The Crow
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FAQ for
The Crow (1994) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Crow can be found here.

What is 'The Crow' about?

When four thugs -- knife-obsessed Tin Tin (Laurence Mason), drug-obsessed Funboy (Michael Massee), car-obsessed T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly), and whiny Skank (Angel David) -- and their kingpin Top Dollar (Michael Wincott) brutally murder rock musician Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiance Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas) on Devil's Night (the night before Halloween), Eric returns from the grave a year later with the help of a crow to avenge their deaths.

The movie is based on a comic book series, also called The Crow, by American graphic artist James O'Barr. The book series was adapted for the film by American screenwriters David J. Schow and John Shirley. It was followed by a short-lived TV series, 'The Crow: Stairway to Heaven' (1998) and three sequels: The Crow: City of Angels (1996), The Crow: Salvation (2000), and The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005). A reboot, also titled The Crow, is planned but no release date has been set.

How does the movie end?

Although no longer invincible, Eric faces Top Dollar on the roof of the church and offers to trade himself in place of Sarah (Rochelle Davis). Top Dollar agrees but pushes Sarah off the roof. As Sarah manages to hang on to the eaves, Top Dollar lunges at Eric, trying to kill him with his sword. He stabs Eric through the back and admits that it was he who orchestrated the murders. As Top Dollar prepares to finish the job, Eric grabs Top Dollar's head and unloads in him the 30 hours of pain that Shelly endured before she died. Overwhelmed by it, Top Dollar falls off the roof and is impaled on the horns of a gargoyle. Eric pulls Sarah back onto the roof, and they embrace. While Sarah stays to help the wounded Sergeant Albrecht (Ernie Hudson), Eric makes his way to Shelly's grave. As Eric dies, Shelly's spirit comes to him and they are reunited in death. In the final scene, Sarah visits Eric's grave, which has closed up. The crow sits on the top of the gravestone, holding Shelly's ring in its beak. It drops the ring into Sarah's hand and flies off into the night. Sarah closes the movie by saying: 'If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.'

You can find these scenes on YouTube here. They can also be found on the Collectors Edition DVD.

"Brandon" is Brandon Lee, who plays Eric Draven, and was accidentally killed on the set of the movie. "Eliza" was his fiancée Eliza Hutton. They were to have been married less than two weeks after the film wrapped.

How did Brandon Lee die?

A pivotal scene in the movie calls for Brandon Lee's character, Eric Draven, to enter his apartment to find his girlfriend Shelly being assaulted by a group of thugs. One of the thugs, played by Michael Massee, points a gun at Eric and shoots him the chest. The gun used in the scene, a .44 Magnum revolver, had previously been used in another scene where a character points it directly at the camera. In close up shots like this, the chambers of a revolver, which will be visible, are filled with dummy rounds so that the gun looks loaded. The dummy cartridges have the gunpowder and primer removed so that they still look real but cannot actually be fired. The Crow production team, which was running behind schedule, chose not to purchase commercially made dummy rounds but rather to modify live ammunition to make dummy rounds. They did so by removing the powder from the rounds, but they forget to remove the primer. At some point, either during the scene or after it, the gun was discharged, setting off the primer and pushing one of the dummy rounds part way down the barrel of the gun. On the day of Lee's death the weapons master was not on set. Another member of the props department prepared the gun for the scene and apparently did not check to make sure that there was nothing in the barrel. For the assault scene, the gun was loaded with blanks, rounds which contain powder and primer but no bullet. This is done so that the gun can produce a gunshot when fired but will not actually send a bullet flying. When Michael Massee fired the gun in the scene, the gunpowder from blank round caused the bullet lodged in the chamber to be fired at Lee with almost as much force as a live round. Lee was rushed to a hospital where he died after several hours of surgery.

The following scenes were completed after Lee's death: (1) Draven first enters the apartment after digging himself out of his grave. (The effects team digitally added footage of Lee walking through an alley to a scene in which he walks through a doorway. They added drops of water to the door frame to explain the drops of water on Lee's back. (2) Draven puts on make-up. (The effects team added Lee's face to the reflection in the shards of the mirror.) (3) Draven walks to the window, with the crow on his shoulder. (A double played this scene. The effects team added Lee's face during lightning flashes.) (4) Sarah visits the apartment. (A double plays the scene. We don't see Draven's face.)

Besides the fact that the Workprint featues several story extensions that were cut for pacing reasons there are numerous violent scenes visible, which presumably had to be cut for the R-Rating. A detailed comparison with pictures can be found here.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 6 days ago
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