54 user 26 critic

Bad Boys (1983)

Chicago crime kid Mick O'Brien is sent to reform school after accidentally killing a rival's kid brother.


Rick Rosenthal

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Mick O'Brien
Reni Santoni ... Ramon Herrera
Jim Moody ... Gene Daniels
Eric Gurry Eric Gurry ... Horowitz
Esai Morales ... Paco Moreno
Ally Sheedy ... J. C. Walenski
Clancy Brown ... Viking Lofgren
Robert Lee Rush Robert Lee Rush ... Tweety
John Zenda John Zenda ... Wagner
Alan Ruck ... Carl Brennan
Tony Mockus Jr. Tony Mockus Jr. ... Warden Bendix (as Tony Mockus)
Erik Barefield Erik Barefield ... Terrell
Dean Fortunato Dean Fortunato ... Perretti
Lawrence Mah Lawrence Mah ... Ricky Lee
Jorge Noa ... Carlos


Chicago crime kid Mick O'Brien (Sean Penn) has been sent to a juvenile prison for vehicular manslaughter. Most unfortunately, the person he kills is the kid brother of his nemesis Paco Moreno (Esai Morales), who vows revenge by raping Mick's girlfriend (Ally Sheedy). Paco is caught and sent to the same prison where he reworks his revenge plan, and Mick has no choice but to defend himself. Written by watzdabigdeal

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's Only One Person Left Who Believes Mick O'Brien Can Make It... Mick O'Brien. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

25 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bad Boys - Klein und gefährlich See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,171,197, 27 March 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

EMI Films, Solofilm See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Astrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Real-life reformatory supervisors and about thirty real-life reformatory inmates featured in the film as actors, extras and background artists. See more »


When Mick and JC are talking in her bedroom, JC is sitting with her knees up to her chest and her arms wrapped around them whenever we see just her. Whenever we see both of them she is leaning against the nightstand with her hands in her lap. See more »


Horowitz: That's Lofgren. They call him Viking. I call him shit for brains.
Viking Lofgren: Shut your fucking mouth, Horowitz.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the mess hall scene where Horowitz starts throwing milk around & gets carried off to solitary, there is an omitted scene where he passes Mick & the camera is on Mick. Then the camera goes back to Horowitz been carried through another part of the way to solitary, then another prisoner yells out, "Don't forget to write"! See more »


Referenced in Huo shao dao (1990) See more »


Written by Theophilus Coakley (uncredited)
Performed by T-Connection
Courtesy Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do
12 December 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Bad Boys and The Falcon And The Snowman are the first film that Sean Penn was taken seriously as an actor and not just a James Dean wannabe. A lot of people with that rebel persona have come and gone, but Penn's proved to have staying power in his adult roles.

But it was a part like Mick O'Brien, kid from the mean streets of Chicago that first attracted the movie going public to Sean Penn. Bad Boys is not your usual teen dream Brat Pack film. Penn's representative of some of the baddest of the bad from the Eighties.

Penn's a high school kid from Chicago, but the kind who only goes to school on occasion, maybe to get messages from his hoodlum friends. A heist he plans goes horribly wrong and the little brother of another tough kid, Esai Morales, is accidentally killed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That last crime finally puts him in reform school and of course Morales winds up there as well. That's after raping Ally Sheedy who is Penn's girl friend. That sets up the final confrontation between them.

Bad Boys is one of a long line of films going back to Wild Boys Of The Road dealing with the juvenile delinquent problem and the incarceration thereof. It's interesting how rape is used as a weapon in two instances here and how it's thought of that way. Morales rapes Sheedy as a way of getting back at Penn and in the reformatory the two who run the cell block where Penn and later Morales is put, Robert Lee Rush and Clancy Brown, use it as a way of establishing their authority.

Brown who will tell you this is a method of enforcement belies his own gay nature with those muscle pictures in his cell. And O'Brien's cellmate, Eric Gurry is also a latent case, maybe more. His performance in many ways is the most interesting in the film. He's a nerdy kid who happens to be one unusual inmate for the place. He's been picked on and in retaliation bombed a bowling alley where his tormentors were hanging out. Not too many kids his age have the scientific knowledge to pull off that and what we see him do here.

Still the film builds up to the climax between Penn and Morales and Bad Boys does not disappoint in the end. Bad Boys might have some charter Brat Pack members in the cast, but John Hughes wouldn't be doing a project like this.

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