6.7/10
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53 user 37 critic

F/X (1986)

A movie special effects man is hired to fake a real-life mob killing for a witness protection plan, but finds his own life in danger.

Director:

Robert Mandel

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryan Brown ... Roland 'Rollie' Tyler
Brian Dennehy ... Lt. Leo McCarthy
Diane Venora ... Ellen Keith
Cliff De Young ... Martin Lipton
Mason Adams ... Col. Mason
Jerry Orbach ... Nicholas DeFranco
Joe Grifasi ... Mickey
Martha Gehman ... Andy
Roscoe Orman ... Capt. Jake Wallenger
Trey Wilson ... Lt. Murdoch
Tom Noonan ... Varrick
Paul D'Amato ... Gallagher
Jossie DeGuzman Jossie DeGuzman ... Marisa Velez (as Jossie deGuzman)
Jean De Baer Jean De Baer ... Whitemore
M'el Dowd M'el Dowd ... Joyce Lehman (Miss Lehman) (as M'eL Dowd)
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Storyline

A movies special effects man is hired by a government agency to help stage the assassination of a well known gangster. When the agency double crosses him, he uses his special effects to trap the gangster and the corrupt agents. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Murder by Illusion See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

FX See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,240,695, 9 February 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$20,603,715
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

(at around 9 mins) Posters for Zombie (1979) and Fade to Black (1980) are seen hanging up in Rollie Tyler's apartment in several scenes. Also, the film I Dismember Mama (1972) is mentioned. See more »

Goofs

(at around 20 mins) Tyler's camera changes from a Nikon FM (silver) to a Nikon F2A (black) and back again while shooting photos of Defranco. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The director: Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Great. Great. Great. We got it. Great. You ladies alright? What about you? You okay?
Rollie Tyler: Ellen, come on out of there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just at the start of the end credits, the camera flashes briefly through out-take type shots of the eight principal players (Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora, Cliff De Young, Mason Adams, Jerry Orbach, Martha Gehman, and Joe Grifasi). Each actor smiles out-of-character at the camera as though in appreciation to the audience of their performances. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown theatrically in Europe ended when the two drive off, with the end credits against a colored background, while most TV-showings and video versions, see the first part of the end credits against a series of scenes from the movie as well as following them all the way up to the Swiss alps. See more »

Connections

Followed by F/X: The Series (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL
Performed by Huey Lewis & The News (as Huey Lewis and The News)
Written by Johnny Colla (as J. Colla) and Huey Lewis
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
FX Murder by Illusion
13 December 2018 | by TweekumsSee all my reviews

This '80s crime drama is centred on Rollie Tyler; a movie special effects man who has been approached by a member of the US Justice Department to make it appear that a mafia boss, who is due to give evidence has been publicly murdered. He is initially less than keen but ultimately agrees. The job appears to go according to plan but as he is driven away afterwards it is clear that he is seen as a loose end needing to be cleared up. He manages to get away but they still want him dead. After a further attempt on his life leaves somebody close to him dead as well as the would-be assassin; this leads to detective Lt. Leo McCarthy investigating these deaths. While he investigates from the police side Rollie is using his special effects skills to evade capture and close in on those who want him dead.

This film does show its age at times but it is still a lot of fun. The story is effective and provides a good excuse for some solid action and inventive use of effects. As well as being a drama there are quite a few good comedy moments... although during a car chase scene the comedy does feel a little too forced. Bryan Brown is solid as protagonist Rollie Tyler and Brian Dennehy impressed as Lt. McCarthy; it was surprising that these two leads didn't meet for most of the film. The rest of the cast, with one or two exceptions was also pretty good. Overall this is a pretty good film that fans of 80's films and real, non-CGI, effects should enjoy.


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