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Above the Law (1988) Poster

(1988)

Trivia

Due to film schedule constraints, the sequences at "Chicago Summer CES" (Consumer Electronic Show) were actually filmed at the November Comdex (Computer Dealer Expo) in Las Vegas. The film crew carried press credentials and pretended to be a news show filming about the products in the booth.
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Jump to: Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (1)
The pictures in the opening credits (including the one of the baby Nico) are actually real pictures of Steven Seagal in his youth.
Steven Seagal's film debut. He also co-wrote and co-produced.
Steven Seagal declared in an interview that among his first five film roles, Nico Toscani was his favorite character to play.
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The sword-fighting sequence was staged using Steven Seagal's own martial arts students.
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Steven Seagal personally selected every weapon seen in the film.
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It has been reported that Steven Seagal was asked to make the film by his former aikido pupil, agent Michael Ovitz, who believed that he could make anyone a movie star.
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Reportedly, some scenes had to be cut for R rating.
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Before getting this part, Steven Seagal had to demonstrate his martial arts skills for the studio. He physically dominated his students, which terrified the executives. They didn't know it was staged.
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Steven Seagal and Daniel Faraldo went on a ride-along with real Chicago detectives to prepare for the movie. Faraldo said Seagal scared the criminals more than the cops did.
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Pam Grier said this movie is one of her favourites because it shows off her acting.
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Henry Silva also played the bad guy in Andrew Davis' Code of Silence (1985).
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Church used in film (as Nico's parish) was St. Mary of the Angel's on Cortland and Hermitage built in 1920.
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When Daniel Faraldo auditioned for his role, Andrew Davis thought he was too small to intimidate Steven Seagal. Seagal suggested Faraldo try to scare him, so he tried to break a chair over Seagal's back. He got the part.
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The film has a lot in common with Andrew Davis' Code of Silence (1985). Both movies star martial artists and are about Chicago cops, corruption, and drug lords.
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After the film opened, aikido experienced a boom worldwide. Steven Seagal's L.A. dojo was struggling before the movie. After, it sold out all its classes.
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Andrew Davis was hired to direct because Steven Seagal liked his movie Code of Silence (1985).
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Steven Seagal chose the film from a pile of scripts Warner Bros. had been saving for Clint Eastwood. It was rewritten to focus on Seagal's actual backstory. Many of his stories have never been confirmed.
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Originally, the film was about corruption on the waterfront in San Francisco. When Andrew Davis and Steven Seagal changed the story, they moved the location to Chicago.
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The bartender is actually listed in the credits as "CIA Bartender" - he's been an agent all along.
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Steven Seagal taught all the actors in the movie to draw their gun his way: fast and clean.
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Henry Silva broke Steven Seagal's nose in the final fight scene. Seagal was rushed to the hospital. The next day Seagal was back at work. He stayed up all night icing it so that he wouldn't get a black eye.
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When the film came out in 1988, the crack-cocaine epidemic was just hitting Chicago.
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Filming lasted over 60 days between April 27 and June 26, 1987.
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Joseph F. Kosala (Lieutenant Strozah) is a real Chicago ex-cop. He's been in seven of Andrew Davis' movies. He is technical advisor on this film.
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Steven Seagal choreographed all the aikido moves
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For the score, Andrew Davis hired his favorite musicians, like Frank Zappa's drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and Hiram Bullock on guitar.
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Ronnie Barron (Bartender) was a soul singer who was also in Andrew Davis' first movie Stony Island (1978).
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Ron Dean (Lukich) also plays a detective in The Fugitive (1993) and The Dark Knight (2008).
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During the scene when the Tac team is talking to the FBI, drawn on the chalkboard is the layout of the opening scene in Code of Silence.
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Director Trademark 

Andrew Davis: [cast] Ron Dean and Joseph F. Kosala, whose play Detective Lukich and Lieutenant Strozah, also appeared in Code of Silence (1985), The Fugitive (1993) and Chain Reaction (1996).
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

After Jackson is shot, Nico goes to her apartment where we see many old photos of Jackson. The photos are real family pictures and modeling/publicity shots belonging to Pam Grier.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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