6.7/10
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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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ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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 | Add 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:

F/X - Murder by Illusion 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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two stars of this film have homonyms for first names: Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy. See more »

Goofs

When Rollie retrieves the $15 million from the safe deposit box at the Geneva bank, he carries out an underweight gym bag in 1 hand by its shoulder strap. This actually would be impossible given that even in its most favorable form - all $100 bills - that amount of money would weigh over 300 pounds, 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.
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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 »


Soundtracks

JUST AN ILLUSION
Performed by Imagination
Courtesy of Red Bus Records
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User Reviews

 
Fast pace , action , suspense and lots of amusement
16 September 2010 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

F/X is a great movie because of the idea of a special effects artist trying to get himself out of a mess. It deals with F/X man Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) as expert craftsman . FBI agents (Cliff De Young, Mason Adams), ask Rollie to help him to make a setup for hide a mobster named DeFranco (Jerry Orbach) about to enter the Witness Program of Recolocation and Protection . As he accepts thirty thousand dollars by execution the phony work . And the operation was going well when Tyler allegedly kills the mobster . When the agency double cross him on the staging the fake assassination Rollie finds himself embroiled in a deadly cover-up and he uses his special effects to trap the corrupt agents . Obviously FBI is involved with gangster's death, but when the things get worse he calls on Andy (Martha Gehman). The whiz Rollie and Andy team up once more to use their special effects to find those responsible for the death of gangster . Rollie must use his movie magic and wits to discover the true guilty and survive . Meanwhile an obstinate detective named Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy) and his helper (Joe Grifasi) are investigating the deeds. As far as the story goes , it involves a bigger scale of corruption in the law enforcement circle .

Entertaining but typical 1980's-type action thriller that has great potential as is fast-paced and well acted film . It has Inspector Dennehy and FX wizard Brown in fine form , and good secondaries Diane Venora, Joe Grifasi , Cliff De Young, Jery Orbach , some involved on corrupt business ; furthermore Angela Basset film debut . Some parts were predictable , but for the most part, it was nicely-paced with some good intrigue and mystery . There are some very exciting scenes as well as some ingenious special effects, including the initial setup that figures prominently in the argument. The cinematography and editing are functional . Action is pretty nicely done and fast moving with some engaging gimmickry . The motion picture is professionally directed by Robert Mandel (The substitute, School ties). Decent if somewhat belated followup to this 86 surprise hit was realized in 1991 titled ¨FX2¨ that does have suspense , however, the entire thing is nowhere near as engaging or thrilling , it was directed by Richard Franklin with similar players and followed by an amiable TV series .


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