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Tango & Cash (1989)

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Two cops are framed and must clear their names.


(as Andrei Konchalovsky), (uncredited)


4,865 ( 1,159)
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Tan ...
Chinese Gunman (as Phillip Tan)
Capt. Holmes (as Eddie Bunker)
Leslie Morris ...
Roy Brocksmith ...


Ray Tango and Gabriel Cash are narcotics detectives who, while both being extremely successful, can't stand each other. Crime Lord Yves Perret, furious at the loss of income that Tango and Cash have caused him, frames the two for murder. Caught with the murder weapon at the scene of the crime, the two have no alibi. Thrown into prison with most of the criminals they helped convict, it appears that they are going to have to trust each other if they are to clear their names and catch the evil Perret. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two of L.A.'s top rival cops are going to have to work together... Even if it kills them.


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

22 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Set Up  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)


$63,408,614 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the last film to be released in the 1980's See more »


Tango smashes the screen door when he jumps through it, but when it is on top of the police chief it is in one piece. See more »


Gabriel Cash: I don't know about you, but I have an aversion to getting F.U.B.A.R...
Ray Tango: What's F.U.B.A.R.?
Gabriel Cash: Fucked-Up Beyond All Recognition.
See more »


Referenced in Castle: Swan Song (2012) See more »


It's No Crime
Performed by Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds (as Babyface)
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
Written by L.A. Reid and Daryl Simmons (as D. Simmons)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Despite a very problematic ending, Tango and Cash still has plenty to make it an at least enjoyable film
21 February 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Tango and Cash is one of those films that people can get a huge amount of enjoyment out of when taking it for what it is, or there will be others who'll find it not to their taste. From personal taste, there are a number of shortcomings but I cannot bring myself to hate it.


It's stylishly made, if very 80s, and competently directed, nothing comes over as amateurish. The soundtrack does pulsate with energy and is easy to remember, if a little intrusive in places(not that that is uncommon in action films). The script is snappy and delivered like dynamite, the banter between Stallone's Tango and Kurt Russell's Cash is a lot of fun. The story on the whole while very silly and predictable but it doesn't really ever become dull and it is easy to follow, the standout scenes being the opening, which is one of those scenes that sets things up so well it makes one excited for what will happen next and the brilliant prison escape, the prison scenes in general are among the better scenes in the film actually. The action, while very over-the-top, is decently edited, cool and endearingly kitsch without feeling too much. Sylvester Stallone is charismatic and effectively low-key and shows that he is at ease in the action scenes, his comic timing while much criticised in general is pretty good here, while Kurt Russell is a witty, soulful partner, the two of them being a well-matched pair. It is not everyday where you see Russell in drag, don't worry it is not as weird as it sounds.


Tango and Cash does have problems. The biggest problem is that it falls apart in the final 10 minutes, an ending so disappointing that it's easy to bring the film down more than one notch. It loses the energy that the rest of the film has and it goes well overboard in the silliness factor, with the slapsticky final fight feeling out of kilter. The main villain Perrett's comeuppance is also very anti-climatically handled. Teri Hatcher is probably at her sexiest here but her acting feels vapid. More problematic are the villains, here are very stereotypically written(especially Perrett, the drugs baron stereotype has been done a number of times and nothing interesting is done here) and only Brion James, here looking as if he is having so much fun, is memorable. You'd think that Jack Palance, a master of suavity, deadpan and intimidating menace, would be, but here he gives one of his weakest performances but it is not helped by that he is very underused and that he is the most clichéd character in the whole film. Palance was a great actor, and excelled better than most in villain roles but this is a portrayal where he does try way too hard that he's almost pantomimic, it also manages to be quite bland compared to his usual standard. His henchmen are even more blandly written, and sees James Hong in a rare completely uninvolved performance.

All in all, won't work for some and it is a long way from flawless but still incredibly entertaining and has a good deal of charm. Don't expect sophistication, anything new or depth, you'll be disappointed. In its defence though Tango and Cash never strived to be that kind of film. But if you are looking for an enjoyable, switch-your-brain-off-at-the-door film, there is a good deal to like. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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