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Falling Down (1993)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 117,676 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 361 user | 76 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

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Title: Falling Down (1993)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sandra
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Nick, The Nazi Surplus Store Owner
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Mrs. Foster / William's Mother
Joey Hope Singer ...
Adele Foster-Travino
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Guy on Freeway
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Mr. Lee
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Captain Yardley
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Detective Lydecker
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Detective Brian
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Detective Jones
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Detective Keene
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Storyline

William (D-FENS) just wants to get home to see his daughter on her birthday. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be going right for him. First there's the traffic jam, then the unhelpful Korean shopkeeper who "doesn't give change". D-FENS begins to crack and starts to fight back against the every day "injustices" he encounters on his journey home. The film has a story running in parallel about a desk-bound cop who is about to retire. He's retiring for his wife's sake, and obviously isn't happy about it. The cop tracks down D-FENS and in the final scene..... Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Tale Of Urban Reality See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 February 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un día de furia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$40,903,593 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cashier at the Whammy Burger, Sheila, is played by Michelle Pfeiffer's younger sister, Dedee. She appeared in the February 2002 issue of 'Playboy'. See more »

Goofs

The crack on Bill's right lens in the second half of the movie appears to vanish at some points but this is just a trick of the light - when Bill faces directly into the camera, because the frame is undamaged and holding the cracked lens firmly in place, the crack is very difficult to see but still just about visible if you look closely. See more »

Quotes

Bill Foster: I've passed the point of no return. Do you know what that is, Beth? That's the point in a journey where it's longer to go back to the beginning. It's like when those astronauts got in trouble. I don't know, somebody messed up, and they had to get them back to Earth. But they had passed the point of no return. They were on the other side of the moon and were out of contact for like hours. Everybody waited to see if a bunch of dead guys in a can would pop out the other side. Well, that's me. I'm ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

"London Bridge is falling down" plays briefly at the very end of the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shoot 'Em Up (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An affirmation of decadence
22 November 2004 | by (Sheffield, Northern England) – See all my reviews

Take the hottest day of the year, a traffic gridlock, cracked pavements, dirty streets, unwarranted hostility and a general feeling of being short changed. Then add the frustrations of having an estranged wife and child, an extremely jaded and unbalanced mindset, and the frustration of being obsolete with no marketable skills. Set them against the decadent back drop of modern day LA where if you are 'Not economically viable,' you are of no use, and the result is Falling Down.

The tag line 'The Adventures of an Ordinary man at War with the Everyday World,' makes Joel Schumacher's masterpiece sound like the benign story of a working stiff with issues. However Falling Down is a dark and engrossing urban fable, a study into the mind of the disenfranchised and reminder to all that the removal of comfort is a lot closer than we care to believe.

Full of clichés, like the cop on his last day before retiring, Falling Down bravely meets all expectations of stereotypes, rather than challenging them, making for a realistic reflection of a failing society. Here, a man in extremis, without the feral cunning or killer instinct required for a life in the street, makes his way on anger and luck alone, somehow surviving to leave a paper chase of violence and destruction behind.

Relying heavily on symbolism, illustrating a flip side of America running parallel to the hunky dory world occupied by the successful, the over all message of 'No Matter, Never Mind,' is clear in this world where children play next to vagrants dying from AIDS and Korean grocers can legally steal from the public with their overpriced goods.

Michael Douglas displays some hitherto unseen talent as the unbalanced D-FENS, as he casually totes gang weapons (complete with rubber bands on the grips) in his formal shirt and tie, does battle with store owners and comes up against fast food restaurants, homeless people, gangsters and Nazis. Robert Duval is equally brilliant as the desk jockey on his final day, determined to stop anyone else from being hurt, including the perp.

There is, of course, a small amount of Hollywood sentimentality thrown in for good measure, however the dynamics of such a strong narrative make this completely forgivable and it's possible to overlook this as a flaw given the film's overall strengths.

Praise surely has to go to Ebbe Roe Smith for writing one of the finest scripts ever to grace celluloid. Known for bit parts and cameos, who the hell knows who Ebbe really is? Look on IMDb to find out (if you're a geek like me) or release him into the ether if you don't care. The truth is, he's out there. The question is: Where's the next script?

On the whole, Falling Down is a powerful and dramatic indictment of American culture, societal decadence, and the failing values of the West. It's not for everyone and will most certainly offend some, but if approached with an open mind, will provide plenty of fuel for thought.


178 of 198 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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