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RoboCop (1987) Poster

(1987)

Trivia

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It was discovered that when in full RoboCop costume, Peter Weller could not fit properly into the police car as he was too bulky. That's why most shots of him show him exiting the car or preparing to get into it. For shots where he actually needed to be in the car, he only wore the top part of the costume and sat in his underwear. However, to maintain the illusion that RoboCop wears the entire suit while inside a car, most shots show his robotic feet exiting the car first.
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The RoboCop suit was so hot and heavy that Peter Weller was losing 3 lbs a day from water loss. Eventually, an air conditioner was installed in the suit.
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The screenplay had been offered to (and been rejected by) virtually every big director in Hollywood before Paul Verhoeven got hold of it. He threw it away after reading the first pages, convinced it was just a dumb action movie. However, his wife read it all the way through and convinced him that the story was layered with many satirical and allegorical elements, after which Verhoeven finally decided to direct the film.
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Nancy Allen first arrived on set when Paul Verhoeven was shooting the deliberately cheesy sitcom "It's Not My Problem" which appears on television screens throughout the film. Allen was initially horrified to think that she had signed on to make a film with an incompetent director.
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In Sacramento, California, a robbery suspect fled into a darkened movie theatre to escape pursuing police. He became so engrossed in the movie playing on screen (RoboCop), that he failed to notice that police had evacuated all other patrons from the theatre. When the lights flipped on, the stunned man was taken into custody.
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Paul Verhoeven and Rob Bottin clashed repeatedly before and during production over the design and make-up of the RoboCop character. What they argued most about was the scene where Murphy takes off his helmet. Bottin wanted the scene to be filmed in a darkened area, fearing that harsh light would reveal too much of the make-up effects; Verhoeven wanted the scene to be filmed as brightly as possible, citing that director of photography Jost Vacano would be able to light it properly without revealing anything. Verhoeven got his way and Bottin refused to talk to him any further for the remainder of production. However, at the premiere, both men were so impressed with how the scene had turned out, that they instantly forgave each other. Bottin, who had even vowed to never again work with Verhoeven, happily accepted the offer to work on Verhoeven's next project, Total Recall (1990).
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Peter Weller said one of his favorite memories of his film career was filming the drug bust sequence. While filming the sequence, Weller was listening to Peter Gabriel's song "Red Rain" on his Walkman inside the RoboCop helmet as he exchanged gunfire with various bad guys.
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In the hostage scene, as RoboCop is walking toward the room where the former councilman is holding the mayor hostage, the infrared heat vision mode was actually executed using fluorescent body paint on the (nude) actors and a black light. Paul Verhoeven says that he thought this technique would be cheaper than getting an actual infrared spectrometer camera.
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The Desert Eagle Magnum that is in the OCP Board Room was originally intended to be RoboCop's gun. There is even existing behind-the-scene photos and footage of Peter Weller practicing with the Desert Eagle; however, when they gave Weller the gun, they noticed that even the bulky Desert Eagle was too small in the hands of RoboCop, so the film's armory supervisor, Randy E. Moore, brought in a Berretta Automatic Pistol to which a compensator and decorative dressing was added to increase the size of the gun.
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The character Bob Morton was originally conceived as a stereotypical corporate executive, arrogant, unpleasant and unlikeable. However, when Miguel Ferrer signed on and gave his performance as an amiable and charismatic individual, Edward Neumeier and Paul Verhoeven realised that the audience would likely start sympathizing with the character, and Bob Morton was rewritten to become the (somewhat) more pleasant individual that he is in the movie.
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The shootout at the cocaine factory was not originally intended to be so fast-paced. The automatic guns used in the scene kept malfunctioning during filming. Most camera shots did not provide more than three seconds of usable footage, because most guns were usually jammed by that time. This necessitated quick cuts during editing, which proved to be advantageous for the scene.
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Because the hands of the RoboCop suit were made of foam rubber, the car keys would bounce off of Peter Weller's hand every time he attempted to catch them. The production took up to 50 takes and an entire day's worth of filming before finally getting the shot right.
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The special-effects were generated with a Commodore Amiga computer.
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Kurtwood Smith originally auditioned for the role of Dick Jones, and when he first learned he had been cast, he thought that was the role he had gotten. Not until later did he find out he would be playing Clarence Boddicker. Later still, he discovered the reason: being Dutch, director Paul Verhoeven had grown up near the Holocaust, and thought that, when wearing glasses, Smith resembled Heinrich Himmler. Smith apparently agreed with the idea, stating that a bigger, more menacing villain would come across as someone who could merely be outsmarted, while his character's glasses made him look smarter and therefore more of a threat.
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The RoboCop suit was the most expensive item on set. While the price range varies, the producers indicated that they spent anywhere between US$500,000 to US$1 million for the suit.
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The repeated line "I'd buy that for a dollar!" comes from Cyril M. Kornbluth's short story "The Marching Morons", which presents a similarly cynical view of an over-commercialized future that's desensitized to violence and war. A radio game show in that short story uses the line "I'd buy that for a quarter." as its signature phrase.
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Twenty-seven years after the movie's release, Detroit did actually file for bankruptcy.
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The RoboCop suit was designed by Rob Bottin and his team. The production team wasn't satisfied with the initial design, and kept changing it and putting additions to it for months. Ultimately, nothing seemed to work and they went back to what was pretty much Bottin's original design. This caused considerable delays, and by the time the suit was completed, it was three weeks late and arrived at the studio on the day that the first RoboCop scene was scheduled to be shot. It took 11 hours for Bottin's people to fit Peter Weller into the suit, and when it was done Weller found that all his mime exercises were now useless because he needed time to get used to the suit and to perform as a robot in it. Production was halted so that Weller and his mime coach, Moni Yakim, could learn how to move in the suit.
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When in full RoboCop costume, Peter Weller would remain in character between takes, only responding to director Paul Verhoeven's instructions when properly addressed as "Robo." Verhoeven found this too funny to take seriously and dropped this after a couple of weeks.
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When the RoboCop suit arrived on set, Peter Weller discovered that his movements had become very restrictive in the suit after Paul Verhoeven began watching the raw dailies. He and Moni Yakim had envisioned RoboCop moving in a snake like fashion but the suit would not allow it. Moni then informed him that it would be best to slow down his movements so that he could gain the ability to move in the costume. Production was then halted for three days in order for Yakin, Verhoeven, and Weller to discuss the new approach. Tempers flew and arguments started over this decision, but in the end, Verhoeven thought Weller deserved the right to express his opinions and go forth with this decision. Verhoeven was happy with the end results.
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Writers and producers were concerned that cops would be offended by their portrayal in the movie. On the contrary, they loved it. They especially enjoyed the scene where RoboCop throws Boddicker through three panes of glass window while concurrently reading Boddicker an abbreviated rendition of his Miranda rights.
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Edward Neumeier came up with the idea for RoboCop after he had helped out on the set of Blade Runner (1982), which was about cops hunting robots that looked like humans in the future. Intrigued, Neumeier turned the scenario around into a future where a cop looking like a robot would be hunting human criminals.
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Kurtwood Smith claims in the 20th Anniversary DVD release that the scene where he is taken into the precinct was the first scene he had shot, and proposed the spitting of the blood and swearing to give the scene more punch. Paul Verhoeven, intrigued, decided to give it a shot. Smith mused that this may have simply been due to Verhoeven's love of bloodletting.
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Enforcement Droid 209's voice is that of producer Jon Davison, its growls are of a jaguar, and its squeals are of a pig. ED-209's body was based on the design of a Bell helicopter and the overall appearance is reminiscent of a line of toys named Robotech (1985) which were based on a 1980s Japanese anime series.
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On the 20th Anniversary disc, Peter Weller stated that the scariest moment came when he had to film the scene where he walked down the stairs in the dance club. This consisted of him only wearing the upper portion of the costume but having to walk down the stairs without being allowed to look where he was stepping. He said the situation became very dangerous as loud music was being played and smoke was everywhere. He ended up doing this sequence three times.
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On the DVD Ray Wise explains that he and Kurtwood Smith ended up being too close to an explosion which caused pieces of glass to be embedded into Ray's face. He received an additional stunt pay for this mishap as per the studio. Ray then jokingly states that he devised ways where he would be as close to the explosions as possible to gain extra money.
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Stephanie Zimbalist was originally cast as Lewis but had to give up the role when she was called back to film more episodes of Remington Steele (1982). Nancy Allen was then cast and Paul Verhoeven had her cut her hair shorter and shorter several times until it was short enough, as Verhoeven wanted to desexualize the character.
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Former President Richard Nixon was hired to promote the home video release for $25,000, he donated the money to the American Boys Club.
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To shoot the scene where ED-209 falls down the stairs, Phil Tippett and his team made a small replica of the stairs and pushed the model down.
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For the theatrical trailer, Orion used the music from their film The Terminator (1984) which is also a movie about a cyborg (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger). Schwarzenegger was briefly considered for the role of RoboCop, but those involved with the film were concerned he would be too bulky in the suit and end up looking like the Michelin Man. Also, the background music was very misleading to some people, who believed the film to be a sequel to The Terminator. Explaining humanity's dependence on technology, and the rise of Skynet.
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The studio decided that Rob Bottin would be the ideal person to create the RoboCop suit, as he had just finished doing the special effects for The Thing (1982).
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The film was submitted to the MPAA 12 times before securing an R rating.
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The young gas station attendant with the glasses and the geometry book is a reference to a young Paul Verhoeven himself, who wore spectacles and studied Math in the Netherlands.
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Paul Verhoeven wanted his American debut to have an appropriately American pacing. He worked again with cinematographer Jost Vacano (with whom he had filmed several of his Dutch movies), as Vacano had become famous for his groundbreaking tracking shots in Das Boot (1981). Verhoeven wanted the camera to be nearly always moving, to prevent the pace from slowing down; for that reason, even dialog scenes were filmed with a steady cam.
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In addition to Iron Man (1966), the comic book "ROM" is also seen in the mom-and-pop store, the story-line of which involves a hero sacrificing his human body and having his mind placed into a robot in order to save his people. In the scene where Murphy's son Jimmy watches TJ Lazer on TV in a flashback, issue 41 of ROM can be seen on the floor at his feet.
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The steel mill scenes at the end of the movie became the more boring part of the shoot. Ray Wise and Kurtwood Smith along with the rest of the cast would regularly steal golf carts belonging to the crew and race around with them. The crew became very angry and told them they were not happy with their actions.
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The convenience store robber was played by the movie's stunt coordinator who gladly accepted to be one of RoboCop's victims and contributed the idea of being hit into the door of the glass cooler.
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In a 2013 interview, Edward Neumeier reflected on how the film's script is starting to play into reality: "We are now living in the world that I was proposing in RoboCop (1987)...how big corporations will 'take care of us' and...how they won't."
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The hostage scene where a former city council member holds the mayor and his staff hostage was based on a real-life crisis where former San Francisco supervisor Dan White wanted his old job back. The character is also seen eating Baby Ruth bars - as homage to White's 1979 conviction of involuntary manslaughter where diminished capacity was used, known in legal terms as the "Twinkie Defense."
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Director Paul Verhoeven credits James Cameron's The Terminator (1984) with the success of RoboCop. Orion Pictures, the production company of RoboCop, was initially founded with the purpose of making quality movies instead of profitable blockbusters. Shortage of money forced them to produce The Terminator, which they saw as a low-budget production that might make some quick profit, but since this was not the type of movie they liked to be associated with, the studio did very little marketing for the film. When Terminator became an unexpected hit, the studio was convinced that science-fiction could be profitable, so RoboCop was quickly green-lit and appropriately marketed. Verhoeven also adopted the fast editing pace from that movie.
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RoboCop's first Directive, "Serve the public trust", was inspired by a fortune cookie.
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Kurtwood Smith's wife, Joan Pirkle, has a small role as Dick Jones' secretary, Barbara, who he flirts with before a meeting.
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Another problem with the RoboCop suit was that it reflected too much light when lit like an actor normally is. This caused some unusable shots. Eventually, the problem was solved by lighting it like a car.
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Writer Edward Neumeier was an executive at Universal and hated his job so he jacked it in to pursue his dream of writing a screenplay about a robot that became a cop. Coincidentally fellow scribe Michael Miner was working on a script about a human cop who becomes a robot. It was a natural progression for the two to join forces.
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On the Criterion Edition DVD commentary track, executive producer Jon Davison and writer Edward Neumeier both relate the film to the decay of American industry from the 1970s through the early 1980s, with the abandoned "Rust Belt style" factories that RoboCop and Clarence Boddicker's gang use as hideouts reflecting this concern.
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Paul Verhoeven admitted that while reading the screenplay for the first time, he had difficulties with the American slang (as he is Dutch). For instance, he did not understand why the Afro-American gang members would call the Caucasian members "brother", even though they weren't related.
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This movie along with Basic Instinct (1992), Starship Troopers (1997), and Hollow Man (2000) is one of four separate movie franchises in which the first movie of their respected series (directed by Paul Verhoeven) were successful, but their respective sequels (not directed by Verhoeven) all either bombed at the box office or were released 'Direct-to-VHS/DVD'.
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After Peter Weller complained about the costume during the first few days of filming, the role of RoboCop was offered to Lance Henriksen, who turned down because of time conflicts - Henriksen was also considered for the title role in The Terminator (1984) (before the cyborg was decided for to be large and bulky and Arnold Schwarzenegger was brought on), and finally got to play a robot in Aliens (1986) (see also trivia for The Terminator (1984)).
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RoboCop's spike, which emerges from his knuckles, and gun holster were actually two stand alone separate pieces that were never integrated into the costume. The spiked hand was controlled by someone who just held up a fake arm towards the camera while he was off camera, and the gun holster was operated off screen since it was a stand alone piece.
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All the POV shots when RoboCop first wakes up with technicians working on him (including the party scene and the moment when RoboCop is unveiled) were shot at the Mary Kay Cosmetics factory in Dallas.
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The entrance to the OCP building in the movie is actually the front entrance of Dallas City Hall with extensive matte work (by Rocco Gioffre) above to make the building appear to be a giant skyscraper.
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For a while, Michael Ironside was attached to the role of RoboCop, but they had to give up on the idea when they realized that the actor would have to have a much smaller frame to fit into the costume envisaged.
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The character of Robocop made an appearance at WCW Capital Combat in 1990 as part of the publicity for Robocop 2. He rescues Sting, one of WCWs top wrestlers from a attack by The Four Horseman. It is widely regarded as one of the worst and most ridiculous moments in wrestling history
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RoboCop's three Prime Directives ("Serve the public trust; Protect the innocent; Uphold the law") are reminiscent of the Three Laws of Robotics as devised by sci-fi author Isaac Asimov and first published in his short story "Runaround".
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Before Peter Weller was cast, Rutger Hauer was another actor in line to play RoboCop. However, it was decided that he was too large to fit into the costume. Weller won the role because of his slender 5'10½ frame and the expressiveness of his lower face.
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"He's like Dirty Harry with Ball Bearings" was one of the early taglines considered but was ultimately dropped fearing litigation from either Warner Bros. or Clint Eastwood.
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The thief who robs the liquor store walks by a rack of comic books and picks up an issue of Iron Man. Like RoboCop, Iron Man is about a man who wears a metal robotic suit due to injuries. Cast member Miguel Ferrer later appeared in Iron Man 3 (2013).
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Peter Weller turned down a role in King Kong Lives (1986) to star in this film.
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The script for Robocop was rejected by just about every major movie studio since it was conceived in the early 1980s. Orion Pictures took the chance and Robocop's success continued on with two follow up sequels to the movie, two cartoon series, a television show, several comic book series, and a made for TV series of four movie length episodes as well as a fan made parody film. It has also spawned over a billion dollars in children and adult toy lines and collector statues which are still being released to date.
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The "Cobra Assault Cannons" are working Barrett M82A1s, long-range anti-material .50 caliber sniper rifles with some plastic molding added to the frame and scopes originally meant to have CGI incorporated with them. That idea was scrapped due to budgetary constraints.
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While set in Detroit, 22 locations in and around Dallas were used for filming. The only actual showing of the Motor City itself is in the opening and that was stock footage.
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Peter Weller wore a bald cap so that the RoboCop helmet could be removed more easily.
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While Murphy mentions his son Jimmy by name when twirling his gun in front of Lewis, the name of Murphy's wife is never mentioned in the film. The closing credits refer to them only as "Murphy's Wife" and "Murphy's Son". In the closing credits of the sequel RoboCop 2 (1990), their names are officially revealed as Ellen Murphy and Jimmy Murphy.
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Running Gag: Every time a patrol car speeds up or down a ramp of a parking garage, the rear bumper hits the ground causing sparks to fly.
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The point-of-view shots from RoboCop include references to MS-DOS.
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The scientist who introduces ED-209 in the beginning has a name tag of McNamara, a nod to Robert McNamara, the president of the Ford Motor Company and the Secretary of Defense during the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson Administrations. Thus he connects Detroit cars and military violence. Production designer William Sandell based the ED-209 design on the BELL UH-1H-HUEY chopper used during the Vietnam War.
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The computer that RoboCop looks up criminal records on is actually a Northern Telecom telephone switch.
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As one of the setpieces of the movie, the ED-209's look and animated sequences were under the close supervision of Paul Verhoeven, who sometimes acted out the robot's movements himself.
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Ray Wise says that he kept his costume from this film. He also keeps it wrapped in plastic, "just like Laura Palmer."
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The police cars were modified Ford Tauruses. One of the main competitors of the Taurus at the time was the Pontiac 6000. The car the villains use is the 6000 SUX, a not-so-subtle jab at the Pontiac 6000. Ford did manufacture the Taurus as a police vehicle between 1989 to 1995. The 1989 to 1991 models had a modified front grille with eight openings which was not available on the civilian models, including the Taurus SHO. The 2013 model year officially reintroduces the Taurus (sold to law enforcement agencies as a Police Interceptor sedan and not badged as a Taurus along with a utility variant sharing the same D4 platform with the 2011-present Ford Explorer (also sold as a Police Interceptor Utility - both D4 platform vehicles have standard all wheel drive) as the replacement for the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, which was phased out in 2011.
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In 1988, brake and muffler shop Meineke used a RoboCop-like customer in a commercial. For legal reasons, the armor was completely orange in color, whereas everything else, even the voice, was similar.
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For the commercial about a nuclear war game, they replaced Parker Brothers with Butler Brothers. Coincidentally, in Dallas, Texas, where RoboCop was filmed, there was an actual company named Butler Brothers.
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The 6000 SUX was built from the body of a 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass four-door sedan (note front end).
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Prominent Dallas landmarks seen in the film include Dallas City Hall (the exterior of the OCP headquarters), the Plaza of the Americas (where the glass elevator that RoboCop rides in are located), the Fountain Place building (the chisel-shaped skyscraper seen in the background of the OCP boardroom scenes) and the Reunion Tower (the tall tower in the background while Murphy and Lewis are chasing the van in the beginning of the movie on Victory Avenue (which is now the location of the Victory Park District (now the location of American Airlines Center) since 2001). The underground parking garage where RoboCop is shooting out with the police is the Crescent Building parking garage. Another garage used was the Dallas Public Library's, across the street from City Hall.
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A rare extended television spot, as well as a 1988 commercial for the film's home video release, establish that the film is set in 1991.
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The only film in the RoboCop franchise to have filming performed in Detroit, albeit only flyover shots of the skyline as seen in the opening shot. A different city was used to double for the city in each installment: Dallas in this film, Houston was used for location filming in RoboCop 2 (1990), and Atlanta in RoboCop 3 (1993). The remake, RoboCop (2014), was filmed in Toronto.
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Although Peter Weller is solely credited as playing RoboCop, he did in fact have a stunt double for certain scenes. During the making of the crack house scene, Peter Weller, Paul Verhoeven, and the stunt double can be seen discussing RoboCop's movements.
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While filming in Dallas, Paul Verhoeven especially liked the look of one particular building when it was lit up by external lights at night. Unfortunately, that building was being renovated during the shooting and the lights were shut off. As they were finished in Dallas and were leaving, they literally saw the lights come on through the plane's window.
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David Cronenberg was one of many directors offered the position and who subsequently turned it down. Ironically, Peter Weller played the lead in Cronenberg's Naked Lunch (1991), in which Weller appeared in lieu of reprising his role in RoboCop 3 (1993).
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The 1986 Ford Taurus was used as the police cruiser in the movie, due to its then-futuristic design. As of May 2012, RoboCop's Taurus is on display at the Branson Auto Museum in Branson, Missouri.
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When Robocop first "loads up", you see some IBM compatible computer commands displayed on the screen in a list. The commands are: Command.com, Load Bios, Memory Set, System Status, and OK. When he does a more extensive reboot, the commands are (some obviously related to only Robocop): Command.com, Load Bios, Bios System Check, RAM Check, Config.SYS, Bio.Com Interface, To Rom I/O, Controller, Compspec.EXE, Memory.DAT, Robo Utils, System Buffer, Parameters, Parity Set, Memory Set, System Status, and OK.
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Plans for a Terminator vs Robocop film have been on and off in the works since 1990. Although no movie has yet to be made with the crossover, several video games and comic books have been released based on the idea, making the project one of the most anticipated crossovers of all time.
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The song "Show Me Your Spine" by PTP is playing in the club when RoboCop arrests Leon. This song, which features vocals by Kevin 'ohGr' Ogilvie of Skinny Puppy, was unavailable in any format until October 2004, when it was included on the CD "Ministry: Side Trax" released by Rykodisc.
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RoboCop's gun, referred to in the script as an Auto-9, was a modified Beretta M93R: The barrel was extended and modified to resemble a casket. The weapon has a selectable fire mode switch, semi-automatic and three-round burst. The basic design of the Beretta 93R machine pistol is based on the famous Beretta 92 pistol. However, the trigger mechanism is somewhat different from Beretta 92, as it is a single action only, with non-ambidextrous frame mounted safety and additional fire mode selector.
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When the movements in the Robosuit had to be rethought, movement coach Moni Yakim had Peter Weller study the exaggerated and theatrical performance of Nikolay Cherkasov in the title role of Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944).
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In 2019, KFC released a series of hilarious commercials featuring a character, in reference to the character of RoboCop, named Colonel RoboCop. Among the most famous of these commercials was of a family watching this film in their living room when Colonel RoboCop shows up and scare the family into eating the product when the family tried to ignore him. Peter Weller himself provided the voice for Colonel RoboCop.
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The trademark phrase of RoboCop "Dead or alive you are coming with me" is actually uttered only twice in the film.
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The man catching the gun that RoboCop beats out of Leon's hand in the disco was supposed to be a cameo by screenwriter Edward Neumeier, but he was not available at the time of filming.
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This is director Paul Verhoeven's first American film.
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RoboCop's look was inspired by the Japanese comic The 8 Man and the first Metal Hero Space Sheriff Gavan (1982).
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Peter Weller and Nancy Allen actually share the same birthday - June 24.
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Although both Edward Neumeier and Paul Verhoeven have declared themselves staunchly on the political left, Neumeier recalls on the audio commentary to Starship Troopers (1997) that many of his liberal friends perceived this as a fascist movie. On the 20th Anniversary DVD, producer Jon Davison referred to the film's message as "fascism for liberals" - a politically liberal film done in the most violent way possible.
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To test out the RoboCop gun, the gunsmith and writer Edward Neumeier went into the bathroom and it was fired off. As per Neumeier, the whole bathroom engulfed in dust from the gun going off and set off a few fire alarms. The gun also had to be cleared by the FBI as a prop into the United States for usage because of its odd and prototype nature.
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Monte Hellman acted as second unit director after Paul Verhoeven began to fall behind schedule.
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One of the themes of Robocop was a futuristic bankruptcy of Detroit. Robocop premiered on July 17th, 1987 and the City of Detroit, Michigan, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on July 18, 2013.
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Despite prominent advertising, the ED-209 is barely in the film.
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Dick Jones taunts Bob Morton with the lines "... the old story, the fight for love and glory ...", which are from the song "As Time Goes By" by Herman Hupfeld.
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In the Latinamerican DVD dubbing, the news about Mexico were changed to be happening in the Middle East. However, in the subtitles the location remained uncharged.
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The members of Clarence Boddicker's gang (including Clarence himself) all use shotguns. No two shotguns are alike, each being a different model and/or variation, Clarence uses a modified Mossberg 5500, a semi-automatic shotgun with a shortened barrel and heat shield, Joe Cox uses a standard mag-tube Remington 870 Folding Stock with the stock removed and a Beretta 92F, Leon Nash uses an Ithaca 37 with a pistol-grip and extended magazine tube, He switches to a Remington 870 in the steel mill he also uses a Detonics ScoreMaster in .45 ACP during the nightclub scene, while Emil Antonowsky uses the Ithaca, he also uses a Ingram MAC-10 fitted with a recoil compensator and a modified folding stock when he robs a gas station, one of the same MAC-10's was also used in several episodes of Miami Vice. Steve Minh wields a Mossberg 500 Cruiser, with a distinctive sling swivel.
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The organic food paste that Robocop eats was actually made up of parsnip, tomato purée and crushed butterfinger bars.
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In a recent interview, Paul Verhoeven admitted that when the audience would see Robocop for the first time, he would just swing the camera onto him and show him right away. Instead, Rob Bottin suggested to slightly hide Robocop behind glass and bars and mainly hear him approach before fully showing him fully. Verhoeven liked the approach (characters are often introduced this way in many of his favorite Spaghetti Westerns) and used it.
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Despite an uncanny resemblance, the actor who played Keva Rosenburg is NOT Edward Van Halen, nor is it Alex Van Halen. The actor's name is James Staszkiel.
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Almost 20 years after this film, Peter Weller, Paul McCrane and Ray Wise all appear in Day 5 of 24 (2001). However, they do not share any screen time.
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Ken Russell called this the greatest science-fiction film since Metropolis (1927).
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Murphy briefly mentions his son's name in the parking lot when he practices the gun twirl.
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The movie takes place in 1997, the same year as Lost in Space (1965) and Predator 2 (1990), & Robotron: 2084 (1982), which happens to start with the letters, "Robo".
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On the first day of putting on the Robocop suit, it is alleged that it took anywhere from 10-15 hours to get Peter Weller into the suit. This including removing or moving certain pieces around to give Weller mobility.
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The news coverage and fake commercials featured in the film combined are over 5 minutes long.
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In August 1988, it was the first Orion release to premiere in the United States on Showtime, as part of an exclusive, multi-year deal for first-run television rights. Prior to then, HBO had a multi-year contract with the studio to have their films premiere first on the pay cable channel.
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The original gun for RoboCop was a Desert Eagle, but this was deemed too small. A Beretta 93R was heavily modified by Ray Williams of Freshour Machine, Texas City, Texas, who extended the gun barrel to make it look bigger and more proportional to RoboCop's hand. The gun holster itself was a standalone piece that was not integrated into the suit. Off-screen technicians would operate the device on cue by pulling cables that would force the holster to open up and allow the gun to be placed inside.
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Paul McCrane appears in this film with Miguel Ferrer. McCrane would later become a regular on ER (1994), opposite Ferrer's cousin, George Clooney. Ferrer and his mother, Rosemary Clooney, also both made guest appearances.
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Tom Berenger was in talks with director Verhoeven about playing the lead role of RoboCop.
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The phrase "...dead or alive...you're coming with me..." is an old western movie and television lawman/outlaw tag line.
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During filming, director Paul Verhoeven caused considerable tension on the set with his notoriously short temper. Cast members Kurtwood Smith and Ronny Cox were eyewitnesses to some of the director's rantings and ravings, which wasn't helped by Peter Weller hating his Robocop costume due to lack of comfort. In his biography, Verhoeven admitted that his temper was more or less an accepted thing during his Dutch career, as no one would take it personal. However, he quickly learned during his first American movie that this approach had the exact opposite effect in the USA, so he had to learn how to reign in his temper over time, and, at one time, had to apologize to his entire crew.
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Alex Cox turned down directorial duties to make Straight to Hell (1987).
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Six actors from this film have also appeared in the Star Trek franchise: Kurtwood Smith played the Federation President in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), and also appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995); Ronny Cox appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987); Ray Wise appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995); Miguel Ferrer played a helmsman in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984); Robert DoQui appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993); and Peter Weller appeared on Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) and in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).
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Included in "The A to Z of Superhero Movies: From Abar to ZsaZsa via the MCU", written by Rob Hill.
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Some people have pointed out that the film, Eliminators (1986), shares some similarities with this film and the film was joked to be the PG-rated version of this film. Interestingly, Eliminators (1986) was released a year before this film.
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The book the gas station attendant is studying from is called "Schaum's Outline Series Principles and Problems of Plane Geometry with Coordinate Geometry" by Barnett Rich.
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During on-set production interviews, Peter Weller referred to his character as 'John Murphy' which many believe to be erroneous on his part. However, the name 'Alex' is never spoken in the film, and Weller's character is only ever referred to by himself and others as 'Murphy', so it is possible it was scripted as 'John' but changed sometime during production. The only reference seen to 'Alex Murphy' is on the computer record Robocop looks up on the police file, which could have been an easy post-production change.
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When Emil stops to get gas for his motorcycle, the price of gas at that station is $5.799 per gallon.
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The film's VHS and LaserDisc rentals earned a revenue of $24 million.
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David Cronenberg was offered the job to direct this film. Cronenberg declined.
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Due to the film's success, two animated spin-off series made for children were created, RoboCop (1988) and RoboCop: Alpha Commando (1998). RoboCop (1988) aired a year after the film's release and lasted for one season with 12 episodes. And RoboCop: Alpha Commando (1998) aired 11 years after the film's release and lasted for one season with 40 episodes. Both shows toned down much of the mature nature and dark elements of the film to keep them kid-friendly.
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Director Paul Verhoeven appears in the dance club scene for less than a second as a wildly dancing man. Verhoeven never intended to be in the scene. He was simply trying to rile up the extras into dancing with more energy, and was picked up by the camera. Verhoeven was actually surprised that the editors had pulled a joke on him by managing to slip in the brief shot of him at the film's first screening.
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This is director Paul Verhoeven's ninth film.
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The film was shot over the course of four months. It started filming on August 6, 1986, and wrapped on November 8, 1986.
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Director and writer Kenneth Johnson was offered to direct this film. Johnson declined due to not being allowed to change aspects of the script he deemed to be "mean-spirited, ugly, and ultra-violent".
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This film uses the word "fuck" 35 times.
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Sol Negrin is uncredited as one of the film's cinematographers.
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Empire Magazine placed this film as in the 404th spot in The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time list.
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According to the credits of RoboCop 2 (1990), Alex Murphy's wife and son are named Ellen and Jimmy Murphy. In the remake, RoboCop (2014), their names are Clara and David Murphy.
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It took almost 10 months of preparation for the construction of the RoboCop suit. Life casts of Peter Weller and 6-foot clay models created by Rob Bottin were used to design and construct the suit.
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Executive producer Jon Davison provided the voice of ED-209.
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The film had a budget of $13 million. It ended up being a success at the box office earning up to $54 million domestically.
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The film was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Film Editing. The film won the Best Sound Editing Oscar.
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Sylvester Stallone was considered to play Alex Murphy/Robocop.
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Jonathan Kaplan was originally set to direct, but opted to do Project X (1987) instead.
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The helmets the police officers wear are modified versions of the Cooper SK 2000 hockey helmet. Oddly enough the visors are screwed into the side bumpers instead of the two screws on the front of the helmet where traditionally visors and cages are installed on the helmets. In the NHL it was most famously used by Mario Lemieux, Chris Osgood, and Dominic Hasek.
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Alex Murphy was initially called Robert in the original script. Producers felt that people would call him RobertCop. So, it was changed at the last minute.
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The history of Detroit, and future real life events, reflect the dystopian theme of this movie (released in 1987). The City of Detroit was continually losing population. From a peak of 1,849,568 in 1950, the city lost around 750,000 people, to under 1,100,000 in a couple generations (by the time this movie was released in 1987). The population continues to decline, dropping down to an estimated 672,000 by 2018.
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Miguel Ferrer, Dan O'Herlihy and Ray Wise all subsequently appeared on Twin Peaks (1990).
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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T.J. Lazer is a parody of the television series T.J. Hooker (1982), which starred William Shatner. Peter Weller, like Shatner, has appeared in the Star Trek films.
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Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) uses two different types of the Desert Eagle in the film. His main weapon is an Desert Eagle Mark I in .357 Magnum with an elongated threaded barrel (sometimes fitted with a suppressor). He also uses one without the extended barrel during the drug lab shootout.
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The film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #23.
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When Robocop ends the hostage situation, it is a 'parody' of the media videotaped Bud Dwyer suicide.
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Kenneth L. Johnson said that he was offered the chance to direct, but turned down when he was not allowed to change aspects of the script that he considered to be "mean-spirited, ugly and ultra-violent".
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Armand Assante auditioned for the role of Alex Murphy/Robocop.
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Murphy carries the SIG-Sauer P226 in 9x19mm as his sidearm before he becomes RoboCop. His partner, Anne Lewis, also uses one in the abandoned factory and throughout the remainder of the film, although it appears that her sidearm was a P9S earlier. (There has been some debate on RoboCop message boards over whether this gun is a P220 or a P226. It is definitely a P226 because the frame of the gun has the prominent bulges along the side, visible between the takedown switch and the decocker, which make the frame wider so that the gun can accommodate a double-stack magazine. The P220, which takes a single-stack magazine, lacks these; the sides of the receiver appear smooth rather than bulged, even from a distance.)
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Debra Lamb's small role was cut from the final finished version of the film.
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Steven Berkoff was considered for Dick Jones.
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The company that makes Robocop is named OCP, which is the word "cop" rearranged.
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Bob Morton's home was filmed in a home near Dallas featured in the television series Beyond 2000 (1985).
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[1:15:52] there is a news story that tells of two former US presidents who retired in Santa Barbara and were struck by a laser. Audiences in Santa Barbara theaters cheered at the mention of the town. Former President Richard Nixon did have a home in San Clemente, California but resided in New York City since 1979 until his death in April 1994 (his Presidential library and birthplace is located in Yorba Linda, California); former President Ronald Reagan (who was President at the time of the film's release in 1987) passed away in June 2004 at his Bel Air estate (his presidential library is located in Simi Valley, CA).
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Many cast members have appeared in films based on Stephen King stories. Nancy Allen appeared in Carrie (1976). Paul McCrane appeared in The Shawshank Redemption (1994). And Miguel Ferrer appeared in The Stand (1994), The Night Flier (1997), and The Shining (1997) miniseries. In addition, his niece, Tessa Ferrer, appeared on Mr. Mercedes (2017), including an episode directed by Peter Weller.
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In the scene where Murphy is practicing his gun twirling while Lewis is getting the coffee, if you look in the background of the side shot (where both are in the scene) the low brown building behind them with the antennae tower is the TV station KDFW Channel 4, the Dallas/Fort Worth affiliate of the FOX Network (at the time it was the CBS affiliate). Also of an interesting note, the parking lot behind Murphy in the shots facing him is no longer there. It is now a city bus terminal.
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When told cigarettes will kill him, Emil (Paul McCrane) replies "You wanna live forever?" This line was also used in Starship Troopers (1997), also directed by Paul Verhoeven. Paul McCrane also previously appeared in Fame (1980), the title song of which featured the line "I'm gonna live forever."
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Spencer Prokop's first cinematic appearance.
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The film was shot in a very hot summer in Dallas.
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Paul Verhoeven who directed this movie, also directed Total Recall (1990). The police in Total Recall (2012) are robotic cops. In fact, in that film, a street thug refers to one of the robotic police as "Robo-Dick", a nod to this film.
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Miguel Ferrer doubts the significance of Robocop having a dream. On Twin Peaks, he is again skeptical, but that time works with a colleague who puts great stock in dreams.
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Kurtwood Smith later appeared in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country with Christopher Plummer. Plummer shares the roles of Iago and Cyrano de Bergerac with Miguel Ferrer's father, Jose Ferrer.
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Orion Pictures executives kept trying to interfere with the production while it was still going on.
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Robert DoQui and Felton Perry who both star in the film played the same character of Obra in the Walking Tall series. Perry played Obra in Walking Tall (1973) and DoQui played Obra in Walking Tall Part II (1975).
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The phone number for the Family Heart Center is 555-4444.
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A semi-automatic civilian version of the Sterling SMG, the Sterling Mark 6 Semiautomatic Carbine (recognizable by its 16" barrel, necessary to comply with gun laws in the U.S.) is seen used by the convenience store robber (Mike Moroff). It was imported for commercial sale into the U.S. during the 1980s and banned from import after 1989 (under the so-called Congressional Assault Weapons Ban, which, however, expired in the 2000s). The carbine is fired semiautomatic throughout the robbery.
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The Cobras are actually older-specification Barrett M82 long-range .50 BMG rifles which have been dressed up extra plastic housing over the receivers and fitted with gigantic scopes. (The scopes were originally supposed to show computer-generated targeting information, but this idea was scrapped due to budget constraints.) The Cobra fires some type of powerful high explosive incendiary round that explodes upon impact (judging by the lack of substantial recoil, this is likely some form of low-pressure grenade);
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The Twinkie as a defense for murder refered to in an earlier piece of trivia was mentioned in a cover of I Fought The Law by the 80's punk band the Dead Kennedys, it is also notable that the defense actually worked.
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"T.J. Lazer" sounds like a reference to "T.J. Hooker," a police drama starring William Shatner. Miguel Ferrer appeared with Shatner (though they shared no scenes) in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Peter Weller appeared in Star Trek: Into Darkness, which again featured Shatner's most famous character, Captain James Kirk.
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This film features several actors connected to Batman. Peter Weller has voiced Batman, Miguel Ferrer was cousin to Batman player George Clooney, Ray Wise voiced Commissioner Gordon, and Dan O'Herlihy appeared on Batman: The Animated Series (1992). The remake featured Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman, who has also played Batman and Gordon, respectively. They also both play roles in the remake, RoboCop (2014).
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Michael Gregory is the SWAT team leader when the city councilman takes hostages. He previously appeared in Beverly Hills Cop (1984) as the hotel manager who checks in Axel Foley. Both movies have "cop" in the title. Gregory also played one of the Rebel leaders in Verhoeven's next film "Total Recall" (1990).
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Cameo 

Edward Neumeier: The writer is briefly seen on a photo on the "Wanted" bulletin in the police department, hanging on a non-transparent glass when RoboCop walks behind it. Close inspection of the original prop reveals that the bulletin bears his name as well and that the fictionalized version of Edward Neumeier is charged with fraud and flight to avoid prosecution. Originally, the man catching the LAR Grizzly gun that RoboCop beats out of Leon's hand in the disco was supposed to be his cameo, but he wasn't available at the time of filming.
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Director Cameo 

Paul Verhoeven: wildly gesticulating guy in the dance club immediately after Leon tries to kick RoboCop in the crotch. This remains Verhoeven's only on-screen cameo in his career.
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Director Trademark 

Paul Verhoeven: [in-movie fake commercials] Several fake advertisements are featured throughout the movie: The Family Heart Center (a medical center specializing in artificial heart transplants), Nukem (a futuristic Battleship-like board game), and the 6000 SUX - the primary vehicle that Clarence Boddicker and his gang use.
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Paul Verhoeven: [nude co-ed shower scene] A nude scene takes place in a co-ed locker and shower rooms, as in Starship Troopers (1997).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the attempted rape scene, writer Edward Neumeier originally had RoboCop shoot past the victim's cheek, hitting and killing the rapist. While getting ready to shoot the scene as scripted, Paul Verhoeven notice how Donna Keegan's (playing the rape victim) legs were spread apart, giving him the idea to have RoboCop shoot between her legs and shoot the rapist in the genitals. Neumeier loved the idea and that was how the scene was shot.
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Realizing that the film was running behind schedule and over budget, director Paul Verhoeven and producer Jon Davison purposely did not film one crucial scene: Officer Murphy's death. When production wrapped, they went back to Los Angeles and grimly informed the execs that Murphy's death had not been filmed. After watching the footage they did film, the execs were so astonished by the aesthetics and performances they gave the filmmakers more money and they filmed the scene in a redecorated warehouse in Los Angeles.
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The trauma team portrayed in the movie trying to save Murphy was a real hospital trauma team. Their dialogue was mostly ad-libbed.
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Concerned that various police forces would object to the scene of the title character throwing Clarence Boddicker through glass while reading his rights, the producers had a preliminary screening for an audience of police officers. It turns out that they were delighted at the sight of the hero getting tough with a wanted murderer in a way that they could not.
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The climactic "Melting Man" scene with Emil (Paul McCrane) melting after being soaked in acid was heavily objected by the MPAA and they demanded to have it removed. However, they eventually backed down when they found out that in most test screenings, the scene elicited the most positive reaction from the test audience such that it was eventually passed without any cuts.
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One unused idea for a scene was to have RoboCop going to his old house where his family would still live. He meets his son, but the boy does not recognize him; the only one who does is his old dog (similar to The Odyssey, where Odysseus returns home and isn't recognized by anyone except his dog). The producers liked the idea but Paul Verhoeven decided not to shoot the scene for being a bit too sentimental. The scene would later be used in the 2014 remake. This idea was also used in RoboCop 2 (1990), as he passes in front of the house in a police car and his former wife recognizes him.
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While filming Bob Morton's death scene, Miguel Ferrer and Kurtwood Smith began cracking up because while directing the scene, Paul Verhoeven referred to all the actors in-character. This meant he addressed the actresses playing the prostitutes as "bitches".
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The scene where Boddicker's gang tortures and finally murders Murphy was heavily edited several times in order to avoid an X rating. In the theatrical version, it is clear that Boddicker has blown apart Murphy's right hand with a shotgun blast, and Emil then blows off his right arm at the shoulder with another shotgun blast, but the explicit gore is limited in those instances. There was also an extension of 2 seconds where Boddicker explicitly blows Murphy's brains out with a handgun that got taken out. The full scene with all of the original dismemberment and head shot was restored in the Director's Cut which was released on home media.
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During the news footage when RoboCop throws the disgruntled city hall worker out the window during the hostage crisis, the dummy's legs fly up into the air in a comedic fashion as it hits the ground. This was a happy accident and the creators decided to keep it in the film.
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According to Paul Verhoeven's commentary on the Criterion Edition DVD, an additional Media Break was filmed and completed for the film. Most notably, it featured footage of Lewis hospitalized and recovering, assuring the audience that she did not die nor would become "Bride of RoboCop", as many speculated.
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When Lewis fires the Cobra Assault Cannon during the final shootout at the foundry the muzzle flash and blast are so powerful that they knock the Lexan screen protecting the film crew and equipment off its mounting and into the shot.
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Originally, Clarence Boddicker was the lone villain in the movie, but the filmmakers decided to capitalize on the political commentary by making Dick Jones (as played by Ronny Cox) the arch villain pulling the strings. As a result, the two central storylines (RoboCop hunting Boddicker/the politics of OCP) converge into the finale.
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Seven RoboCop suits were used throughout the movie. Out of the seven, one of them had special safeguards and fireproof fiberglass to help the stuntman perform the gas station scene. Another two were used exclusively during the third act of the movie where Robocop gets damaged from the ED-209 and the Detroit Police Department. There was no 'one suit' as most people would think, but actually more than one, each fragile and easily destroyed during filming.
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Paul Verhoeven initially did not like the screenplay, but was finally won over by his wife's persuasion, when she noticed that underneath all the science fiction, there was a lot of smart satire and a universal story about a man who finally finds his lost identity. When Verhoeven saw the finished film with an audience for the first time, when the Old Man asks for RoboCop's name in the final scene, the audience already started to yell "Murphy!" before RoboCop got the chance to answer. Verhoeven was touched to learn that he had succeeded in getting that quest for identity to the screen.
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The 'Melting Man' sequence was conceived by special make-up effects designer Rob Bottin as a two-stage effect, with increasing amounts of flesh melting off from Emil's (Paul McCrane) bones in each stage. About three-quarters of McCrane's head and chest were covered in make-up appliances. For the shot where Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) runs over Emil with his car, a life-size dummy was created with the stage two make-up. The dummy was jointed to give the correct effect of buckling while being hit. The head was always supposed to come off, but the fact that it rolled neatly over the car's windshield was pure luck. For the shot from inside the car that showed Emil's guts splattering over the windshield, the cast and crew had gathered several days' worth of catering leftovers in a pot. This had become a disgusting liquid mess that was subsequently thrown at the windshield to get the desired effect.
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Up till then, Ronny Cox was usually cast in friendly roles so his casting as a villain was a surprise (this was carried over into the subsequent "Total Recall" (1990)). This was also the case for Kurtwood Smith who had normally won intellectual roles.
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Director Paul Verhoeven originally wanted RoboCop to kill Clarence Boddicker by stabbing him through the eyeball. Realizing that the censors would balk, he changed his mind and envisioned Clarence having the interface spike shoved through his chin, mouth, and upper jaw. Again, for the sake of placating the censors, he settled on the filmed version, which was also altered slightly (see the "Alternate Versions" section for more information).
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As RoboCop approaches Dick Jones's office in his first attempt to arrest him, Jones is tapping his fingers in time to the incidental music.
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In the scene after RoboCop arrests Clarence Boddicker and brings him into the precinct, Kurtwood Smith improvised the line "Just give me my fucking phone call.".
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Body count: 34
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One scene that was scripted, but not featured in the film is a fourth Media Break sequence in which Brixby Snyder, a parody of Benny Hill whose running line is "I'd buy that for a dollar!", is forcibly arrested on allegations of receiving sexual favors from underaged co-stars. The scene would have taken place after RoboCop's reply to the Old Man's question, but the decision was made to instead end the film after Murphy's reply, because Director Paul Verhoeven felt the scripted ending was "more of a punch-line than a climax". As a result, there is no dialog mentioning the names of Brixby Snyder or his program "It's Not My Problem" in the film.
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Two scenes were storyboarded, but never filmed. The drawings are shown on the DVD. The first was a scene where RoboCop visits his grave. The second was a long car chase, an alternate scene that got them to the old steel mill (where Murphy died). This car chase was to be set after RoboCop removed his helmet and had RoboCop and Lewis break up a riot, followed by a shootout with Joe and Emil with the Cobra Assault Cannons. Eventually, they retreated to their cars then the car chase to the old steel mill began. There was also an alternate opening scene, showing Clarence Boddicker wounding the officer who is announced dead later in the movie, but this scene was scrapped as being unnecessary.
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Just for the record (some viewers have asked about this very obvious point), loading the "demo" ED-209 with live ammo was no "mistake" or "character error", even though it was a ridiculous and catastrophic oversight in responsible behavior. The idea is that Dick Jones and his henchmen are such deranged, arrogant, confident people that they will actually risk lives merely to demonstrate/flaunt their preposterous juggernaut.
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The paramedics attempting to resuscitate Murphy after he is shot up with holes were played by a real trauma team. They were allowed to improvise their lines, and on the DVD commentary the writers mention how it turned out better than what they ever could have thought up.
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After writing the second draft of the screenplay, writers Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner had two months to rewrite the screenplay with director Paul Verhoeven's input. Verhoeven initially wanted to give the story more realism, and also suggested that Murphy should have an extramarital affair with Anne Lewis. When Miner became sick, Neumeier reluctantly started to work on the alterations, but not before he gave Verhoeven a stack of American comics, so that the director could get a taste of the comic book atmosphere that Neumeier and Miner had been aiming for. Fortunately, Verhoeven enjoyed the comics, and after reading the third draft of the screenplay, he agreed that the second draft (with a few slight modifications) was superior.
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The police union strike taking place at the end of the film, provides a viable explanation as to why Dick Jones did not dispatch a second mission of police officers against RoboCop (after the OCP Tower shootout). Seeing that he has run out of options Dick Jones resorted to his last ally: Clarence Boddicker and his gang of thugs.
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According to director Paul Verhoeven, the nude coed locker/shower room scene was meant to show gender neutrality in the police force in the future. As opposed to having the standard separate locker and shower rooms in accordance with gender, the film depicts men and women sharing locker and shower rooms as if it's perfectly natural. Verhoeven wanted more nudity in the scene but the timing and pacing prevented it. He states, "We tried to introduce gender neutrality into the locker room. But it went by so fast." As a result of the scene lasting for several seconds, a decade later, Verhoeven decided to do a similar scene that lasted for a few minutes in Starship Troopers (1997) to showcase more of the gender neutrality in the government agencies in the future. Interestingly, most of the Starship Troopers (1997) cast and extras were nervous about doing the nude scene. So, Verhoeven and cinematographer Jost Vacano stripped naked to make them more comfortable, which garnered laughs. Verhoeven stated that nudity is not a problem for him and Vacano was raised in a nudist camp. Afterward, the cast and extras found their courage and did the scene with no problem. It's unclear whether Verhoeven achieved the same approach for the extras in this film. Despite the differing time lengths, both scenes presented the possible prospects of gender neutrality in the future in a professional manner.
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Paul Verhoeven: [religious imagery] RoboCop is seen walking on water near the end of the film. Verhoeven has stated that he sees the character as a futuristic version of Christ. Additional references include the gunshot blast to Murphy's hand as Jesus' hands being nailed to the cross, the bullet to Murphy's head seen as the Crown of Thorns, and Boddicker's blood at the climax of the film turning the water red, like wine.
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This was the second time that Kurtwood Smith killed Miguel Ferrer in a movie. The first was in Flashpoint (1984).
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In the infamous melting man sequence, Paul McCrane and Ray Wise were kept apart so that the first time Wise's character, Leon sees Emil, McCrane's character, melting like cheese off a pizza was genuinely horrifying. It was the first time that Wise sees McCrane in makeup, ensuring that his look of fear and yell of terror were real. Leon's line, "Don't touch me, man!" was also genuine on the part of Wise's fear of McCrane's monstrously altered appearance.
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A puppet of Ronny Cox was used when he is shot out of the building window by RoboCop as he's falling to his death.
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In the scene where Bob Morton is killed by Clarence Boddicker, Boddicker inserts a disk into a player with Dick Jones message on it 10 years before the DVD was introduced to the world.
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Joe P. Cox was originally supposed to have a much more gruesome death. In the original script during the climax, he got knocked off a scaffold and was impaled on a pole when he fell, and would then be eaten alive by dogs.
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According to Kevin Page, the scene where his character Kinney is violently shot by ED-209 was trimmed by 2 seconds in order to obtain the R rating. The shots involved him being shot some more as he is lying on the table. Page was actually called back two months after the production wrapped to film this shot that ultimately got removed. However, the full scene was restored in the Director's Cut.
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Emil Antonowski's fate was inspired by The Incredible Melting Man (1977).
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During Murphy's death scene, director Paul Verhoeven's finger can be seen briefly in front of the camera by accident. Rather than re-shoot the scene, it was left in the final film. The cast and crew dubbed it "Verhoeven's cameo". He had another one during the dance club scene later in the movie.
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Ray Wise actually kept a part of the torn and tattered remains of Leon's clothing (worn for the crane tower explosion) after filming by wrapping it in a plastic bag.
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After accepting the script to direct, Paul Verhoeven stated in a Q&A panel that he asked for a sex scene to be inserted between Robocop and his partner, Lewis. To his utter surprise, despite having no credentials in Hollywood as a director yet, both writers Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner agreed to so and brought him the altered script with the scene. He rejected the idea afterward and they did too. Such demands were unheard of for a first time director and would never be accepted.
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Special effects makeup artist Rob Bottin had actually previously worked on The Incredible Melting Man (1977) a decade before this film. Bottin was uncredited as an assistant makeup artist for the former film. He was inspired by his time working with makeup artist Rick Baker on the film by using similar "melting" makeup effects in this film for Emil Antonowski's agonizing erosion during the climactic battle.
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In the fourth draft of the script, the film was to take place during 2043 or 2044 and featured a highly technologically advanced society. However, due to budget restraints, it was decided that the film takes place in the not too distant future.
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An alternate version of Emil Antonowski's death was filmed. This version is somewhat less gruesome than the theatrical version and was filmed in case the censors didn't accept the theatrical version. As opposed to Boddicker hitting Antonowski's body which causes him to explode into a soupy mess, this version shows Boddicker swerving around him and Antonowski simultaneously melts into a puddle of goo. This is also similar to the ending of The Incredible Melting Man (1977), which shows Steve West dying by melting into a pile of goo. The alternate version of this scene is often used in TV edits of the film.
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When Murphy stabs Boddicker in the throat, he uses the same hand that Boddicker shot off.
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The violation RoboCop lists when attempting to arrest Dick Jones is "C.6 SEC 148."
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Kevin Page (the actor seen as Kinney - who is killed by the ED-209) has a still of the scene with himself and Ronny Cox which became his self-portrait - in real life an oil painting of this scene (done with a modern take on pointillism) is seen inside Page's art gallery in Dallas, Texas, which opened up in 2012 (at the same time when appearing on the television series Dallas (2012) in a recurring role - he and Brenda Strong (who was in Starship Troopers (1997)) were the only Verhoeven alumni to have appeared in the Dallas continuation series for three seasons). Page has been a professional artist/photographer in the DFW Metroplex since the early 2000s.
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The scene where ED-209 falls down the stairs while trying to chase and kill Murphy/RoboCop, he ends up landing on his back and squeals in distress. Interestingly, some people stated that they felt sorry for ED-209 because he sounded like a wailing baby. Technically and metaphorically speaking, ED-209 is a baby since he was created by OCP a few months earlier.
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Out of Boddicker and his crew, Joe Cox is the most visibly eager to tangle with RoboCop, recklessly firing off several shots of the cannon he's been given and whooping with glee at the explosions it causes. He ends up being the first of Boddicker's henchmen to be killed by Robocop in their final confrontation.
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This film share several similarities with the comic book film, Spawn (1997). For example:
  • Both films show the main character working for a government agency.
  • Both films show the wrongful, violent, and excruciating death of the main character.
  • Both films show that the main character's death robbed him of his family and normal life.
  • Both films show the main character eventually seeking revenge for his death.
  • Both films show the rampant city corruption that the main character must contend with.
  • Both films show the advancement of technology that serves a huge purpose for the entire story.
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During the scene where Murphy/RoboCop is carrying out his revenge against Boddicker while reading him his Miranda Rights, he is about to strangle him to death until it's averted due to Boddicker's pleading and his program reminding him to uphold the law. In the latter half of the film where the final battle takes place between Murphy/RoboCop and Lewis against Boddicker and his gang at the steel mill, he finally does kill Boddicker by stabbing him in the throat with his bayonet jack. In both cases, Murphy/RoboCop aimed for the throat in terms of killing his killer.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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