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Defiance (1980)

PG | | Action, Drama, Crime | 14 March 1980 (USA)
Tommy takes up temporary housing in a New York City neighborhood plagued by a violent gang called the Souls. Tommy is waiting for his next assignment as a seaman, and though he tries to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Tommy (as Jan Michael Vincent)
... Marsha
... Carmine
... Angel Cruz
... Whacko
... Abe
Santos Morales ... Paolo
... Herbie
... Abbie
... Father Rivera
Randy Hermann ... Tito (as Randy Herman)
Lee Fraser ... Bandana (as Lee Yuro)
... Karenski (as Joe Campanella)
Fernando López ... Kid (as Fernando Lopez)
... Slagg (as Alberto Vasquez)
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Storyline

Tommy takes up temporary housing in a New York City neighborhood plagued by a violent gang called the Souls. Tommy is waiting for his next assignment as a seaman, and though he tries to avoid the gang and his neighbors, it does not work. Soon he is battling the Souls and not only changing their attitudes, but the attitudes of his previously intimidated neighbors as well. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There comes a time when we have to stand up and be counted. This is the story of one man who did.

Genres:

Action | Drama | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

14 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terror in Brooklyn  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony DiBenedetto (famous for being the Chicken Pimp in The Exterminator (1980)) has a non-speaking uncredited cameo at the beginning of this movie exchanging mean glances with Jan-Michael Vincent. Meaning Tony was the reason Vincent was kicked off the ship they were both on. Thus setting this movie in motion. See more »

Goofs

When Tommy is about to be stabbed by one of the Souls at the basketball court, he stands up and screams, "You wanna cut me man, come on clown cut me!" but his mouth doesn't move. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Breakin' (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot Town Streets
Composed by Gerard McMahon
Performed by Gerard McMahon
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User Reviews

 
We're taking it back!
21 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

Tom Gamble, a young merchant seaman who was suspended for brawling decides to stick it out in a rough New York neighbourhood until he can get his union card and find employment on another ship. Terrorising the area is a Puerto-Rican gang known as "The Souls", which Tommy is doing his best not to get involved with. But soon enough they begin to clash with each other and Tommy is starting to find some allies in a once shell-shocked community.

This might look like another very ordinary nitty gritty urban flick of the 70's and 80's fodder, but John Flynn's "Defiance" actually has a emotionally stimulating story to it. This element gives it a real backbone than just being a plain revenge / vigilante film centred just on the violence. It never loses sight of detailing the characters in a very realistic plight. I just watched Flynn's "Rolling Thunder" a couple of week's back and "Defiance" shares that hardboiled approached without wiping away that sincere touch. Flynn's sharp direction is very workable towards the hearty material, capturing the dominantly rough and raw N.Y. setting and letting it move at a brisk pace. The intensity of some certain tit for tat scenes are very well done and the exciting final confrontation between Gamble and the gang's leader Cruz doesn't let you catch a breath with it stinging ferocity. The dynamically funky and uncanny music score by Dominic Frontiere and Ric Waite's jarringly grounded photography also added to the film's unstably edgy and emotionally charged vibe. Thomas Donnelly and Mark Tulin's story is downright solid, without the need to go out big, but keeping it virtually simple and drawing you in with well-grounded characters and compelling situations that somehow feels fresh despite the rancid subject matter. The well-balanced script has a nice humorous edge (although there are couple unintentional moments -- stamping in a garden bed) and the drama of it holds up well with its street talk. Jan Michael Vincent superbly plays his aversely troubled character Tom Gamble like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode when needed. An exemplary Rudy Ramos makes one ultra-stylish thug and is truly fitting of the part as Angel Cruz. Theresa Saldana is wonderfully touching in her performance as Gamble's next-door neighbour. The supporting cast make real headway too. Lenny Montano, Art Carney, Tony Sirico and the lively kicking Danny Aiello are very good in their parts.

This diamond in the rough is an extremely focused and poignant picture that delivers on the main goods.


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