IMDb > Above the Law (1988)
Above the Law
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Above the Law (1988) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 27 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Above the Law -- In Japan, the Sicilian martial arts expert Nicolo "Nico" Toscani is recruited by the CIA Special Agent Nelson Fox to join the Special Operations Forces in the border of the Vietnam and Cambodia. In 1973, Nico witnesses the torturer Kurt Zagon interrogating prisoners of war and he is disgusted and quits the CIA, returning to Chicago. Fifteen years later, Nico is married with a baby with his wife Sarah and they live in the same house of his mother. Nico is a tough and incorruptible narcotics detective of the Chicago Police Department very close to his partner and friend Delores 'Jacks' Jackson and his friend Detective Lukich. When Nico and Jacks investigate a drug traffic operation, they arrest the gang of the drug dealer Tony Salvano but they find that they are smuggling the plastic explosive C4 instead. However there is an interference of the FBI and Salvano and his partner are released by FBI Agent Neeley (Nicholas Kusenko) and the detectives are forbidden of proceed with the investigation. But Nico does not stop and is suspended from the police force. But when there is an explosion in the church of his neighborhood and his friend and parish priest Joseph Gennaro is murdered, Nico chases Salvano and discovers a corruption ring that is planning to kill the American Senator Ernest Harrison that is investigating the involvement of the CIA with drug traffic.


User Rating:
5.9/10   19,141 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Andrew Davis (story) &
Steven Seagal (story) ...
View company contact information for Above the Law on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 April 1988 (USA) See more »
He was a covert agent trained in Vietnam. He has a master 6th degree black belt in Aikido... and family in the Mafia. He's a cop with an attitude. See more »
In Japan, the Sicilian martial arts expert Nicolo "Nico" Toscani is recruited by the CIA Special Agent... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(85 articles)
Afm: Seagal Signs for Aldamisa’s ‘Cypher’
 (From Variety - Film News. 7 November 2014, 12:18 PM, PST)

14 Blades finally arrives in the USA
 (From 24FramesPerSecond. 1 August 2014, 11:39 AM, PDT)

The Frightening Truth About Steven Seagal's Career
 (From Dread Central. 21 June 2014, 7:28 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Terrific Film See more (86 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Steven Seagal ... Nico Toscani

Pam Grier ... Delores 'Jacks' Jackson

Henry Silva ... Kurt Zagon

Ron Dean ... Detective Lukich

Daniel Faraldo ... Tony Salvano

Sharon Stone ... Sara Toscani
Miguel Nino ... Chi Chi Ramon
Nicholas Kusenko ... FBI Agent Neeley
Joe Greco ... Father Joseph Gennaro (as Joe V. Greco)

Chelcie Ross ... Nelson Fox

Gregory Alan Williams ... FBI Agent Halloran (as Gregory Alan-Williams)

Jack Wallace ... Uncle Branca
Metta Davis ... Rosa Toscani
Joseph F. Kosala ... Lieutenant Strozah (as Joseph Kosala)
Ronnie Barron ... CIA Bartender
Joe D. Lauck ... Senator Ernest Harrison
Henry Godinez ... Father Tomasino

Danny Goldring ... Zagon's Aide
Thalmus Rasulala ... Deputy Supt. Crowder (as Thalamus Rasulala)
Gene Barge ... Detective Henderson
Mike James ... Officer O'Hara
India Cooper ... Sister Mary, Sanctuary Nun
Michelle Hoard ... Lucy

Christopher Peditto ... Alex, the Pimp
Rafael González ... Carlos Abandano, Cocaine Lawyer (as Rafael Gonzales)
Nydia Rodriguez Terracina ... Bomb Woman (as Nydia Rodriguez-Terracina)
Cheryl Hamada ... Watanabe
Ralph Foody ... Federal Clerk
Vince Viverito ... Giuseppe
Alex Ross ... Luigi
Toni Fleming ... Grandma Zingaro

Gene Hartline ... Man in Bar
Tom Milanovich ... Man in Bar
Dan Janecek ... Man in Bar

Michael Rooker ... Man in Bar

Lee de Broux ... CIA Interrogator

Patrick Gorman ... CIA Interrogator
Gary Goldman ... CIA Interrogator
Le Tuan ... Interpreter
Dennis Phun ... Asian Prisoner
April Tran ... Asian Prisoner
Chantara Nop ... Cambodian Irregular
Al Rasho ... Grocery Store Owner
Mike Coglianese ... Branca's Bodyguard

Sandy Holt ... Hostess
Mike Nakayama ... NEC Show Rep
Zaid Farid ... Street Dude
Juan Ramírez ... Machete Man
Mario Nieves ... Man with Gun
Terry Stewart ... Machete Man's Buddy
Anthony Cannata ... Wiseguy Hitman (as Tony Cannata)
Lisa Tejero ... Refugee Woman
Chris Karchmar ... Refugee Man
John Drummond ... TV Reporter
Clare Peck ... Judge Roberta Alspaugh
Tom Muzila ... Aikido Fighter

Craig Dunn ... Aikido Fighter
Marc Katz ... Aikido Fighter (as Marc Kutz)
Haruo Matsuoka ... Aikido Fighter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

David Banoso ... Chef with Knife (uncredited)
Fred Degerberg ... Bar Drunk (uncredited)
Robert Minkoff ... Bit (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself - in Speech (archive footage) (uncredited)
Thi Kim Phuc Phan ... Herself - Napalmed Young Vietnamese Girl (archive footage) (uncredited)
Timothy W. Tiedje ... CIA Thug (uncredited)

Directed by
Andrew Davis 
Writing credits
Andrew Davis (story) &
Steven Seagal (story)

Steven Pressfield (screenplay) &
Ronald Shusett (screenplay) &
Andrew Davis (screenplay)

Produced by
Andrew Davis .... producer
Steven Seagal .... producer
Robert H. Solo .... executive producer (as Robert Solo)
John G. Wilson .... co-producer (as John Wilson)
Original Music by
David Michael Frank  (as David M. Frank)
Cinematography by
Robert Steadman 
Film Editing by
Michael Brown 
Casting by
Nan Charbonneau 
Billy DaMota  (as Billy Damota)
Richard S. Kordos 
Production Design by
Maher Ahmad 
Set Decoration by
William Arnold  (as Bill Arnold)
Makeup Department
Jean Austin .... hair stylist: Vietnam sequence
Robyn Goldman .... hair stylist
Rodger Jacobs .... makeup artist
Mike Moschella .... makeup artist: Vietnam sequence
Production Management
John G. Wilson .... unit production manager
Joel Chernoff .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James A. Dennett .... first assistant director: Vietnam sequence
Mickey Gilbert .... second unit director
Peter Giuliano .... first assistant director
Linnea Ebba Wicklund .... second second assistant director (as Linnea Wicklund)
Robert J. Wilson .... second assistant director
Art Department
Eve Cauley .... leadperson
Howard Cole .... property master: Vietnam sequence
Thomas M. Jones .... assistant property master
Edward J. McDonald .... set decorator: Vietnam sequence (as Ed McDonald)
Ned Parsons .... art director: Vietnam sequence
Ron Reedy .... props
Timothy W. Tiedje .... property master
Larry Verne .... construction coordinator: Vietnam sequence
Anthony Joseph Fatigato .... stand-by painter (uncredited)
Paul Stanwyck .... head painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Rick Alexander .... sound re-recording mixer (as Dick Alexander)
Gene S. Cantamessa .... sound mixer: Vietnam sequence (as Gene Cantamessa)
Teri E. Dorman .... sound editor (as Teri E. Dormann)
Jay Engel .... supervising adr editor
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Dee Dee Goldner .... assistant sound editor
Robert G. Henderson .... supervising sound editor
Denise Horta .... adr editor
Joseph A. Ippolito .... sound editor
Dale R. Janus .... boom operator (as Dale Janus)
Alan Robert Murray .... supervising sound editor (as Alan Murray)
Vern Poore .... sound re-recording mixer
Scott D. Smith .... production sound mixer (as Scott Smith)
Brooke Henderson Ward .... assistant sound editor
Marshall Winn .... sound editor
Destiny Borden .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Dennis C. Salcedo .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Arthur Brewer .... special effects (as Art Brewer)
Dennis Dion .... special effects: Vietnam sequence
R.J. Hohman .... special effects technician
Leo Leoncio Solis .... special effects (as Leo Solis)
Hank Baumert .... stunts
George Berry .... stunts (as George L. Berry)
J.D. David .... stunts (as J.D. Davis)
Paula Dell .... stunts
Eddie J. Fernandez .... stunts (as Eddie Fernandez)
Dean Raphael Ferrandini .... stunts (as Dean Ferrandini)
Joe Finnegan .... stunts
Glory Fioramonti .... stunts
George Fisher .... stunts
Lance Gilbert .... stunts
Mickey Gilbert .... stunts
Tim Gilbert .... stunts
Troy Gilbert .... stunts
Sandra Lee Gimpel .... stunts (as Sandy Gimpel)
Peter Horak .... stunts
J. Max Kirshina .... stunts
Rick Le Fevour .... stunts
Stacy Logan .... stunts
Matt McColm .... stunts
John Meier .... stunts
Noon Orsatti .... stunts
David Perna .... stunts (as Dave Perna)
Randy Popplewell .... stunts
Bobby Porter .... stunts
Karen Price .... stunts
Bill M. Ryusaki .... stunts (as Bill Ryusaki)
Spike Silver .... stunts
Kay Whipple .... stunts
Mickey Gilbert .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Gene Hartline .... stunts (uncredited)
K. Lee Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Reynosa .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Art Bartels .... key grip
James Blanford .... camera operator (as Jim Blanford)
Alphonse Blumenthal .... best boy electric (as Al Blumenthal)
Kelly R. Borisy .... second grip (as Kelly Borisy)
Paolo Cascio .... second assistant camera (as Paul Cascio)
Eugene F. Crededio .... gaffer (as Gino Credidio)
Andrew Davis .... director of photography: Vietnam sequence
Brian C. Glover .... first assistant camera (as Brian Glover)
Mario Gutierrez .... second assistant camera
Michael Kohnhorst .... first assistant camera (as Mike Kohnhorst)
Melton Maxwell .... gaffer: Vietnam sequence (as Mel Maxwell)
Frank Miller .... additional photographer
Frank Miller .... camera operator
Ken Nishino .... first assistant camera: Vietnam sequence
Keith Peterman .... camera operator: Vietnam sequence
Tom Ramsey .... key grip: Vietnam sequence
Randall Robinson .... camera operator: Vietnam sequence
James Zenk .... still photographer (as Jim Zenk)
William Allen Jr. .... grip (uncredited)
Randall Robinson .... director of photography: Hawaii (uncredited)
Casting Department
Alan Berger .... casting assistant
Maureen Corcoran .... casting assistant
Sue Knutsen .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Hector Morales .... costume supervisor: Vietnam sequence
Gina Panno .... set costumer
Carolyn Schraut-Barczak .... wardrobe supervisor (as Carolyn Schraut Barczak)
Editorial Department
David Holden .... additional editor
Robert K. Lambert .... additional editor (as Robert Lambert)
John Morrisey .... assistant editor
Christopher Rouse .... assistant editor
Laura Behary .... assistant film editor (uncredited)
Michael Oleksinski .... assistant editor (uncredited)
David Young .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
John La Salandra .... music editor (as John LaSalandra)
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Patrick Lynn .... transportation captain (as Pat Lynn)
John P. McAuliffe .... transportation coordinator (as John McAuliffe)
Daniel Quick .... transportation coordinator: Vietnam sequence
Other crew
Ken Bernstein .... production runner
Beth Brown .... production accountant
Dru Anne Carlson .... script supervisor (as Druanne Carlson)
James A. Dennett II .... assistant: Mr. Davis
Joseph T. Doyle .... location manager
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Jay Flynn .... production runner
Thomas F. Gleason .... production runner (as Thomas Gleason)
Gary Goldman .... technical advisor: Vietnam sequence
Joseph F. Kosala .... technical advisor (as Joseph Kosala)
Dennis Lindbergh .... craft service (as Dennis Lindberg)
Raeanne Malone .... assistant: Mr. Seagal
Andy Marx .... unit publicist
Karyn McCarthy .... office secretary (as Karen McCarthy)
Kerry Lyn McKissick .... script supervisor: Vietnam (as Lynn McKissick)
Erik Osborn .... computer graphic artist
Jeanine Rohn .... production runner
Brad Ruby .... production runner
Steven Seagal .... aikido choreographer
Teresa Tucker-Davies .... assistant: Mr. Davis (as Theresa Tucker)
Anna Zappia .... production secretary
Jimmy Jatho .... production assistant (uncredited)
Jimmy Jatho .... security officer (uncredited)
Steve Kraus .... dailies projectionist (uncredited)
Ross L. Kulma .... set medic (uncredited)
Gary Ryder .... extras coordinator (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
99 min | Germany:93 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Canada:R (original rating) | Canada:18A (re-rating) | Finland:K-18 | Finland:K-16 (cut) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1989) | France:-12 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:18 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:NC-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R (Certificate #29113) | West Germany:16 (cut)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Director Trademark: [Andrew Davis] [cast]Ron Dean (I)' and Joseph F. Kosala, whose play Detective Lukich and Lieutenant Strozah, also appeared in Code of Silence (1985) and The Fugitive (1993).See more »
Continuity: During the shootout at outside market Nico shot Salvano's thug, guy with sunglasses. But thug can be seen with blood on left side of his belly before Nico's shot.See more »
Nico Toscani:You guys think you're above the law... well you ain't above mine!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Step Brothers (2008)See more »


What are the differences between the British BBFC 18 Version and the Uncut Version?
See more »
19 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Terrific Film, 12 November 2001
Author: Mike Helfield (Invictus) from Montreal West, Quebec

I was watching television the other day, just flipping through the channels when I came upon 'Above the Law'. I hadn't seen this movie in years, and was anxious to watch it again. I must say that I was impressed. I believe it deserves no less than a 9/10. Why? The martial arts in superb as well as the action in general. Moreover, this movie operates on many different levels of meaning.

M.A. Rogers, in his commentary believes that Seagal's behavior contradicts his affirmation that nobody is above the law. This is not so. I believe that his actions are morally justified, inasmuch as there exists in the plot-line no other way for justice to be done. If the police force is corrupt and the C.I.A. are up to no good (not to mention the usually scum), what is one to do? It is therefore up to Toscani (Seagal) to take on a 'poetic license' of sorts and bring the transgressors back to justice.

M.A. Rogers, however, cogently points out in his commentary, that Seagal portrays a double-edged character. On the one hand he is easily angered, while on the other he puts out this "Mr. Cool" who is rife with obnoxious comments. This is why the film does so well. Important also is the scene in which his wife (Sharon Stone) pleads with him. She asks him to put down his 'pride'. She loves him because he is not like other men, but begs him to think of his family and back down. One cannot help, upon viewing this scene, to think of book six of "The Iliad" by Homer, where Andromache pleads with Hektor to stay in Troy for her sake and for the sake of his new-born son Astyanax. The emotion of the scene in Above the Law is heightened because of Seagal's show of restrained emotion: one isn't convinced that he is a 'family man'. He is. His stern face shows that he is a hard man, with a burden on his shoulders and an obligation to save his society as well as his family from an ailment that abounds everywhere. There is lots more to say on the matter, but I will leave that to another commentary. If you are at all a fan of the genre, than you must see it, even if you care only for the action. But I must make it clear that this movie is just as deep and sophisticated as any current drama. One just has to look beyond the surface.

Michael W. Helfield

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (86 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Above the Law (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
What's with that walk? jesscclifford333
Was Nelson Fox dirty? coleskinner-767-616012
' don't do me ugly ' zonk88
The Bartender dave_beinlich
Rank the Seagal Films Metropolis99
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Code of Silence The Professional: Golgo 13 Beverly Hills Cop Double Impact Hard to Kill
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Action section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.