Tequila Sunrise (1988)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  2 December 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 22,105 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 73 user | 27 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

Mac Mckussic is an unlikely drug dealer who wants to go straight. His old and best friend Nick Frescia is now a cop who is assigned to investigate and bring him to justice. Mac is very ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlos / Escalante
Andy Leonard
Cody McKussic
Arturo (as Garret Pearson)
Eric Thiele ...
Tom Nolan ...
Dawn Martel ...
Sin Sister
Sin Sister #2 (as Lala)
Budd Boetticher ...
Judge Nizetitch


Mac Mckussic is an unlikely drug dealer who wants to go straight. His old and best friend Nick Frescia is now a cop who is assigned to investigate and bring him to justice. Mac is very attracted to Jo Ann, the owner of a stylish restaurant. Nick gets close to Jo Ann attempting to know more about Mac's drug dealing plans and his connections with the Mexican dealer Carlos, who the police believe is coming to town to meet with him. Nick also falls for Jo Ann's charms and his friendship with Mac is in danger. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A business on the line. A friendship on the edge. A woman caught in the middle. [Video] See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

TraiciĆ³n al amanecer  »

Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)


$41,292,551 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Before shooting began according to producer Thom Mount, Warner Bros. pulled out of the film because of issues with the screenplay citing that the good guy was an ex-drug dealer and the cops and feds are the bad guys. See more »


During surveillance scene showing beach house, a c-band satellite dish is shown on the right side of house during shot showing the beach in the background. Because the dish is pointing north instead of south, it would be unable to receive signals from geosynchronous satellites over the equator. See more »


Nick Frescia: Let's not talk about my business, or his business or your business.
Jo Ann: That leaves us nothing to talk about.
Nick Frescia: Let's eat.
See more »


Referenced in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) See more »


Las MaƱanitas
Traditional Mexicam song
Performed by El Mariachi Vargas
See more »

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User Reviews

This is my favorite Mel Gibson movie.
10 June 2003 | by (Vegas) – See all my reviews

Now after saying that, let me say this. I do not think it is his best movie. I realize he has made much better movies. This movie is flawed but if you look hard enough everything is flawed. The reason this is my favorite Mel Gibson movie is A: Mel's performance, it was very good. Probably not his best but he plays paranoid well. B: Raul Julia he was awesome in this. Same with Michelle Pfeiffer and Kurt Russell. Next is the story. A tale of a drug dealer trying to clean up his life to impress a restaurant owner, but is derailed by everyone else in his life. His brother is trying to set him up, his high school buddy is trying to stop but not bust him, and steal his would be girl. His other old friend who is supposedly the biggest dealer in Mexico is trying to get him back into dealing. His ex-wife wants his money, the DEA wants him in jail, his lawyer isn't really helping and all his kid wants is his attention. This is a character the has every reason to trust no one and still tries although he is usually right and shouldn't. To me this is a fun film with interesting characters doing what should be uninteresting things. True it all ends in true hollywierd fashion but seeing Michelle Pfeiffer looking great in some power woman suits and Kurt Russell looking like a 50's cigarette poster and trying to be slick is fun. Plus the performance by J.T Walsh (one of my favorite character actors) as the seedy DEA agent makes this worth the time.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Conversation in Mac's Kitchen rap31264
Very under-rated! Brand_X_Savior
Why the name Tequila sunrise? bubs-6
Raul Julia stole the show lbrad2001
Give TEQUILA a proper blu-ray release!!!!!! pale69rider
Good movie, but 2 problems ggerod
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