav Wilheim 
Set Decoration by
Doron Efrat 
Costume Design by
Rochelle Zaltzman 
Makeup Department
Don Angier .... makeup artist
Production Management
Eitan Alon .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eli Cohen .... first assistant director
Sharon Shamir .... second assistant director
Art Department
Doron Mizrachi .... chief propman
Sound Department
R.J. Palmer .... supervising sound editor
Steve Rice .... adr editor
Steve Rice .... dialogue editor
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer
Jerry Trent .... foley artist
Special Effects by
Gary Monak .... special effects
Doug Coleman .... stunts
David D. Darling .... stunts (as David Darling)
Terry Jackson .... additional stunt double: Fred Dryer
Mike Johnson .... stunts
Tracy Keehn-Dashnaw .... stunts (as Tracy Keehn)
Lane Leavitt .... stunts
Kerry Rossall .... stunt coordinator
Paul Sherrod .... stunts
Russell Solberg .... stunts
Frank James Sparks .... stunts (as Frank Sparks)
Kerry Rossall .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Itzik Ben-Aroya .... key grip
Moshe Levin .... camera operator
Moshe Levin .... director of photography: second unit
Tami Porath .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lew Richard .... technical consultant
Editorial Department
Timothy Alverson .... first assistant editor
Reid Burns .... color timer
Transportation Department
Doron Mizrachi .... action vehicles coordinator
Gaby Weismann .... production driver
Other crew
Franco Columbu .... body building coach
Avner Peled .... location manager

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
91 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

US military in Lebanon AKA "Jamal" the event with the suicide car bomber is based on a true event in Beirut 1983 but it was an American army barrack not an American embassy.See more »
Gunnery Sgt. Burns:Both sides of those rocks.
Ruggieri:Why we got to paint both sides of the rocks?
James:I don't know.
Gunnery Sgt. Burns:You boys ever heard of Korea?
James:Yes sir, Gunny.
Gunnery Sgt. Burns:Well then you are probably very familar with the conflict at Hill 442. Is that right?
Ruggieri:Yes sir. Everyone has heard of that battle.
Gunnery Sgt. Burns:And did you know your Colonel is personally responsible for pulling 52 marines off that hill? Alive.
Gunnery Sgt. Burns:So don't you think the Colonel deserves to have his rocks painted tops and bottoms?
Gunnery Sgt. Burns:Good; paint the rocks.
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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Death before watching this again!, 25 August 2005
Author: udar55 from Williamsburg, VA

I decided to dust this one off and give it another watch. I don't know if that was a good thing. DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR is the quintessential one-sided, "We're good, they're bad" action film. Not since John Wayne's THE GREEN BERETS (1968) have I seen a film so amazingly biased.

The scariest thing about DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR is the film's politics. The film is so glaringly jingoistic that it landed itself on the "Worst List" of the book "Reed Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People." While set in the fictional country of Jemal, it is quite obvious who these guys fighting Israel are supposed to be. And who the good guys are. While discussing the complex problems in the Middle East, Ellie asks Burns, "Are you the kind of person who knows what is exactly right and what is wrong?" "Yes," replies Burns before he tells her "don't get us mad." DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR is the kind of film where multiple bad guys can't hit the hero (granted his underlings do die for the cause) with machine guns, but he can blow them up with a rocket launcher while driving a car. Where a "by the book" bureaucrat finds out the hard way (via car bomb) how "savage" these people really are. I think The Phantom of the Movies summed it up best in his review when he said, "it may well be the best 1943 war movie made in 1987." It would be funny, if it weren't so darn frightening.

Actually, there is a bit of fun to be had with DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR. Director Leonard, a veteran stuntman, crafts some nice car chases with a rather nice car stunt at the film's end. The film definitely holds its own against its contemporaries such as THE DELTA FORCE (1986) in that regard. Dryer, with visions of Eastwood in HEARTBREAK RIDGE (1986) dancing in his head, is amazingly bland as the tough as nails Marine. Watching him drag around here, it is hard to believe he carried a TV series for so many seasons. You can tell he was hoping for a cross over opportunity into theatrical features, but failed miserably. But there is something inherently funny in his featureless performance. Finally, fans of "what in the world" moments should also keep an eye out for the scene where Brian Keith, being photographed by terrorists, gives them the finger…with his ring finger!

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