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Tango & Cash (1989)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  22 December 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 70,775 users  
Reviews: 143 user | 43 critic

Two cops are framed and must clear their names.


(as Andrei Konchalovsky) , (uncredited)


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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 on the scene of the crime, the two have 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?


There was a rumor that Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered to play Gabriel Cash's opposite Stallone as Ray tango in an effort to get them together being 80s action heroes but it wasn't true at all. They later worked together on the expendables movies which was a homage to 80s and 90s action and Escape Plan. Arnold and Sly also were both considered for Bruce Willis's role in Die Hard, the lead roles of Sean Archer and Castor Troy in Face/off which went to John Travolta and Nicolas Cage and each other's roles in The Terminator, Assassins, Judge Dredd, etc. See more »


During the raid on Perret's compound, the armored SUV that Tango and Cash are riding in drives through a large explosion, during which time the driver's side front headlight goes out. In subsequent shots, the headlight is fixed and shining bright. See more »


[Conan arrives to the laundry full of vengeful prisoners]
Ray Tango: Oh shit, it's Conan.
Gabriel Cash: What?
Ray Tango: It's Conan.
Gabriel Cash: We're gonna get F.U.B.A.R now.
Ray Tango: What the hell is F.U.B.A.R?
Gabriel Cash: You'll see.
Face: Real bad ass cops. You don't look so tough now, do you? DO YOU, YOU FUCK?
Ray Tango: [to Cash] He must mean you.
Face: Out on the streets, this pig and his cop friends, broke my ribs, my leg and my jaw.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Outlaw (1993) See more »


Don't Go
Performed by Yazoo
Courtesy of Mute Records / Sire Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Written by Vince Clarke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lovely macho cult classic that it's hard not to enjoy
26 August 2014 | by (Poland) – See all my reviews

The production of this movie was full of problems from the very beginning. Firstly, the intended star, Patrick Swayze dropped out to make "Road house" instead , then principal photography began without a completed script. Sylvester Stallone had the original director of photography Barry Sonnenfeld fired and replaced by Donald E. Thorin. Then, the director, Andrey Konchalovskiy was fired by producer Jon Peters and replaced by Albert Magnoli. The official reason is that Konchalovskiy went 20 million $ over budget (which is true) , but the unofficial reason were the creative differences between Peters and Konchalovskiy (producer wanted to make a spoof , director wanted more serious movie). Stallone was working unofficially as producer, director and writer and held the project together. The film had to be completely reedited by Stuart Baird prior to its release. It explains why some of scenes from the trailer are deleted. Gary Chang provided additional music to the film because Harold Faltermeyer could not return to re-score the final reel of the film as it was constantly being edited.

Behind the scenes work must have been an absolute nightmare , yet the ending result is an incredibly entertaining piece of kitsch. "Tango and Cash" is as good as it gets when it comes to cheesy, violent, exciting action movie escapism. It's not a serious film and it nearly verges on parody. It shouldn't be viewed in a conventional way – the characters are one-dimensional, one-liners appear every minute, plot is illogical and unrealistic , etc. There's nothing innovative (OK , they aren't partners, but city rivals )or special about the film, it's nothing we haven't seen before , but the film is entertaining as hell.

From the very beginning we are experiencing a live action cartoon atmosphere . The characters are larger than life and the overall atmosphere is nicely over the top. "Tango and Cash" not only parodies other films of this genre ("Lethal weapon" , "Police story") , but also realizes that it's silly and makes fun of itself.

Director Andrey Konchalovskiy keeps the movie moving along at a nonstop breakneck pace. There isn't a SINGLE dull moment here , the energy is never dropped .The action is loud and over the top in delicious way ( the final showdown at warehouse feels like a computer game). The witty script by Randy Feldman has tons of memorable and quotable one liners and dialogue ( ""I'd pay cash to see this tango" , "FUBAR" , "Ok, let's do it" , "Rambo is a pussy"). The chemistry between Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell is FANTASTIC. The banter is so good and quick and feels completely natural. They make an excellent team. Stallone wears real glasses (his own) and is convincing as the gentleman cop , while Russell steals the show as the cop with too much energy. The supporting cast is good too . Teri Hatcher is HOT , Jack Palance and Brion James are fun villains. It was also good to see Geoffrey Lewis and James Wong.

The cinematography by Donald E. Thorin is slick , while Harold Faltermeyer creates a funky and catchy soundtrack (the main theme !). There are 2 great songs here : Yazoo "Don't go" and Bad English "Best of what I got". There is lot of destruction and humor.

"Tango and Cash" delivered what it promised: popcorn entertainment. It's pure escapism and fun. It shouldn't be taken too seriously (just like Indiana Jones movies). Big action and hilarious banter between the two leads ensure full satisfaction on every viewing. It's a masterpiece of brainless entertainment and the true essence of a guilty pleasure, which really deserved a sequel. I give it 8/10 because I'm trying to be objective , but deep down in my heart it's a strong 10/10.

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