45 user 36 critic

Tuff Turf (1985)

The new kid in school must battle a gang of street toughs after stealing the gang leader's girl.


Fritz Kiersch


Jette Rinck (screenplay by), Greg Collins O'Neill (story by) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Spader ... Morgan Hiller
Kim Richards ... Frankie Croyden
Paul Mones ... Nick Hauser
Matt Clark ... Stuart Hiller
Claudette Nevins ... Page Hiller
Robert Downey Jr. ... Jimmy Parker (as Robert Downey)
Olivia Barash ... Ronnie
Panchito Gómez Panchito Gómez ... Mickey (as Panchito Gomez)
Michael Wyle Michael Wyle ... Eddie
Catya Sassoon ... Feather
Francis X. McCarthy ... Man at Bus Stop (as Frank McCarthy)
Art Evans ... Security Guard
Herb Mitchell ... Mr. Russell
Ceil Cabot Ceil Cabot ... Secretary
Donald Fullilove ... Howard


At the start of his senior year in high school, Morgan's father has lost his company, so the family moves from Connecticut, where they've been in the yacht club, to an apartment in the San Fernando Valley. Morgan has grown up in the shadow of his high-achieving older brother, and he seems to have a knack for getting into trouble. He also has a stubborn streak, so when he finds himself attracted to Frankie, the girlfriend of the leader of a local gang of youthful thugs, he can't stop himself from pushing her for a relationship. The thug thinks of Frankie as his property and sees the cool, urbane Morgan as dead meat. Is this a struggle to the death? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...where reputations are earned. See more »


Action | Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The original ending in the script had Morgan and Jimmy taking the SATs, and Morgan talking Frankie into taking them too, after she quips she isn't smart enough. See more »


The clock behind Jimmy reads 12:40 in the hallway. It's already been established that this is Morgan's first morning at school. See more »


Jimmy Parker: She belongs to Nick.
Morgan Hiller: C'mon Jimmy, Lincoln freed the slaves. All I want to do is talk to her.
Jimmy Parker: All I want to do is live!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, we see Morgan, Frankie, Jimmy and Ronnie dancing and playing instruments with Jack Mack and the Heart Attack at Club 60's. See more »

Alternate Versions

On the home video version, the song "Breakin' the Rules" is performed by Jonathan Elias, instead of Lene Lovich, whose version is played in the theatrical release. See more »


Referenced in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) See more »


People Who Died
Written and Performed by Jim Carroll and the Jim Carroll Band
Courtesy of Earl McGrath Music
See more »

User Reviews

Should I give his bike back!
30 May 2004 | by aswerveSee all my reviews

This film was so influential to me back in 1986 that I took my dad's

portable video camera (The kind where you strap the deck over

your shoulder like a bag and has a cord running to the camera),

grabbed the neighborhood kids in our street and re-enacted

scenes from Tuff turf after we had just finished viewing it for the

third time in a rental day row.

Hell, I even stole the soundtrack and dubbed the dialogue into our

version of the film.

The tuff guys, the not-so tuff guy who is misunderstood by his

parents and tuff guys who beat him up every chance they have, a

sexy lead actress (why Kim Richards did not get an award for

longest, straightest hair is a travesty!)

But best of all is the soundtrack! The tense music under the gang

running over Spaders racing bike still haunts me today! Who

wouldn't wet themselves getting humiliated in the school parking

lot in front of your class mates and teachers who did not nothing

but laugh at you wetting your pants.

NOTE the apostrophe in the title summary as the gang leader is

not asking the question, he is merely answering it?

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Release Date:

11 January 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tuff Turf See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,509,380, 13 January 1985

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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