82 user 64 critic

Runaway (1984)

PG-13 | | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi | 14 December 1984 (USA)
2:07 | Trailer
In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.


Michael Crichton
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Selleck ... Jack Ramsay
Cynthia Rhodes ... Thompson
Gene Simmons ... Luther
Kirstie Alley ... Jackie Rogers
Stan Shaw ... Marvin
G.W. Bailey ... Chief
Joey Cramer ... Bobby Ramsay
Chris Mulkey ... Johnson
Anne-Marie Martin ... Hooker at Bar
Michael Paul Chan ... Wilson
Elizabeth Norment Elizabeth Norment ... Miss Shields
Carol Teesdale ... Sally
Jackson Davies Jackson Davies ... Inspector
Paul Batten Paul Batten ... Harry
Babs Chula ... Construction Foreperson (as Babs Chulla)


In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


IT IS THE FUTURE. Machines intended to do our work are programmed to turn against us. Someone must stop the madman who started it all. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


According to actor Tom Selleck, Ramsay was completely different from any character he had ever played. Selleck said: "There's a family attachment. He has a son. But he's also a very driven character. When he gets onto something he really goes after it with a single-mindedness that none of the other characters I've played have had. At times he messes up. It sometimes clouds that makes the script really interesting". Moreover, Selleck also said: "What's nice about Runaway (1984) is that the characters don't get lost. You still get to know who they are, and that's important to me". See more »


The arachnid-like robot spiders have six legs instead of eight. See more »


Jack Ramsay: Look, I want Tensolite shields, I want blast pads and I wanna clear the fucking room now!
Chief: Ramsay, you're on television!
Jack Ramsay: I don't give a shit.
See more »


Referenced in Deathrow Gameshow (1987) See more »

User Reviews

My name is Gene Simmons and my deadly robot spiders will kill you...
30 April 2006 | by wierzbowskisteedmanSee all my reviews

In this 1980s futuristic actioner, Tom Selleck plays a police officer who specialises in eliminating renegade robots. Usually this just involves flipping the OFF switch because no one else had sufficient insurance cover to do it. When he discovers some important red and black bits of plastic are being sold on the black market, he battles various foes on his way to discovering the truth, including wobbling plastic boxes, Meccano sets gone bad and Gene Simmons.

Author Michael Crichton is at the helm here, and he does a decent enough job with what appears to be a relatively low budget. Tom Selleck cruises along with a heavily clichéd hero character (dead wife, vulnerable child, fear of heights, wobbling plastic assistant called Lois), however his somewhat boring character is evened out nicely by Gene Simmons, who sends the ham-o-meter to dangerous levels with his terrifically OTT performance, and dialogue along the lines of "MUHAHAHAHA!!!". As with most films of this ilk, by today's standards it's heavily dated, but then again it's a reminder of a time when action films focused on action and didn't take themselves to seriously.

"Runaway" is an unremarkable but reasonably solid action film. It moves at a speedy pace, albeit along the well oiled lines of about nine million other similar films, there's little to fault if you're only looking for light techo-action fare.

Hardly something anyone should seek out (unless, of course, you want to see Gene Simmons waving a ridiculously huge gun around and trying to out-stare the rest of the cast) but not something that should be avoided at all costs either, if it's on TV and you don't have anything better to do.

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Release Date:

14 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Runaway See more »

Filming Locations:

Washington, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,198,279, 16 December 1984

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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