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Man on Fire (1987)

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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 989 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 7 critic

A former CIA agent, John Creasy, is hired as a bodyguard for a girl in Italy, who becomes the daughter he never had. When she is abducted, Creasy's fiery rage is unleashed, and despite being badly wounded, embarks on a bloody revenge spree.

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Title: Man on Fire (1987)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jade Malle ...
Samantha
...
David
...
Jane
...
Michael
...
Ettore
...
Conti
...
Julia
Giancarlo Prati ...
Satta
Inigo Lezzi ...
Bellu
Alessandro Haber ...
Franco Trevisi ...
Rabbia
...
Violente
Lorenzo Piani ...
...
Snake
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Storyline

A former CIA agent, John Creasy, is hired as a bodyguard for a girl in Italy, who becomes the daughter he never had. When she is abducted, Creasy's fiery rage is unleashed, and despite being badly wounded, embarks on a bloody revenge spree.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For an ex-CIA agent, the job of bodyguard for a twelve-year old girl should have been a breeze...

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

4 September 1987 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Absinthe  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$519,596 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Scott was originally slated to direct. But the studio balked because at the time they felt he was not accomplished enough to pull off the project. He would go on to direct the remake Man on Fire (2004). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Creasy: And so. That's how I ended. A stiff in a body bag.
See more »

Connections

Version of Man on Fire (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Someone to Watch Over Me
Words and Music by George Gershwin (as George) and Ira Gershwin
Published by 'WB Music Corp. [us]' All Rights Reserved
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I've seen a lot of body bags. Never picture myself inside one."
26 February 2011 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Not being fan of director Tony Scott's 2004 remake starring Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning, it however did get my attention that this novel adaptation was also attempted in the late 80s in a very European style. Not as easy to get a hold off, but it turned out to be a solidly atypical, if unspectacular, lean revenge thriller with a striking performance by Scott Glenn in the central role as former CIA agent turned bodyguard Mr. Creasy. It's the cast that makes this one work (where can you get Joe Pesci doing what he does best; getting angry; yelling profanity, breaking radios and singing "Johnny Be Goode"), outside some methodically stylish directorial touches (like the opening slow motion intro) and stunning Italian backdrops and decors. The music score is atmospherically edgy and always complements the on-screen action with the cinematography fluidly projecting the details.

The pacing is rather stodgy, as it does take awhile before it builds up some momentum (soon after the ransom kidnapping by some terrorists), there it crackles along (Creasy gaining health and then going on the warpath finding those involved to only dispatch them) until reaching its abrupt, if confused climax. However the final frame really does paint a beautifully haunting picture, which does leave it open. While grimy and mean when it does explode (effectively staged too), it might be too short-lived, as it could have up the ante on numerous occasions (despite one bloody shoot-out and a brutal beat-up scene). Instead it's rather understated - more so moodily brooding in its activities (and Glenn's husky narration), as it's quite a lyrical character drama, spending a lot time developing upon the relationship of the young girl and her bodyguard. While not particularly deep, still it feels genuine in the thoughtful bonding and the transformations. Glenn's wearily lamenting, but hardy performance balances out nicely to Jade Malle's wholesomely bright turn. Danny Aiello shows up as one of the kidnappers. Also the cast features Brooke Adams (who we don't see too much of) and a little role for Jonathan Pryce.


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( Man on fire 1987 or 2004. ) Which story was the real life ending?? hotjjpcool
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