6.7/10
22,158
65 user 41 critic

Colors (1988)

An experienced cop and his rookie partner patrol the streets of East Los Angeles while trying to keep the gang violence under control.

Director:

Dennis Hopper

Writers:

Michael Schiffer (screenplay), Michael Schiffer (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,703 ( 504)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Danny McGavin
Robert Duvall ... Bob Hodges
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Louisa Gomez
Randy Brooks ... Ron Delaney
Grand L. Bush ... Larry Sylvester (as Grand Bush)
Don Cheadle ... Rocket
Gerardo Mejía ... Bird
Glenn Plummer ... High Top
Rudy Ramos ... Melindez
Sy Richardson ... Bailey
Trinidad Silva ... Frog
Charles Walker ... Reed
Damon Wayans ... T-Bone
Fred Asparagus Fred Asparagus ... Cook
Sherman Augustus ... Officer Porter
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Storyline

A confident young cop is shown the ropes by a veteran partner in the dangerous gang-controlled barrios of L.A. about to explode in violence in this look at the gang culture enforced by the colors that members wear. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two cops. Two gangs. One hell of a war. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vigilantes de la calle See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,747,118, 17 April 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$46,616,067
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (Dolby Stereo Spectral Recording)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

[25:07]When Felipé and his friends are running from Hodges & McGavin after he throws the rock at the car, a graffiti covered abandoned building can be seen. This was the Belmont Tunnel aka Toluca Substation (Graffiti covered building) The Belmont Tunnel / Toluca Substation and Yard is a designated historic monument located within the city limits of Los Angeles. The tunnel, substation and yard are remnants of the former Pacific Electric Railway's line that ran between the Subway Terminal Building in Downtown Los Angeles and the residential district of Westlake. The monument occupies a vacant lot roughly one mile west of downtown. See more »

Goofs

In the graffiti spray painting scene when Sean Penn sprays green paint on the kid's face, in the next scene the amount of green paint has increased substantially to cover the kid's entire face. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Diaz: Hey Hodges, what do you think about all those hot shot jitter bugs, huh?
Bob Hodges: What about 'em?
Diaz: You never went for this shit, did you?
Bob Hodges: No way.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical version wasn't shortened but scenes were added when Virgin released the VHS in the UK, marketed as a bonus rather than as a Director's Cut. In the 'international VHS version' two scenes were extended. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Resident Alien (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

SIX GUN
Performed by Decadent Dub Team
Written by David Williams / Jeff Liles
Published by Island Music, Inc.
Courtesy of Island Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Classic
24 April 2006 | by arnold_benjSee all my reviews

Consider the range and the capture of characters in one movie, Colors delivers multiple plot lines from a number of sides.

I remember when this movie first came out I was in Jr. high school. Colors was a controversial movie talked about by teachers, principles and parents because, believe it or not, it had a tendency for glorification and encouraging gang membership.

To my surprise, the movie has little glorification in it and was a grim summary of Los Angeles gang life (and even that of law enforcement.) The movie does not spoon feed its audience, save for a few minor comments that were cheesy at their worst and cleverly woven in at their best.

In some cases the portrayal of gang life in LA might have been TOO broad and sophisticated for many viewers. The title COLORS and its implication was meant to explain the rival Crip and Blood gangs but in fact that was merely a pretext. Soon into the movie the viewer is taken into various other neighborhoods as well as other gangs, including WHITE FENCE and 21st Street.

For those that denounce this movie as being outdated, cheesy or otherwise, it's hard for me to understand what you are paying attention to. If you remember the 80's in the slightest, it was a time of decadent and flamboyant neon glow ala Prince, Michael Jackson and various other nonsense. The irony is that COLORS portrays a world that was virtually isolated and separate from the 80's because that is what it was MEANT to point out. This was gang life at its peak, before any of the gangster rap hit white suburbia and became a marketable fad. This was BEFORE white folks thought it was cool. It was isolated from the look and feel of the rest of the 80's because this world was isolated from the general population.

For this reason I am surprised that anyone would call the movie outdated in any way. "Timeless" is the word I use to describe it.

Despite all this, Hopper manages to incorporate the storyline between Duval and Penn. Not only is this a brilliant interaction between two great actors, it also has a more marketable value to a white audience that would otherwise have been turned off by the subject matter and considered it, unfairly, as a "blacksploitation" film. Let's face it, Hollywood is big business. The ability to market this movie with ANY semblance of a good plot line but making it even remotely realistic is an amazing achievement.

Hopper goes beyond doing both. I would not be surprised to see this movie in the classics section, someday.


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