62 user 39 critic

Colors (1988)

An experienced cop and his rookie partner patrol the streets of East Los Angeles while trying to keep the gang violence under control.



(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Larry Sylvester (as Grand Bush)
High Top
Charles Walker ...
Fred Asparagus ...
Officer Porter


A confident young cop is shown the ropes by a veteran partner in the dangerous gang-controlled barrios of L.A. about to explode in violence in this look at the gang culture enforced by the colors that members wear. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


70,000 gang members. One million guns. Two cops. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

29 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Colores de guerra  »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,747,118, 17 April 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby Stereo Spectral Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Danny McGavin (Sean Penn) and Bob Hodges (Robert Duvall) wear a DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) pin on their uniform shirt pocket flap (the pin is a white crest shape). The DRE program was born in LAPD's traffic division in the 1980s, and is now a nationwide standard for law enforcement officers trained and certified to detect and examine drivers who are under the influence of drugs. See more »


At the beginning of the movie when Danny and Bob first meet in the police station washroom, there is something in Bob's back pocket that is sticking out in some shots, but disappears in others. See more »


[first lines]
Diaz: Hey Hodges, what do you think about all those hot shot jitter bugs, huh?
Bob Hodges: What about 'em?
Diaz: You never went for this shit, did you?
Bob Hodges: No way.
See more »


References Raw Deal (1986) See more »


Performed by Ice-T
Written by Ice-T and Afrika Islam
Published by Colgems/EMI Music, Inc./Rhyme Syndicate Music
Courtesy of Sire Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An intense, powerful movie...
24 November 1999 | by See all my reviews

Before you had BOYS N THE HOOD or MENACE II SOCIETY, there was COLORS. This movie is the original article in urban-street dramas that spawned many followers in the 90's. But like those films it is an intense, powerful movie that takes you to the streets in an extremely realistic way. The caption on the VHS cover says something like two gangs at war(Bloods & Crips)with the police caught in between. Well, that is pretty misleading. Although most films like this would stick with the gang war as the main focus, COLORS has many different plot levels that all come together very nicely. Sean Penn & Robert Duvall are right on the mark as the two officers on the beat. The film ultimately succeeds through its perspectives, giving points of view from all sides and fully expresses the harsh reality that everyone involved faces. When the film first came out, it was bashed for its extreme violence and portrayal of gang members. Well, I definitely think Dennis Hopper did an excellent job and I feel that violence is crucial in a film like this to add to its strong sense of reality which some people may not be too familiar with.

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