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Borderline (1980) Poster

(1980)

Trivia

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First major role in a theatrical feature film of American actor Ed Harris.
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By the time this movie was got released in some territories, it was two years after it had been filmed.
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Charles Bronson once said of ex-patriot Mexican immigrants: "Mexican aliens, like the immigrants before them, are seeking a better life in the US. They come here, not because they want our jobs, but simply because they want a job. They want to make a living and live, that's all."
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This picture was filmed on actual Southern California-Mexico border locations.
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Both the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service and the United States Border Patrol assisted in a consultancy capacity in the production of this movie.
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This movie's closing epilogue states: "In 1979, more than one million undocumented aliens were apprehended crossing the border into The United States. It is estimated more than twice that number of undocumented aliens successfully enter this country every year."
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The 27th January 1980 edition of 'The Los Angeles Times' reported that the production utilized about two thousand extras and background artists to portray illegal alien immigrants.
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Hotchkiss, played by Ed Harris, is described as a "coyote" in this movie. A coyote in this context is a person who traffics in bringing illegal immigrants into the USA from Mexico.
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Charles Bronson once said of this movie: "I think that films can be educational and entertaining. Borderline (1980) fits both of those categories."
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This film preceded the similarly themed Jack Nicholson film The Border (1982) by about two years.
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This movie represents one of a handful of films starring Charles Bronson that deal with Mexico and/or specifically Chicano characters. The pictures are Breakout (1975), Mr. Majestyk (1974) and Borderline (2008).
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Veteran United States Border Patrol Agents acted as technical advisers to the production. One of these included legendary border patrolman Ab Taylor (aka Albert Taylor).
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This movie is based on real events in the life of a real USA-Mexico Border Patrolman.
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Second theatrically released movie for director Jerrold Freedman. It was the first for Freedman since Kansas City Bomber (1972), a gap of about eight years. Also the penultimate theatrically released movie for Freedman, Native Son (1986) was the last.
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This picture represents one of a handful of films released during the 1980s that had the word Border forming part of the title and examining immigration across the Mexico-USA border, many dealing with issues relating to corruption, profiteering, border protection and illegal immigration. The movies included The Border (1982), Borderline (1980), Border Heat (aka Deadly Stranger (1988)), Border Radio (1987) and Border Cop (1980) (aka The Blood Barrier aka The Border aka The Border, USA).
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This movie was the second film of a three picture contract that star Charles Bronson had with Lord Lew Grade's ITC Films. Love and Bullets (1979) was the first whilst The Evil That Men Do (1984) was the third and last.
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Publicity for this picture stated that this was the first film to examine the serious problem of illegal immigration into the USA across the southern border with Mexico. But in fact, the Telly Savalas - Eddie Albert movie Border Cop (aka The Border, USA aka The Border aka The Blood Barrier) [See: Border Cop (1980)] was actually the first. Savalas and Bronson both appeared in The Family (1970), Battle of the Bulge (1965), and The Dirty Dozen (1967).
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This movie's closing credits state that in 1979 over a million immigrants were captured, refused entry to the USA and expelled. However, over two million escaped detection, weren't caught and were able to assimilate into the North American society undetected.
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Charles Bronson was about fifty-eight years of age when he appeared in this movie.
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When Charles Bronson's head Border Patrolman character in this movie decides to hunt down a killer outside of his legal jurisdiction, his character becomes a variation on his famous vigilante screen persona which was first popularized in the movie Death Wish (1974).
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This movie's opening prologue states: "U.S. - Mexican Border 20 Miles East of San Diego, California - December, 1979."
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This Charles Bronson movie was theatrically released between between his pictures Caboblanco (1980) and Death Hunt (1981).
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This movie was originally developed by Michael Douglas for the Columbia Pictures studio with Gene Hackman set to star in the lead male role played by Charles Bronson.
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The film's closing credits declare: "The producers wish to acknowledge their appreciation to the men and women of the U. S. Border Patrol, Donald M. Cameron, Chief Patrol Agent, Immigration and Naturalization Service, United States Customs Service, The City of San Diego, California."
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Actor Ed Harris received an 'introducing' credit despite having appeared in numerous television shows and having played a pathology resident in Michael Crichton's Coma (1978).
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Co-screenwriter Steve Kline first researched the movie's subject matter as a reporter writing a series of newspaper articles on the difficulties that the U.S. Border Patrol had in managing, stopping, and controlling the numerous illegal immigrant aliens crossing the American southern border of the USA.
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For research, the movie's co-screenwriter Steve Kline observed U.S. Border patrol protocol, personnel, and procedures on the U.S.-Mexico border for several weeks.
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The lead central character of Jeb Maynard played by Charles Bronson was based on legendary border patrolman Ab Taylor (aka Albert Taylor) who was a technical consultant to the production. Bronson portrayed a character called "Albert" in his very next cinema movie Death Hunt (1981) where he portrayed Albert Johnson.
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The production period of principal photography on this picture ran for about a forty-eight day shooting schedule.
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Debut produced cinema movie screenplay of screenwriter Steve Kline who penned the film's movie script with the film's director Jerrold Freedman.
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About thirty out of the forty-eight days of the film's principal photography production period were spent shooting location exteriors.
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One of three feature film collaborations of star Charles Bronson and actor Wilford Brimley. The movies are Borderline (1980), 10 to Midnight (1983), and Act of Vengeance (1986), with the latter being the only one being made-for-television.
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The bunkhouse at the heritage McGrath Ranch in Ventura, California, USA was hosted to production filming for around eleven days where the site portrayed the headquarters of Jeb Maynard (Charles Bronson)'s border patrol office in La Mesa.
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According to the 26th December 1979 edition of show-business trade paper 'Variety', this motion picture had "just completed principal photography".
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According to the 3rd October 1979 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety', sets constructed at the CBS Studio Center for this movie included a sensor room set at the Chula Vista headquarters in California and a men's lavatory set for a fight sequence.
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The U.S. Marine Corps provided co-operation for a military burial detail for the filming of the funeral scene at the Fort Rosencrans National Cemetery which is located at Point Loma, San Diego in California, USA.
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A full day of filming was spent at the San Ysidro Port of Entry at San Ysidro in California, USA. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service provided co-operation by closing four inspection lanes of traffic so shooting could take place there,
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According to the 5th February 1980 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety', Zip Productions company president Vic Martin de Perez sent a letter to the Marble Arch Productions company, advising the company of a title conflict between Borderline (1980) and "The Borderline Connection", the latter being a title previously registered with the WGA (Writers Guild of America) by Zip Productions during early 1978.
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This film represents just a handful of movies made starring Charles Bronson that were able to use alliteration rhyming the first letter B of his last name with the first letter B with the picture's title. Such films included Breakout (1975), Breakheart Pass (1975) and Borderline (1980).
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The film's closing post-script states: "Carl Richards - Found guilty of transporting and harboring illegal aliens. Received 2 - 5 years sentence and a $5,000 fine" and "Henry Lydell - Not Guilty, insufficient evidence".
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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