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Tango & Cash (1989) Poster

(1989)

Trivia

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When Tango and Cash escape from the prison, Cash turns to Tango and asks if he stopped "for coffee and a Danish." Tango says, "I hate Danish," an in-joke referring to Sylvester Stallone's recent divorce from Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen.
Patrick Swayze was originally cast as Cash, but he dropped out to star in Road House (1989).
Director Andrey Konchalovskiy was replaced towards the end of principal photography by Albert Magnoli. In his book of memoirs, Konchalovsky says that the reason he was fired was because he wanted to give the film a more serious tone than the producers wanted, and as such, his relationship with Producer Jon Peters became untenable. Konchalovsky, however, has nothing but praise for Sylvester Stallone, whom he states was a constant voice of reason on the set.
The glasses Sylvester Stallone wears early in the film are his own, not props. He usually wears contact lenses in his films. The lenses show that he is very near-sighted in one eye, less so in the other. Plus, he has astigmatism.
When Brion James was originally hired to play Requin, it was a very small role with only two lines. In an effort to give the character something that would make him stand out, James decided to speak in a horrible "cockney" accent. Sylvester Stallone loved it, and re-wrote the script to give Requin a much bigger role.
The scene where Tango faces an oncoming truck with nothing but a gun was borrowed from Police Story (1985), where Jackie Chan performed the stunt.
Years later, Sylvester Stallone offered the role of "Mr. Church" to Kurt Russell in The Expendables (2010). Russell declined the role, which was then accepted by Bruce Willis.
Kurt Russell was originally considered and offered the role of Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon (1987), but he turned it down, and it went to Mel Gibson, with whom he worked on Tequila Sunrise (1988). His character in this film is loosely based on Riggs.
While filming the scene in which the back of the SUV catches fire, the flames would not go out when filming was over. Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone were caught in a cross draft. Stallone was so close to the fire that his hair was singed in places.
The production was beset with problems from the start. The intended star, Patrick Swayze, dropped out. Principal photography began without a completed script. Sylvester Stallone had the original Director of Photography, Barry Sonnenfeld, fired. Then, Jon Peters fired Andrey Konchalovskiy. The film ultimately went $20 million over budget, and had to be completely re-edited by Stuart Baird prior to release.
The climatic battle in the quarry was shot in a real quarry in Irwindale, California, east of Los Angeles. Every shot in the sequence was filmed by a minimum of eleven cameras, and some of the set-ups were so dangerous, the stunt team was only allowed to do them once.
The theatrical trailer shows some alternate and deleted scenes; alternate cut of the shower scene between Tango and Cash, deleted or alternate fight scene between Cash and the Chinese assassin during which Cash says "I hate you karate guys", and a deleted scene in which Tango is reading the newspapers and then pulling out a Spas 12 shotgun at someone and shooting at some car with it.
Originally, the part of Katherine, Tango's sister was to be played by Daphne Ashbrook, and she was not supposed to be Tango's biological sister, possibly an adopted sister, or a foster child his parents took in. But, when they decided to make her his actual sister, they re-cast the role with Teri Hatcher, who slightly resembles Stallone.
Barry Sonnenfeld was the film's original Director of Photography, but was fired by Sylvester Stallone, who felt he wasn't being lit to satisfaction. Donald E. Thorin was Sonnenfeld's replacement.
A total of four different people directed the film. Andrey Konchalovskiy, who was fired after about three months of filming by Jon Peters, Sylvester Stallone, after the movie went over-budget and schedule (but not by his fault), Executive Producer Peter MacDonald, who was also the Second Unit Director, then took over directing on the movie for some time (a year earlier MacDonald had to step in as a director for Stallone's previous movie Rambo III (1988) after the original director was fired by Stallone), then Albert Magnoli was hired as the new director to finish the movie (but even after principal photography was finished, he caused two more weeks of further delays after he decided to re-shoot some parts of the movie), and Stallone was also directing the movie behind the scenes (something he was known for, especially during the 80s). None of them however had any control over the editing of the movie. Instead, Warner Bros. hired expert editor Stuart Baird to re-edit the movie after they expressed strong dislike for initial rough cut. Baird hired another editor Hubert de La Bouillerie to help out when Warner Bros. kept complaining on every different cut of the movie that was edited, which almost caused for release date to be pushed way further than planned.

In the end, the movie was finally approved for theatrical release by Warner Bros., and it ended up being shipped to theaters only a week after its original release date, as "wet prints" - an industry term meaning that the movie was just barely completed before its release date.
Screenwriter Randy Feldman, who wrote the original script (which was titled The Set Up), wrote the spec script for another action buddy cop film titled Fully Automatic in 2002. The script was about two mismatched cops who have to work together and stop the team of ex special forces soldiers from committing terrorist attacks on L.A., and two of them would work with female Delta Force member who was also a former member of the team. The script went through several re-writes by other writers which kept changing everything in it, and due to some rights issues and other problems in which producer of the film Joel Silver got into, the movie was cancelled around 2012 from being made.
One of several films to be turned over to editor Stuart Baird, who came onto the project as an editing "doctor" when Warner was displeased with the first cut turned in by the filmmakers.
The film's title during production was "The Set Up".
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Gary Chang provided additional music. Harold Faltermeyer could not return to re-score the final reel of the film because it was constantly being edited.
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One of the monster trucks at the quarry scene towards the end is the famous Bigfoot truck. Although it's painted different colors than its trademark blue color, and does not feature any Bigfoot decals, it was confirmed that it is in fact Bigfoot by owner of the original monster truck Bob Chandler.
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There was a rumor that Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered to play Gabriel Cash opposite Sylvester Stallone as Ray Tango in an effort to get them together, but it wasn't true at all.
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Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell later co-starred in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), although they do not share screen time together.
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The tank-like SUV seen in the film (with a windshield shape resembling a 1990s-era Chevrolet Lumina APV minivan) was built from a 1988 Chevrolet K2500 truck. At the time of the film's release, the vehicle resembled a GM concept (a 1987 Chevrolet Blazer XT-1) which was planned as a crossover-like SUV which was powered with a Chevrolet 4.3L V6 - the engine block and cylinder heads were cast in aluminum alloy. GM did not proceed with the Blazer XT-1 but its styling cues were used with the W-body "Dustbuster" minivans (Lumina, Oldsmobile Silhouette, and Pontiac Trans Sport).
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Kurt Russell and Michael J. Pollard had both appeared on the television show Lost in Space (1965).
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Jeffrey Boam, who worked on the scripts for two of the Lethal Weapon films, was one of the writers who did a re-write of the script during the movie's troubled production. But, because he either didn't like the draft he wrote, or the film, he refused to be credited.
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After Stuart Baird was brought in as an editing doctor by Warner Bros., it was he who hired Hubert de La Bouillerie to edit the film, and Harold Faltermeyer and Gary Chang to compose the music. In Chang's case it was additional music.
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Ray Tango assists in the arrest of a "major moving violation" along the highway. There, one of the state troopers refers to Ray Tango as Rambo. Sylvester Stallone played the lead role in the Rambo franchise.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The first film in which Sylvester Stallone stars as a policeman who is framed for a crime he didn't commit. The other films are Demolition Man (1993) and Judge Dredd (1995).
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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