7.8/10
47,390
113 user 82 critic

Down by Law (1986)

Trailer
1:37 | Trailer
Two men are framed and sent to jail, where they meet a murderer who helps them escape and leave the state.

Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch
4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Waits ... Zack
John Lurie ... Jack
Roberto Benigni ... Roberto
Nicoletta Braschi ... Nicoletta
Ellen Barkin ... Laurette
Billie Neal Billie Neal ... Bobbie
Rockets Redglare Rockets Redglare ... Gig
Vernel Bagneris ... Preston
Timothea Timothea ... Julie
L.C. Drane L.C. Drane ... L.C.
Joy N. Houck Jr. Joy N. Houck Jr. ... Detective Mandino (as Joy Houck Jr.)
Carrie Lindsoe Carrie Lindsoe ... Young Girl
Ralph Joseph Ralph Joseph ... Detective
Richard Boes Richard Boes ... Detective
Dave Petitjean Dave Petitjean ... Cajun Detective
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Storyline

DJ Zack and pimp Jack end up in prison for being too laid-back to avoid being framed for crimes they didn't commit. They end up sharing a cell with eccentric Italian optimist Roberto, whose limited command of the English language is both entertaining and infuriating. More useful to them is the fact that Roberto knows an escape route. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not where you start - It's where you start again.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Jim Jarmusch's DVD commentary, actors Tom Waits and John Lurie often played pranks on Roberto Benigni, heavily on his poor command of English. See more »

Goofs

When Zack comes back for Roberto, he had already been in the water and should be dripping wet. However, he and his clothes are completely dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack: Julie, what're you doing out here?
Julie: Just watching the light change.
See more »


Soundtracks

Jockey Full of Bourbon
Written and Performed by Tom Waits
from his 'Rain Dogs' album
Courtesy Island Records, Inc.
(opening title)
See more »

User Reviews

 
spoliers........ trust
4 March 2004 | by shaunfogartySee all my reviews

Jim Jarmusch trusts his camera, his directing, his writing, and most of all his performers. This is a gem of a film, without pretense. The story and film just move, sluggishly chugging forward to an ending that is really more of a dissolve. The story is ultimately of little importance, just enough movement to show us a bit of the big jokester in the skies irony. I was struck by the similarity's to Dead Man, similarities quite aside the black and white photography. The enigmatic character at the center, the drifting in and out of the main characters, the use of the boat, the disposal of the usual plot devices, the cutting away of obvious scenes (like the "how' of the escape) I wish more films displayed this sort of ease with themselves. Great stuff, 8/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | West Germany

Language:

English | Italian | French

Release Date:

30 October 1986 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Down by Law See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,435,668

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,504,286
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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