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


Richard Donner


Shane Black
471 ( 1,200)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


After 20 years on the force, police detective Roger Murtaugh has come face-to-face with the most dangerous killing machine in Los Angeles... his new partner. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Richard Donner thought that no matter how many drafts he wrote, Shane Black's original script was still way too dark for his liking, so he brought writer Jeffrey Boam for some uncredited re-writing, in order to add some more bits of humor into the script, and change some parts. For example, in the scene (which was eventually deleted completely) where Riggs kills a psycho sniper, who is shooting at kids, there was originally going to be a part showing one dead kid being carried on a gurney. Almost all of the other graphic parts of Black's script were bloodier than in the film. Donner still deleted some scenes for being too dark in his opinion, including the sniper scene, and the original introduction scene for Riggs, where he beats up two guys in a bar when they try to rob him.

Jeffrey Boam also completely re-wrote Shane Black and Warren Murphy's original script for Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), after it was rejected for being too dark and bloody, and because Riggs died in the end. He wrote the script for Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), and he also wrote an unused draft for a fourth film, which had Riggs and Murtaugh dealing with neo-Nazi survivalists launching a terrorist attack in Los Angeles. The script was written in January of 1995, and it dealt with real life neo-Nazi activity in the U.S., that was only superficially dealt with in just one movie before, in Dead Bang (1989). Despite the fact that everybody liked it, Boam's script was rejected, and Boam later said in interviews, how it was much better than the final movie, which suffered some problems with constant re-writes of the script that was chosen for filming, and actually didn't have a completed script during filming. See more »


Reflected in Riggs' sunglasses just before Dixie's house explodes. See more »


Mr. Joshua: Good afternoon Mr. Mendez.
Mendez: Yeah, how you doing?
Mr. Joshua: Did you pat him down Mr. Larch?
Mendez: Aw hey man, we went through this act already...
Mr. Joshua: [Cutting off Mendez] Go through it again!
Mendez: Who are you?
Mr. Joshua: That's hardly important but if it matters you may call me Mr. Joshua.
[Turns and motions to follow him]
Mr. Joshua: Let's go.
Mendez: Oh, great, swell, Mr. Joshua, huh?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Director's Cut (not actually a true director's cut, but a marketing promotion by Warner Bros.) features seven minutes of additional footage. In a new trailer scene, Riggs smashes his TV with a beer bottle; later he buys a new one. Murtaugh, before partnering with Riggs, goes to practice at the firing range. Riggs, before the dope shoot out, answers a call in a school yard with a sniper. Riggs walks out into the line of fire and kills the sniper, emptying his clip into him. Riggs, after leaving Murtaugh's house, goes out to solicit a prostitute. The aftermath is not shown, but Riggs says he wants to take her home to watch The Stooges with him; for this he pays her $100. See more »


Referenced in High Hopes: Lethal Weapon (2003) See more »


Double Deck The Hall
Performed by Bugs Bunny & Friends
See more »

User Reviews

lethal weapon
4 January 2020 | by marmar-69780See all my reviews

Lethal weapon is one of most iconic 80s films and my favourite baddy cop type film,all of that was achivable through great chemistry between gibson and glover duo that become one of most memorable from any franchise,this film has a lot fun captivating dialogue and humour that give us neceserey laughs betweens action setpieces and chases,villain for this type of film surved its purpose and it wasnt boring or cliched and it gave connections between him and our duo,but him could still gave more risks in his actions or bigger stakes that would have bigger impact on us,you can call this film predictable but for me that wasnt problem and i had a great time watching it

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

6 March 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lethal Weapon See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,829,949, 8 March 1987

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)| Dolby Digital (5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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