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The Squeeze (1987)

PG-13 | | Action, Comedy, Crime | 10 July 1987 (USA)
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A mysterious black box spells danger to a con man and female detective.

Director:

Roger Young

Writer:

Daniel Taplitz
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ric Abernathy Ric Abernathy ... Bouncer
Michael Keaton ... Harry Berg
Danny Aiello III ... Ralph Vigo
Rae Dawn Chong ... Rachel Dobs
Bobby Bass ... Poker Player
Leslie Bevis ... Gem Vigo
Lou Criscuolo Lou Criscuolo ... Kurt
Ray Gabriel Ray Gabriel ... Security Guard
George Gerdes ... Joe
Ronald Guttman ... Rigaud
Paul Herman ... Freddy
Richard E. Huhn Richard E. Huhn ... Police Clerk
John Dennis Johnston ... Nick
Jeffrey Josephson Jeffrey Josephson ... Al
Liane Langland ... Hilda
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Storyline

His ex-wife asks the unsuccessful gambler and inventor Harrison for a small favor: to get her a parcel from a friend's apartment - without telling him what's in it. Suddenly he finds himself assaulted by villains and shortly after even under suspect of murder. The inexperienced P.I. Rachel is hired by an unknown party to rid him of the parcel - but soon befriends him. Together they try to figure out what kind of game is being played. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just a few weeks ago, nobody cared if he was alive. Now everybody wants him dead. For Harry Berg, that's progress. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 July 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Skip Tracer See more »

Filming Locations:

Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,228,951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

TriStar Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

During the production, veteran stuntman Victor Magnotta drowned while performing a car stunt in which the auto was driven off a Hoboken, New Jersey pier and plunged into the Hudson River. Vic's untimely death (in his early forties) was the result of several miscalculations. The car was supposed to run off the end of the pier, flat-splash in the Hudson, and sink slowly, but the vehicle had been stripped of all excess weight, including the gas tank. There was a small canister tank under the hood with just enough fuel to pull off the stunt, because environmental laws prohibited fuel leakage into the river. This made the car abnormally nose-heavy. Vic was strapped inside in a five-point harness, and had a "pony" air bottle w/regulator close at hand. For whatever reason, it was decided to replace the car's glass windshield with with one made from a sheet of plexiglass. When the effects crew screwed down the new windshield, the torque on their portable drills was apparently set too high, and the screws stripped out their holes. Vic drove off the end of the pier, but the car had the weight of the engine in front, and very little weight in the rear. Instead of "pancaking" into the river, the car immediately nosed over, and hit the surface grille-first. The onrushing water hit the windshield, ripped out the screws, and wrapped the plastic strip around Vic. He couldn't even get to his air bottle. Safety divers responded immediately, but before they could unwrap him from the failed windshield, he was dead. The actual sequence (not the aftermath, of course) was used in the film. See more »

Goofs

Rachel and Harry are locked in a bathroom trying to escape from Titus. The place is illuminated very brightly but when the two run away through a window in the next shot no lights appear in the place, it's all dark. See more »

Quotes

Ralph Vigo: Human morality disintegrates at the fifty million dollar mark.
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK video versions are cut by 6 seconds. The theatrical release was uncut. See more »

Connections

Features Penny Serenade (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

AS SOON AS I FIND MY SHOES I'M GONE
Performed by Ferron
Courtesy of Lucy Records, LTD.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
No ground-breaker here, but a lost little jewel from the 80s.
30 June 2017 | by womper-90921See all my reviews

Pulling off the crime drama/rom-com/suspense mix is no easy task. This one, if given a chance, is not nearly as bad as the citation its often been given. The Squeeze was prototypical of others of its time, starting with the "every guy" who suddenly gets caught in the middle of corruption and intrigue, then spends 90+ minutes doing his best to stay one step ahead of, well, death. It would be very easy to find a lot of things to critique about "Squeeze," as previous reviews have stated. But it also has a lot going for it.

Michael Keaton was a hot ticket at the time, and the character was a good fit for his on-screen strengths. Harry has that somewhat cocky exterior that thinly veils a very insecure, questioning inner self, often masked by not taking himself too seriously. Its been said Jenny Wright was originally to play Rachel, and no offense to her, but after seeing this its hard to imagine a better fit for the role than Rae Dawn. She quite naturally pulls off what too many female lead characters try more forcefully, yet less successfully, to do now; she's a great combination of adorable and feisty, fun-loving, yet tough. Sure, you check your brains at the door, knowing that in reality the leads should have been dead 10 times over. But what this film most has going for it is {1} decent, believable charisma between Keaton and Chong, and {2} genuinely likable lead characters -- two things so often missing from today's movies. It has charm. It has a bit of a dark side without being overly profane or violent, so as to not take away from that charm. As a result, it keeps you interested.

This was a favorite from 3 decades ago I had forgotten about, until I stumbled upon it on late night telly recently. I'm glad I did. If you're feeling nostalgic for films that had these aforementioned elements mostly missing today, and can track this one down, I think you will be too.


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