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The Hard Way
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The Hard Way (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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The Hard Way -- Nick Lang is a popular movie star who joins forces with a tough New York detective in order to break out of his "nice guy" screen image. On the trail of a ruthless serial killer, the last thing Moss needs is a pampered Hollywood sidekick.
The Hard Way -- An action film star researching a role is allowed to tag along with a hardboiled New York cop, who finds him superficial and irritating.


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6.3/10   13,296 votes »
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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Lem Dobbs (story) and
Michael Kozoll (story) ...
View company contact information for The Hard Way on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 March 1991 (USA) See more »
There's only one way these two are going to get along... the Hard Way. See more »
An action movie star researching a role is allowed to tag along with a hardboiled New York policeman, who finds him superficial and irritating. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A damn entertaining action-comedy. See more (55 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael J. Fox ... Nick Lang / Ray Casanov

James Woods ... Detective Lt. John Moss, NYPD

Stephen Lang ... Party Crasher

Annabella Sciorra ... Susan
John Capodice ... Detective Grainy, NYPD

Luis Guzmán ... Detective Benny Pooley, NYPD (as Luis Guzman)

LL Cool J ... Detective Billy, NYPD

Mary Mara ... Detective China, NYPD

Delroy Lindo ... Captain Brix, NYPD

Conrad Roberts ... Witherspoon, Gun Dealer

Penny Marshall ... Angie, Nick's Agent

Christina Ricci ... Bonnie

George Cheung ... Drug Dealer
Frank Geraci ... Newsman
Sophie Maletsky ... Pizza Waitress

Lewis Black ... Banker
Rand Foerster ... Banker
Anderson Matthews ... Banker

Kathy Najimy ... Lang's Girl Friday

Yasiin Bey ... Dead Romeos (as Dante Smith)
Dwayne McClary ... Dead Romeos

Sharrieff Pugh ... Dead Romeos
Anthony Thomas ... Dead Romeos
Howard 'Stick' Baines ... Dead Romeos
Shawn McLean ... Dead Romeos
Curtis McClarin ... Dead Romeos (as Curtis L. McClarin)
Keenan Leung ... Asian Gang Leader

Reno ... Diner Waitress
Jack Gindi ... Ticket Taker

John Costelloe ... Fake Dead Guy / Cop

Leif Riddell ... Head Mugger

Johnny Sanchez ... Mugger
Joseph Tripi ... Mugger (credit only)

Karen Lynn Gorney ... Woman in Subway
Janet Sarno ... Continental Representative
Holly Kuespert ... Smoking Gun Girl
John Ring ... Homeboy Cop
Michael Jeffrey Woods ... Cop (as Michael Jeffery Woods)
William Truesdale ... Witherspoon's Bodyguard
Mark Woodcock ... Clothing Salesman

Ed Setrakian ... Chief Villain
David Sosna ... Billy the Frog Dog Vendor (as David O. Sosna)
Adore O'Hara ... Dead Entertainer

Michael Badalucco ... Pizza Man
Jordanna Freedman ... Moviegoer
Merrill Witten ... Scared Subway Woman
Fracaswell Hyman ... Wino

Mario Bosco ... Boy in Theater

Bryant Gumbel ... Himself - on TV
Jan Speck ... Frank, TV Reporter

Bill Cobbs ... Raggedy Man

Isabella Martinez Wall ... Billy's girlfriend (as Isabella Martinez)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Craig Boccia

George G. Colucci ... Theatre Goer (uncredited)

Trish Cook ... Dancer (uncredited)

David Hummel ... Police Officer (uncredited)

Anibal O. Lleras ... Detective (uncredited)
Kariim Ratcliff ... Movie Goer (uncredited)

Charles Scorsese ... Senior Citizen (uncredited)

Frank Stellato ... Subway Yuppie (uncredited)

Directed by
John Badham 
Writing credits
Lem Dobbs (story) and
Michael Kozoll (story)

Daniel Pyne (screenplay) and
Lem Dobbs (screenplay)

Produced by
D.J. Caruso .... associate producer
Rob Cohen .... producer
Peter R. McIntosh .... co-producer
Keith Rubinstein .... associate producer
William Sackheim .... producer
Original Music by
Arthur B. Rubinstein 
Cinematography by
Donald McAlpine (director of photography) (as Don McAlpine)
Robert Primes (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Tony Lombardo 
Frank Morriss 
Casting by
Bonnie Timmermann 
Production Design by
Philip Harrison 
Art Direction by
John Kasarda 
Set Decoration by
Susan Bode 
Costume Design by
Mary E. Vogt  (as Mary Vogt)
Makeup Department
Joseph Coscia .... hair stylist (as Joe Coscia)
Joe Cuervo .... makeup artist: second unit
Deborah La Mia Denaver .... hair stylist: James Woods (as Deborah Lamia Denevar)
Deborah La Mia Denaver .... makeup artist: James Woods (as Deborah Lamia Denevar)
William A. Farley .... hair stylist: second unit (as William Farley)
Bernadette Mazur .... makeup artist
Rick Provenzano .... hair stylist: Michael J. Fox (as Richard Provenzano)
Bron Roylance .... makeup artist: Michael J. Fox
Production Management
Celia D. Costas .... additional unit production manager
Eva Fryer .... unit production manager: second unit
Peter R. McIntosh .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cyd Adams .... second second assistant director: second unit
Tony Adler .... second assistant director
Rob Cohen .... second unit director
Michael DeCasper .... second second assistant director: second unit
Susan E. Fiore .... dga trainee (as Susan Fiore)
John Gallagher .... second second assistant director: second unit
Lorin Prince .... dga trainee
Drew Ann Rosenberg .... second assistant director: second unit
Frank Serrano .... second second assistant director
David Sosna .... first assistant director
Nathalie Vadim .... first assistant director: second unit
Harvey Waldman .... first assistant director: second unit
Art Department
Gary Aharoni .... assistant props: second unit (as Gary Aharony)
Kenneth Albanese .... head carpenter
Richard T. Allen .... construction coordinator (as Dick Allen)
Michael Badalucco .... property assistant
Charley Beal .... assistant art director (as Charlie Beal)
John Davis .... storyboard artist
Dan Ditolla .... assistant property master: second unit
James V. Gartland .... construction coordinator
Jennifer Goble Klein .... art department assistant (as Jennifer Goble)
Jeffrey Jirgal .... construction grip (as Jeff Jirgal)
Nikita Knatz .... storyboard artist
John Magoun .... assistant art director
James Mazzola .... property master
Jeff Mazzola .... assistant property master
James L. Roberts .... property master: second unit (as Jim Roberts)
Cosmo Sorice .... stand-by scenic
James Sorice .... scenic chargeman
Eric Stepper .... property master: second unit
Tom Warren .... assistant art director
Dave Weinman .... leadman
Chip Eccles .... shop craftsman (uncredited)
Michael Scarola .... construction grip (uncredited)
Joan Winters .... graphic designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Rick Alexander .... sound re-recording mixer
James Ashwill .... foley mixer
Kevin Bartnof .... foley artist
James Bolt .... sound re-recording mixer (as Jim Bolt)
Neil Burrow .... sound editor
Joel Fein .... sound re-recording mixer
Frank Graziadei .... sound recordist
Hilda Hodges .... foley artist
James J. Isaacs .... sound editor
Mary Jo Lang .... foley recordist
Greg W. Lowe .... adr recordist
Kelly L. Manger .... assistant sound editor
William L. Manger .... supervising sound editor
Dean G. Manly .... assistant sound editor (as Dean Manly)
Keith Mouat .... sound editor
Richard Oswald .... dialogue editor
John Phillips .... sound editor (as John M. Phillips)
Albert Romero .... dubbing recordist
James Sabat .... sound mixer
Louis Sabat .... boom operator
Solange S. Schwalbe .... sound editor (as Solange S. Boisseau)
Tanya Sharp David .... adr mixer
Carolyn Tapp .... foley recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Michael Beetham .... project manager: Showtech Inc.
Gary F. Bentley .... special effects crew (as Gary Bentley)
Jeff Brink .... special effects crew
Danny Cangemi .... special effects crew (as Dan Cangemi)
Tom Catalano .... special effects crew
Casey Cavanaugh .... special effects crew
Paul Dale .... scenic artist: Showtech Inc.
Edward Drohan IV .... special effects crew
Ernie Foster .... scenic artist: Showtech Inc.
Alida G. Frattorola .... scenic artist: Showtech Inc. (as Alida Frattarola)
William Gorlin .... engineering: Showtech Inc.
Dan Hoffman .... animation and effects supervisor: Showtech Inc.
Richard Huggins .... stone effects: Theater Magic
Jeff Jarvis .... special effects coordinator
Anthony Maggi .... special effects crew
Mike Maggi .... special effects crew
John McLeod .... special effects crew
William G. Mensching .... technical supervisor: Showtech Inc.
Michael Wayne Miles .... sculpture supervisor: Showtech Inc.
Andrew Miller .... special effects crew
John Ottesen .... special effects crew
Ron Ottesen .... special effects crew
Richard Prouse .... scenic artist: Showtech Inc.
Mike Reedy .... special effects crew
Gary Schaedler .... special effects crew
Visual Effects by
Michael Talarico .... cameraman: VistaVision plates (as Michael J. Talarico)
G.A. Aguilar .... stunts
Danny Aiello III .... stunts (as Daniel Aiello III)
Nancy Ellen Anzalone .... stunts (as Nancy Ellen)
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunts (as Bruce Barbour)
Dana Bertolette .... stunts (as Dana Bertoletic)
Paul Bucossi .... stunts (as Paul R. Bucosi)
Peter Bucossi .... stunts
Charles Croughwell .... stunt double: Michael J. Fox
Kerrie Cullen .... stunts
Norman Douglass .... stunts (as Norman L. Douglass)
C.J. Evans .... stunts
Frank Ferrara .... stunts
Dick Hancock .... stunts
Gene Harrison .... stunt double: Stephan Lang
Don Hewitt .... stunts
Jery Hewitt .... stunts
Ken Kenski .... stunts
Barbara Anne Klein .... stunts (as Barbara Klein)
Steven Lambert .... stunt double: James Woods
Conan Lee .... stunts
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt coordinator
Diane Peterson .... stunts
Peewee Piemonte .... stunts (as Richard Piomonti)
Debby Lynn Ross .... stunts (as Debbie Lynn Ross)
Rick Seaman .... stunts
Manny Siverio .... stunts
Lawrence Tan .... stunts
Harry Wowchuk .... stunts
Blaise Corrigan .... stunts (uncredited)
Hugh Aodh O'Brien .... stunts (uncredited)
Lori Seaman .... stunts (uncredited)
Gregg Smrz .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bob Balzarini .... video assist operator (as Robert Balzarini)
Jessica Burstein .... still photographer: second unit
Russell Caldwell .... lamp operator (as Edward Tobin)
A. Anthony Cappello .... second assistant camera
Jerry DeBlau .... best boy electric (as Jerry Deblau)
John W. DeBlau .... gaffer (as John Deblau)
S. Karin Epstein .... still photographer (as Karin Epstein)
Ken Finlay .... gaffer: second unit (as Kenneth Finlay)
Richie Ford .... rigging gaffer (as Richard Ford)
Ron Fortunato .... director of photography: second unit
Bill Gerardo .... second assistant camera
Vinnie Gerardo .... first assistant camera
David Greene .... camera operator: second unit
Jeff Hand .... Steadicam assistant
Douglas C. Hart .... first assistant camera: second unit (as Doug Hart)
Chaim Kantor .... first assistant camera: second unit
Stan Keitt .... second assistant camera: second unit
David Knox .... Steadicam operator
Dave Lowry .... grip
Edward W. Lowry .... dolly grip (as Edward Lowry)
Martin Lowry .... dolly grip
Bruce MacCallum .... camera operator: second unit
Bobby Mancuso .... second assistant camera: second unit
Billy Miller .... key grip: second unit
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator
John Panuccio .... best boy grip (as John Pannuccio)
Peter John Petraglia .... lamp operator (as John Petraglia)
Tom Prate .... key grip (as Tom Prate Jr.)
Frank Rinato .... camera trainee
Andrew D. Schwartz .... still photographer (as Andy Schwartz)
Lance Shepherd .... lamp operator
William H. Steiner .... camera operator (as Bill Steiner)
Joseph Trammell .... video playback operator (as Joe Trammell)
Joseph Viano .... grip
Mark Volpe .... grip
Roy H. Wagner .... additional photographer: second unit
Alicia Weber .... consulting cinematographer (as Alicia Webber)
Tom Weston .... camera operator: second unit
Ron Zarilla .... first assistant camera: second unit
Chris Hammond .... electrician (uncredited)
Eric Leigh .... generator operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jeff Block .... casting associate
Sylvia Fay .... extras casting
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Timothy McDowell .... extras casting assistant (as Tim McDowell)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Timothy Alberts .... set costumer
Robert Musco .... wardrobe supervisor: men (as Robert E. Musco)
George Potts .... assistant costume designer
James Roberts .... costumer: second unit
Guy Tanno .... costume supervisor: second unit
Rose Trimarco .... wardrobe supervisor: women (as Rose Cuervo)
Editorial Department
Dale Caldwell .... color timer
Emma E. Hickox .... assistant editor
Robert Hyams .... assistant editor
Jeff Jones .... associate editor
David Orr .... color timer
Dallas Puett .... associate editor
Ray Sabo .... negative cutter
David Tweet .... assistant editor
Music Department
John D. Berkman .... musician: keyboard (as John Berkman)
Bruce Botnick .... music mixer
Dennis Budimir .... musician: guitar
John Caper Jr. .... supervising music editor
Chuck Domanico .... musician: bass
Michael Fisher .... musician: percussion (as Mike Fisher)
Mark Hoder .... orchestrator (as Mark J. Hoder)
Douglas M. Lackey .... music editor (as Doug Lackey)
Joel C. Peskin .... musician: saxophone
Arthur B. Rubinstein .... musician: keyboard
David Rubinstein .... musician: keyboard (as David S. Rubinstein)
Steve Schaeffer .... musician: drums
Richard Stewart .... assistant music editor (as Rick Stewart)
Efrain Toro .... musician: percussion
Don Williams .... musician: percussion
Bob Zimmitti .... musician: percussion
Transportation Department
Steven R. Hammond .... transportation coordinator (as Steve Hammond)
Tom Heilig .... transportation captain
Edward O'Donnell .... transportation captain: second unit
Peter Tavis .... transportation captain: second unit (as Pete Tavis)
Richard Curry .... driver: James Wood (uncredited)
Patrick Hogan .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Ken Aguado .... staff: Badham/Cohen Group
Alexis Alexanian .... production coordinator: second unit
Gardner E. Baldwin .... location production assistant (as Gardner Baldwin)
Paul Bode .... location production assistant
Jonathan Brandstein .... staff: Badham/Cohen Group
Kelly Breidenbach .... assistant: Mr. Cohen
Judith Lyn Brown .... production coordinator: second unit (as Judith Lynn Brown)
Robbie Bryan .... stand-in: Michael J. Fox
Alexandra Cohen .... office production assistant (as Alexandra 'Dusty' Cohen)
Christie Colliopoulos .... assistant: Mr. Fox
Justin Cooke .... location scout
Cammie Crier .... assistant: Mr. Badham
Gail Crosby .... assistant: Mr. Sackheim
Joe Daly .... production assistant: second unit
Antoine Douaihy .... location coordinator
Dianne Dreyer .... script supervisor
Frank Dutro .... computer consultant: Macintosh
Lee Falon .... location assistant: second unit
T. Sean Ferguson .... location production assistant (as Sean Ferguson)
John Fischer .... production assistant: second unit
Jeff Flach .... location coordinator
Patricia Freebery .... office assistant: second unit (as Pat Freebery)
Lisa Fuelle .... stand-in: Annabella Sciorra
Joie Gregory .... location assistant: second unit
Alan Haft .... assistant: Mr. Woods
Brad Hamler .... stand-in: Stephen Lang
Ingrid Johanson .... production coordinator
Caroline Kallas .... assistant: Mr. Badham
Eddee Kolos .... production assistant: second unit
Scott Kordish .... production assistant: second unit
Nancy Kriegel .... assistant accountant
Ilene S. Landress .... assistant production accountant: second unit (as Ilene Landress)
Amy Lauritsen .... production assistant: second unit
Kathleen McGill .... production accountant
Carlos Moore .... location production assistant
Deirdre Morgan .... script supervisor: second unit
Mindy Morgenstern .... office production assistant
Jeni Munn .... staff: Badham/Cohen Group
Ed Murphy .... stand-in: James Woods
Eric Myers .... unit publicist
Daniel Nalepka .... location production assistant (as Dan Nalepka)
Lois Nalepka .... office production assistant
Peter Pastorelli .... location manager: second unit
Bridget Pickering .... assistant: Ms. Timmermann
Michael Risoli .... armorer
Michael Risoli .... studio manager
Patty Rivers Schisler .... assistant accountant (as Patty Rivers Gillis)
Susan Rossi .... location production assistant
Brigette Roux-Lough .... assistant: Mr. Fox
Hope Shaw .... assistant accountant
Carol Shedd .... assistant production coordinator
Adam Stover .... location production assistant
Les Sturkey .... security: Mr. Woods
Neri Kyle Tannenbaum .... location manager
Matthew T. Weiner .... key production assistant (as Matthew Weiner)
Roni Wheeler .... production assistant: second unit (as Roni Wheeler Poole)
Nicholas Wolfert .... production assistant
James Wood .... technical police advisor
Eric David Zoback .... location production assistant (as Eric Zoback)
Nathan Gendzier .... assistant location manager (uncredited)
Ethan Goldman .... production assistant (uncredited)
David Hummel .... production assistant (uncredited)
Geoffrey Kleinman .... production office intern: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Aaron Sadovsky .... production assistant (uncredited)
Phillip Schenkler .... cost estimator (uncredited)
Adam M. Stone .... production assistant (uncredited)
Douglas Tirola .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong language
111 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:14A (Manitoba) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-14 | France:U | Germany:BPjM Restricted | Germany:16 (w) | Iceland:12 | Iceland:16 (video rating) | Ireland:15 | Italy:T | Netherlands:16 (re-rating) | Netherlands:AL (original rating) (1991) | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:15 (video rating) (1992) | South Korea:12 (theatrical rating) (1991) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #30976)

Did You Know?

One of James Woods' perks was to have his own personal hairdresser, at a cost to the studio of $6000 a week. The average on-set hairdresser usually costs about a third of that.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Nick is hanging off the "Smoking Gunn II" billboard by a rope, in one shot you can clearly see that he is actually wearing a rappelling harness.See more »
[first lines]
Operator:9-1-1 Emergency.
Party Crasher:Hello there! It's me - again! Well, what can I say? I'm about to crash another party.
See more »
This NeighborhoodSee more »


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
A damn entertaining action-comedy., 5 August 2013
Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada

The buddy-cop action movie certainly has been a staple in cinema for a while now. And the makers of this film know that the success lies in a successful clash of well-defined personalities. That's the appeal of this long, loud, silly, over the top, but very fun slick picture from mainstream action specialist John Badham ("Stakeout", etc.). It's got some hilarious lines (the script is by Daniel Pyne and Lem Dobbs, based on a story by Dobbs and Michael Kozoll) perfectly delivered by its well cast stars.

James Woods is John Moss, a hard charging, volatile NYC detective hot on the trail of utterly deranged serial killer The Party Crasher (Stephen Lang), who kills innocent children and lowlife criminals with equal fervor. The already ill-tempered Moss has his patience tested even further when he's ordered to chaperone a spoiled-brat Hollywood star, Nick Lang (Michael J. Fox), who wants to do research for a role he covets and has decided that Moss will provide the perfect inspiration.

The high strung Woods and the endearingly annoying Fox are an ideal pairing; they're both perfectly cast. They're supported by a rich lineup of top character players. Annabella Sciorra is absolutely lovely as Moss' frustrated potential girlfriend. Lang is a riot as the unhinged villain; wait until you get a load of the kinds of things he does. Delroy Lindo is Moss' starstruck boss, and Luis Guzman, LL Cool J, Mary Mara and John Capodice play his colleagues. A young Christina Ricci is amusing as Sciorra's daughter. Penny Marshall has a fun cameo as Langs' agent.

As Nick notices, Moss is a very quotable guy, such as when he's lecturing the naive Nick on what being a *real* cop is like. "We don't get 17 takes to get it right!" But it's also a hoot to see a pampered, naive person like Nick get plunged into the realities of life on the streets of NYC. Another of the highlights is when Nick insists on playing the part of Susan as he attempts to tell Moss what he's doing wrong with his lady.

It all culminates in one of those great movie moments where our heroes are doing battle with the psycho on an enormous replication of Nick's head and hand, created to advertise his latest film vehicle.

Highly recommended to action-comedy fans.

Eight out of 10.

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