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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
2,226 ( 1,012)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 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:

Pity the bad guys. 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

Shane Black's first draft of Lethal Weapon (1987), which he wrote sometime in 1985, was very different, not just from his later drafts, but also from the final movie. This first draft was 141 pages long, and it was much darker, it had alternate plot parts, character scenes, action sequences, and many other differences, like an entire ending, which had a big chase scene, including a police helicopter, which gets blown up by Joshua, who fires napalm missile at it, causing it to crash into the Hollywood sign and start a huge fire, Murtaugh killing General McAllister while he is driving a trailer truck full of heroin and guns, which then crashes and explodes over Hollywood Hills, causing heroin to start snowing over the burning Hollywood sign, and Riggs killing Joshua by stabbing his fingers through Joshua's eye right into his brain.

Riggs was also a much different character in this first draft, than he is in the movie, and lot more mentally unstable. For example, in the original version of the scene where he kills a sniper who is shooting at the kids, instead of using his gun, Riggs uses a rocket launcher to blow up the sniper after he shot and killed several kids. In another part of the script, he also uses ninja throwing stars to wound one of the villains, and then tortures him for information.

Black at first thought that this draft (which was his second script, his first was an unproduced action zombie horror script, titled "Shadow Company", which he wrote in 1984) sucked, so he threw it in the garbage, but later changed his mind, and re-worked it into the new drafts. For the longest time, Black was the only one who had copy of his first draft until he sold it at an auction, and eventually it was found by fans. See more »

Goofs

When Murtaugh and Riggs arrive in the desert, supposedly at sunrise, to get Rianne back, the 'copter and the white limo are filmed at sunrise or sunset, low low sun. When the 'copter lands a few seconds later it is noon, sun at 60 degrees. See more »

Quotes

[Endo shocks Riggs with a device]
Mr. Joshua: Hit him again!
Martin Riggs: [Endo does]
[Martin groans as his body shakes violently]
Mr. Joshua: [soft but enthused] Hit him again.
Martin Riggs: [Endo hits him again for longer]
Mr. Joshua: C'mon, tell me about the shipment!
Martin Riggs: [yells and spouts giberrish, then spits at Endo, tries to reach Joshua] I swear I'm gonna fucking kill the both of you.
Mr. Joshua: Yeah, yeah, very funny. Now what about the *shipment*?
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 »

Alternate Versions

All versions of "Lethal Weapon" released in Germany before the Director's Cut had a rating FSK 16, and were all slightly cut. The Director's Cut of LW 1 released in 1998 is uncut, but also got an FSK 16 rating. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Time Trax: Lethal Weapons (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Mel Gibson is electrifying
28 December 2014 | by AbhiMathewsSee all my reviews

This movie is an onslaught of action; beginning with the opening scene death to the captivating end, it's a bombardment of epic scenes and high emotions. The plot is okay but what definitively stands out is Mel Gibson's performance.

From start to finish, Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) makes you feel excited just watching him. Whether it's with his psychotic bouts, unique demeanour or deep moments, his presence adds an energy to this movie that makes it both fun and insane (in a good way). His quality acting in Lethal Weapon is surely some of the best in cinema.

Besides the amazing casting, the overall story is mediocre. In this film, though, it's the acting that makes it special. There are so many aspects to entertainment, and Lethal Weapon hit the mark with Mel as the lead.


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