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Fighting Back (1982)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 21 May 1982 (USA)
It's a hard crime story about a Philadelphia shop owner who has enough of the criminals' violences and ravages. He organizes a patrol of civil people. It all starts to go wrong because his ... See full summary »

Director:

Lewis Teague

Writers:

Thomas Hedley Jr. (as Tom Hedley), David Zelag Goodman (as David Z. Goodman)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Skerritt ... John D'Angelo
Patti LuPone ... Lisa D'Angelo
Michael Sarrazin ... Vince Morelli
Yaphet Kotto ... Ivanhoe Washington
David Rasche ... Michael Taylor
Donna DeVarona Donna DeVarona ... Sara Rogers
Gina DeAngeles Gina DeAngeles ... Vera D'Angelo
Jonathan Adam Sherman Jonathan Adam Sherman ... Danny D'Angelo
Pat Cooper ... Harry Janelli
Jim Lovelett ... Tom Cassidy
Joseph Ragno ... Mike Pelyk
Sal Richards Sal Richards ... Bill Gallo
Frank Sivero ... Frank Russo
Lewis Van Bergen ... Laz Burkofsky
Jim Moody ... Lester Baldwin
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Storyline

It's a hard crime story about a Philadelphia shop owner who has enough of the criminals' violences and ravages. He organizes a patrol of civil people. It all starts to go wrong because his team's actions are taken as racial discrimination ... Written by Kornel Osvart <kornelo@alphanet.hu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thieves, Pimps, Prostitutes, Muggers and Drug Dealers beware. John D'Angelo's out to make his neighbourhood safe. He's declaring his own personal war on crime and he doesn't want your kind around here any more.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two 1982 theatrical feature films first released that year with the title of "Fighting Back". The movies are the American vigilante action thriller picture "Street Wars" aka "Fighting Back" [See: Street Wars (1991)] and the Australian youth drama feature film Fighting Back (1982). Ironically, both pictures featured a number of prominent "Tom" personnel: The U.S. movie starred actor Tom Skerritt as John D'Angelo and had a character called Tom Cassidy played by Jim Lovelett, whilst the Australian film was based on a novel called "Tom" (1978) by John Embling, had a central character named "Tom" played by Paul Smith, and had Tom Jeffrey being a co-screenwriter and one of the producers on the picture. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Death Wish II (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

How Long
Performed by Debra Laws
Written by Zane Grey and Len Ron Hanks
Courtesy of Elektra Records
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User Reviews

 
Streets of Philadelphia … The grim, early 80's vigilante edition
7 February 2010 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

First of all I concur with all my fellow reviewers who can't seem to fathom that "Death Vengeance" is still so underrated, unknown and unavailable on DVD. This is a cult movie in the purest definition of the term, for crying out loud, with an acclaimed director and cast and a harshly realist subject that is applicable to all times and all big cities! Even more so, there were most vigilante thrillers all too easily revert to crowd-pleasing violence (Charlie Bronson's "Death Wish" being the best example of this), at least "Death Vengeance" attempts to remain more rational, with ordinary characters, dramatic sub plots, politically engaged and socially relevant. Tom Skerritt, in one of his best performances ever, stars as the Italian-American John D'Angelo who owns a deli shop in the roughest and most crime-infested neighborhood in Philadelphia. Following a couple of dramatic incidents where his wife lost their unborn baby and his mother her ring finger, John mobilizes his fellow petrified neighbors into founding the People's Neighbourhood Patrol. In a relatively short time, they free the park and streets around their houses of muggers, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes and organized crime. Even though John's family life suffers under his obsession and he often has difficulties of drawing the line between what's legal and what's not, his achievements grow increasingly important. So important even, that the current mayor fears John to become an unbeatable rival in the next elections. "Death Vengeance" is a strong and compelling revenge/vigilante thriller with the emphasis on character development and grim atmosphere. The sequences where John D'Angelo confronts Ivanhoe Washington (a black volunteer who tries to keep petty criminals off the streets) are equally important as the sequences where the vigilantes battle hardcore thugs in the park. For the real die-hard fanatics of grisly early 80's cult cinema, "Death Vengeance" has quite a lot of brutal images to offer as well, like the drug store hold-up, but the violence never becomes gratuitous or overly exploitative. That alone is a remarkable accomplishment of director Lewis Teague ("Alligator", "Cujo"). The supportive cast is excellent as well, with Michael Sarrazin ("The Reincarnation of Peter Proud"), Yaphet Kotto ("Across 110th Street") and David "Sledge Hammer" Rasche! Is there an online petition anywhere to release this gem on DVD that I can sign?


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Striking Back See more »

Filming Locations:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,624,381, 23 May 1982

Gross USA:

$3,355,948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,355,948
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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