7.4/10
41,325
248 user 203 critic

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
An unlikely partnership between a Highway Patrol Officer, two criminals and a station secretary is formed to defend a defunct Los Angeles precinct office against a siege by a bloodthirsty street gang.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writer:

John Carpenter
Reviews
Popularity
3,377 ( 2,283)
1 nomination. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Austin Stoker ... Ethan Bishop
Darwin Joston ... Napoleon Wilson
Laurie Zimmer ... Leigh
Martin West ... Lawson
Tony Burton ... Wells
Charles Cyphers ... Starker
Nancy Kyes ... Julie (as Nancy Loomis)
Peter Bruni Peter Bruni ... Ice Cream Man
John J. Fox John J. Fox ... Warden
Marc Ross Marc Ross ... Patrolman Tramer
Alan Koss Alan Koss ... Patrolman Baxter
Henry Brandon ... Chaney
Kim Richards ... Kathy
Frank Doubleday ... White Warlord
Gilbert De la Pena Gilbert De la Pena ... Chicano Warlord (as Gilbert De La Pena)
Learn more

More Like This 

The Fog (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A police sergeant must rally the cops and prisoners together to protect themselves on New Year's Eve, just as corrupt policeman surround the station with the intent of killing all to keep their deception in the ranks.

Director: Jean-François Richet
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Gabriel Byrne
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
They Live (1988)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Starman (1984)
Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend's fiancée from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
Dark Star (1974)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Dan O'Bannon, Dre Pahich, Brian Narelle
Christine (1983)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul
Vampires (1998)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach

Photos

Edit

Storyline

Police ambush and kill several gang members in Los Angeles. Gang members make a pact of blood to strike back at police, and conduct a siege on the police station which is almost abandoned and due to be closed. Staff of the closing precinct and the criminals being held there while in transit must work together to fight off the attacking gang members. Written by Scott McKenna <smckenna@lcb.state.nv.us>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A White Hot Night of Hate! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As a result of this film, Donald Pleasence would appear in such John Carpenter films as Halloween (1978) and Escape from New York (1981), because his daughters were big fans of the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Leigh, and moments later Wilson and Bishop, walk through the basement to the stairs to leave, they walk without having to avoid all the bodies that were there a few minutes ago. It's obvious a little bit of time has passed between the explosion in the hallway and the cops/medical personnel arriving on the scene. The bodies have very likely already been removed, this clearing the hallway floor. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Ethan Bishop: How did you come by a name like Napoleon Wilson?
Napolean Wilson: I'll tell you some time.
Lt. Ethan Bishop: When will you tell me?
[the street gang breaks through the barricade and rush at Bishop and Wilson]
Napolean Wilson: Make that in a minute or two!
See more »


Soundtracks

Assault On Precinct 13 (Main Title)
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by John Carpenter and Tommy Lee Wallace
See more »

User Reviews

 
on par with its inspiration(s); a must see Carpenter classic
16 April 2006 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Ackowledged by it's own creator on the DVD, Assault on Precinct 13 is a bit more of a hybrid than just a sheer homage to Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo. It has traces of that (editing name, ho-ho), and of the Western specifics in bits of the storytelling devices and stereotypes. But it also has traces of the horror film, of the basic theme of demise by outside forces that not only rests in the best of zombie films but also in a lot of Carpenter's later work. What makes the film seem fresh today, even if it takes its time to get started in the first half hour, is how focused the action is around the story. Even with these basic characters- those with speaking parts closer to archetypes than not- it all works. It's a practically-perfect midnight movie.

You've got your good guys, a mix of cops and criminals (one of them, Darwin Joston's Napoleon Wilson, has enough style as an actor without even flinching at times). And you've got the ravenous gang (achem, zombies) out for blood after a gun down by a vengeful father. What surprising about how this very simple premise is set up, of a showdown in the worst pit of Los Angeles, is how it's all close to being just a pure exploitation film. But there's some thought or maybe just music to the film (not the actual music, though that's cool in its way) just as relentless as in Carpenter's other work, maybe even more in its rough way. It is a violent film, but the violence comes and goes leaving more room for talk than one might expect given it's by-a-thread rating. It's quite clear where the visual style would end up lending itself to in later years too (i.e. Reservoir Dogs).

When taking aside the occasional misstep, like an unneeded (suggested) sub-plot (not that Joston or Laurie Zimmer are bad actors, but they lack chemistry), Assault on Precinct 13 comes out without many scratches at all. It's a lean film at 90 minutes, with enough tension for two more. When it is shocking it shocks, when it wants a cheap, solid laugh or (more often) grin it comes through, and it doesn't pull any punches in letting you know here and there this is nothing more than a genre exercise. That Carpenter is able to pull it off so un-pretentiously is a credit to his first inspiration, as well as to the spirit of the long boiled ingredients of older films. In short, the most cult you can find by the filmmaker without going to his previous effort Dark Star. Grade: A


29 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 248 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 1976 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The Anderson Alamo See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CKK See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Stereo (DVD re-release)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed