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Lethal Weapon (1987)

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A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.

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887 ( 140)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The General
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Ebonie Smith ...
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Patrick Cameron ...
Cop #1
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Cop #2
Jimmie F. Skaggs ...
Drug Dealer #1
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Storyline

Martin Riggs is an L.A. cop with suicidal tendencies and Roger Murtaugh is the unlucky police officer with whom Riggs is assigned. Together they uncover a huge drug-smuggling operation, and as their success rate grows so does their friendship. Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two cops. Glover carries a weapon. Gibson is one. He's the only L.A. cop registered as a LETHAL WEAPON. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arma mortal  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$65,207,127 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a scene early in the movie that takes place in Riggs' trailer. In that scene Riggs puts his gun in his mouth for another suicide attempt. Right after he does so the camera cuts to the television. The program shown on the television is the Christmas special Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales (1979). See more »

Goofs

In the desert scene while Murtaugh is threatening everyone with a grenade, he gets shot in the left shoulder. He still manages to throw the grenade and duck behind the station wagon while covering the wound with his right hand. However, for the rest of the film he runs around in a white tank top T shirt and shows no apparent shoulder wound from being shot earlier in the day. See more »

Quotes

Roger Murtaugh: What do you do, sleep with that thing under your pillow?
Martin Riggs: I would if I slept.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a dedication to Dar Robinson, a stuntman who died in a motorbike accident as Lethal Weapon was in Post-Production. See more »

Connections

Referenced in New Girl: Bad in Bed (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
(uncredited)
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This is the classic action film that introduces one of the best action duos ever to come to the big screen.
12 November 2000 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Lethal Weapon is a nearly perfectly structured action movie. The acting, the story, the script, the directing, even the IDEA of the movie all combine to make up a fascinating and thrill-packed police film. The cross-cutting at the beginning of the film was particularly effective, in my opinion, as Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are introduced. The startling difference between their separate lives provides for tons of fun to be had later in the movie. Roger starts his day off as the family man reluctantly celebrating his 50th birthday party with his numerous children and his loving wife in the big family house, while Riggs is shown waking up naked in his trashy trailer and beginning his day with a healthy breakfast of a cigarette and a beer.

The fact that both Roger and Riggs hated that they had to work together was especially effective in creating a touching atmosphere as they grew to be closer and closer friends. They worked so well together in this movie; it was a symbiotic relationship. It was almost like they fed off of each other, and kept each other in line and out of trouble. I also liked the way that they showed that Riggs was deeply angered when he learned that the bad guys had taken Murtaugh's daughter. Things like this, when done right, can really get you to sit up and really get into the movie, and it was definitely done right here. Riggs was also very amusing in his anxiousness about being a cop (`Why don't you let me go to sleep?' `No, come on, we gotta get up and catch bad guys!'), and Gary Busey delivers an excellent performance as the lead bad guy. This is the type of role that he plays best (see "Under Siege").

Although the violence was painfully present in some parts (the torture scenes were short but extremely difficult to watch), the film never relied on violence to pull it along or keep the audience's attention. The story was sufficient enough so that there was no overindulgence necessary in anything like that. In this film you see the first of the now traditional Lethal Weapon scenes in which Riggs and Murtaugh stagger away from a smoking crime scene, seeming to hold each other up. The final fight scene between Riggs and Mr. Joshua (Busey) was a little excessive, and there were a few scenes which were a bit faulty (how did the guy on the building ledge expect to kill himself when there was such a huge air bag inflated on the ground directly below him?), but overall this was a spectacular crime thriller. The movie rushes along at a feverish pace, and particularly Gibson's and Glover's success working together on screen make this a timeless action film that is not to be missed.


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