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Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

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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
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Popularity
3,654 ( 497)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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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)
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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:

L.A.'s deadliest street gang just declared war on the cops. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1978 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the gang members were played by USC students. They apparently had lots of fun finding ways of dying while spilling blood over themselves. See more »

Goofs

The dead body's arms are in entirely different positions in different shots. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in To the Devil a Dog (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Can't argue with a confident man"
15 September 2010 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

The gritty, stylish 'Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)' is my first experience with American director John Carpenter, labelled an "auteur" by the French and a "bum" by his compatriots. At this early stage, I'm siding with the French. This is one of the definitive "siege films," a deft, low-budget blend of the American Western (let's say '3:10 to Yuma (1957)') and a zombie movie ('Night of the Living Dead (1968)' being an obvious influence). In modern-day Los Angeles, the lone inhabitants of a closing-down police station – among them police officers (Austin Stoker), secretaries (Laurie Zimmer), and prisoners (an ice-cool Darwin Joston) – are affronted by dozens of armed gangsters, who are waging a bloody war with the authorities as payback for recent gang-member deaths.

After an extended prologue, in which disparate story lines fatalistically converge on each other (and featuring one particularly nasty moment than nearly landed the film an X-rating) the siege scenario begins… and the tension rarely lets up. One sequence in particular, a tense crawl towards a parked car, had me holding my breath for minutes, its conclusion a veritable kick in the guts. Carpenter, assisted by his own low-key but insistent synchronised score, manipulates the film's urban setting to his advantage: isolation becomes so much more unbearable when civilisation is so near, and yet so unattainable. Chillingly, most of the antagonists themselves remain faceless shadows in the darkness, representing an incomprehensible force of evil, consumed by bloodlust, and unafraid of the consequences.


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