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Nighthawks (1981)

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Conservative street cop DaSilva reluctantly agrees to terminate an international terrorist who has demanded media attention. But DaSilva's "at-home" tactics are very much put to the challenge.

Directors:

Bruce Malmuth, Gary Nelson (uncredited)

Writers:

David Shaber (screenplay), David Shaber (story) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Stallone ... Deke DaSilva
Billy Dee Williams ... Sgt. Matthew Fox
Lindsay Wagner ... Irene
Persis Khambatta ... Shakka Holland
Nigel Davenport ... Peter Hartman
Rutger Hauer ... Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt
Hilarie Thompson ... Pam
Joe Spinell ... Lt. Munafo
Walter Mathews ... Commissioner
E. Brian Dean E. Brian Dean ... Sergeant
Caesar Cordova Caesar Cordova ... Puerto Rican Proprietor
Charles Duval Charles Duval ... Dr. Ghiselin
Tony Munafo Tony Munafo ... Big Mike
Howard Stein Howard Stein ... Disco Manager
Tawn Christian Tawn Christian ... Disco Hostess
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Storyline

Deke DaSilva and Matthew Fox are two New York City cops who get transferred to an elite anti-terrorism squad. About this same time, an infamous international terrorist shows up in New York City looking to cause some chaos. It's up to DaSilva and Fox to stop him, but will they be in time...? Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One man can bring the world to its knees and only one man can stop him. 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 | German | French | Swedish

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Attack See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,525,360, 12 April 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,905,359

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,900,000, 31 December 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rutger Hauer, before accepting to play Wulfgar's character, found himself faced with a choice. He had been offered to act in Sphinx (1981), which was - contrary to Nighthawks (1981) - a big-budget production, made by a major studio, and they were also offering him twice the salary he got for Nighthawks (1981), against working with a well-known director with Franklin J. Schaffner to work with on Sphinx (1981). But Hauer chose the Wulfgar role in Nighthawks (1981). See more »

Goofs

In one scene Pam says she flies Pan Am coast to coast. Pan American Airlines (Pan Am) only flew internationally from and to the U.S. To fly Pan Am between Coasts of the United States, one would have to leave the country at some point, land in a foreign country, and take another flight back. See more »

Quotes

Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt: I represent the oppressed, the powerless of the world. I am their voice. I am a liberator.
Deke DaSilva: [disbelieving] You think you're a liberator?
Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt: [smiles knowingly] It fascinates you. Yes, it does.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2016 Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory restores the use of both Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones and I'm a Man by Keith Emerson. See more »


Soundtracks

Saoco
Performed by Libre
Courtesy of Mericana Record Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hauer steals the show
22 August 2004 | by getmynannerupSee all my reviews

Remember a day when Rutger Hauer starred in good movies that actually saw wide theatrical release? No. Hmmmm. Hauer is one of my favorite actors and stars in two of my top ten favorite movies (Blade Runner and The Osterman Weekend), so it's hard not to already be slightly biased about the movie. I remember first hearing about Nighthawks on the Headliners and Legends biography of Stallone and how it was not as well received as his Rocky and First Blood movies. For shame, because Nighthawks does manage to be a top notch thriller most of the time. I could go into the plot, but I believe in telling people what I liked and disliked instead of parroting the plot details like almost every other review. (See, a movie to me is more fun when I only know a little about the story, instead of the first hour or so, because someone felt that they had to readers digest the entire film.)

Anyway, now that I've ranted, I have to admit that I enjoyed it for the most part, with the exception of the initial pacing. It continues to drag in places towards the middle, and takes a little over an hour to set up the crucial players backgrounds. The only real problem is that every time the film stops to focus on DeSilva (Stallone) and Fox (Williams), it spends twice as much time focusing on Wulfgar. Wulfgar is certainly a well crafted maniac, but when the movie is over we know almost nothing about Fox and only a little about Dee DeSilva. Still, the movie does succeed in making you care about our two main characters, by thrusting them into danger and having them do what is morally right (i.e. Towards the beginning of the film the two are in a drug raid, and refuse to take bribes from the perps who had apparently already paid off the cops from the first raid on their operation.

They're good cops, and it's their good guy image that endears them). I guess it would have been nice also to see a little more of Stallones relation to what's her name. (sorry, I haven't seen this in a about a month now.) I was interested in the prospect of a hero who was torn between the relation with his ex (who he was trying to re-ignite the flame with), and his duty. But, alas, she was just a narrative device who the writers have decided is only important in the last 15 minutes or so.

With all these cons, why did I still like it? Sudden scenes of high impact, good cast and acting all around, a villain who wasn't just a cardboard cutout, and Stallone's bitchin' beard, and a wholly convincing scenario.

The bottom line: This film is more akin to The French Connection than it is to Rocky. Methodical and often stylish, NightHawks deserves to at least be rented and watched with an open mind.

8 Stars out of 10


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