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Lethal Weapon (1987)

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Two newly paired cops who are complete opposites must put aside their differences in order to catch a gang of drug smugglers.

Director:

Richard Donner

Writer:

Shane Black
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Popularity
1,333 ( 151)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Martin Riggs
Danny Glover ... Roger Murtaugh
Gary Busey ... Joshua
Mitchell Ryan ... The General
Tom Atkins ... Michael Hunsaker
Darlene Love ... Trish Murtaugh
Traci Wolfe ... Rianne Murtaugh
Jackie Swanson ... Amanda Hunsaker
Damon Hines Damon Hines ... Nick Murtaugh
Ebonie Smith ... Carrie Murtaugh
Bill Kalmenson ... Beat Cop
Lycia Naff ... Dixie
Patrick Cameron Patrick Cameron ... Cop #1
Don Gordon ... Cop #2
Jimmie F. Skaggs ... Drug Dealer #1
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Storyline

Martin Riggs is an L.A. cop with suicidal tendencies and Roger Murtaugh is the unlucky police officer with whom Riggs is assigned. Together they uncover a huge drug-smuggling operation, and as their success rate grows so does their friendship. Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If these two can learn to stand each other... the bad guys don't stand a chance. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lethal Weapon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,829,949, 8 March 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$65,207,127

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$120,207,127
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

From the early pre-production stages, Richard Donner wanted the final fight sequence to be unique, yet also to make a strong statement about the characters involved. Coincidentally, Assistant Director Willie Simmons had an avid interest in unusual forms of martial arts, and he invited several practitioners to the set to demonstrate for Donner. The result was the hiring of three Technical Advisors, each a master of a particular martial arts style. Cedric Adams was the first expert brought in. "Adams thought the best possible way to show just how lethal Riggs really is - is to show his mastery of a form of martial arts never before seen on-screen," said Donner. Adams taught the actors the movements of Capoeira. A second Technical Advisor, Dennis Newsome, brought jailhouse rock to the fight sequence. The third Technical Advisor was Rorion Gracie, who specialized in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The filming was spread over four complete nights, shooting from dusk till dawn, resulting in an edited sequence that would last several minutes on-screen. See more »

Goofs

Mel Gibson was born in 1956 yet his character claims to have met some "Special Forces Pussies," in 1969 when he would have been 13 years old and far too young to have been in the Vietnam war. See more »

Quotes

[Riggs is having doubts]
Roger Murtaugh: Why is there a problem?
Martin Riggs: There's no problem.
Roger Murtaugh: We got one dead girl and one dead guy. The dead guy kills the dead girl, we kill the dead guy 'cause he wanted us to be dead guys - it's pretty easy to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a dedication to Dar Robinson, a stuntman who died in a motorbike accident as Lethal Weapon was in Post-Production. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Criminal Minds: Hero Worship (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Nowell
(uncredited)
Arrangement by John Stainer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
An exciting cop drama cleverly constructed...
27 September 2003 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

The film opens with a panoramic aerial shot of Los Angeles, where a beautiful blonde girl in a penthouse apartment is lying, in a sexy white satin nightgown, on a luxurious red sofa... Drugs comes into focus on a table next to her...

She rouses herself to sniff some white powder, steps out (completely unbalanced) onto the balcony and stands on the railing, ready to plunge peacefully down...

Mel Gibson is remarkable as Martin Riggs... He is talented as both a cop and a clown... His character carries a great level of tension... He is both charismatic and enigmatic... Riggs is a homicide detective suffering harmful levels of stress, after losing his wife in an automobile accident... He seems unstable... He slaps and pummels a drug dealer in the manner of the "Three Stooges," and dares his hostage taker to shoot him...

He is on the brink of despair... He takes out a bullet, loads it in his .9 millimeter Beretta, puts the gun into his mouth, and appears ready to pull the trigger...

He is suicidal... He snaps a handcuff on a jumper's wrist, and snaps the other end onto his own wrist... Then he holds up the key to the cuffs, and flings it out into space...

He is a sharpshooter... He raises his gun and fires without blinking, and claims that killing is "the only thing he could ever do well."

He is partnered with a black middle-aged police detective to investigate the death of the girl that leaped off the balcony... Both quickly build up a strong friendship that lead them to uncover a very dangerous heroin ring...

Danny Glover is at his best against an actor who can easily steal scenes... He plays an old-fashioned detective who is obsessed about his age, and goes by the book... We simply see him scanning, reading the odds...

Murtaugh - on his 50th birthday - wears his past like a scar... He is a conservative family man who has to follow Riggs' hurtful plan to get his daughter back...

Gary Busey plays Mr. Joshua, a trained expert killer, cool as ice, deadly calm... It's essential for him to find out how much the police know... He tries his best to get Riggs out of the picture... His boss the General (Mitch Ryan) is a rugged man with eyes like chips of stone... The ruthless general thinks that it's now the precise time to turn up the heat... He wants Murtaugh to be tortured... He kidnaps Murtaugh's little girl, the gorgeous Rianne (Traci Wolfe) to make him speak...

Richard Donner's 'Lethal Weapon' is one of the finest films to offer its audience the combination of strong acting, and scenes out of hell... It is an exciting cop drama cleverly constructed... The final battle, where the two cops team up against the general and his henchmen, is especially thrilling... Donner's film also skates around the sexual implications of male bonding, but the scene in which Gibson and Glover are captured by the crooks and tortured dramatizes male vulnerability in a manner that became familiar in the action film...


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