6.7/10
23,003
71 user 44 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 »
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Popularity
4,798 ( 370)
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:

70,000 gang members. One million guns. Two cops. 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:

Colors See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,747,118, 17 April 1988

Gross USA:

$46,616,067

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

The alley off of 104 W. 113th St. in which Hodges and McGavin come across a group of Crips and High Top, is not the actual alley shown in the film. If you look it up on Google Maps, you can see that it doesn't have an alley that crisscrosses it halfway down the alley. It just continues on to the next street. 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

References Hopalong Cassidy (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Such a Night
Performed by Dr. John
Written by Dr. John (as Mac Rebennack)
Published by Cotillion Music
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Leans too heavily on action and police movie clichés, but generally effective.
4 November 2009 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

It was about 1988 when people in my suburban world first became aware of the inner city war between Bloods, Crips, and many of the fringe groups. This film, along with the rise of "gangster rap" were probably my first exposure to this culture. And its safe to say that if anything, the problem has only gotten worse in the past two decades. Gangs are still killing each other, and they seldom need a reason to do so.

Colors is a fairly daring film directed by Dennis Hopper. The story wishes to point out the plight of inner-city youths caught up in gangs as well as the futility of law enforcement in dealing with them. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn play basically the timeless "good cop/bad cop" duo out to learn what they can on the street and help prevent as much gang crime as possible. The film starts out strongly detailing the differences in their respective approaches to the job. Both men are a joy to watch, and continue to be so to this day. There are few American actors as talented as either man. However, as the story progresses, these two main characters seem to get kind of lost in the shuffle, and the story becomes more about the gang members. They are mostly interesting people, but you're going to find yourself wishing for more of the two leads.

The film is packed with shootouts and car chases.... perhaps a few too many. A lot of thought went into stunt work, fight scenes, and explosions. Most are not needed. Had Colors stayed more of a thoughtful drama instead of an action pic, it would have had a much bigger impact. The Los Angeles we see here is well filmed, and seems off limits to those who don't live there. This was certainly the intention. There are some wonderful little details that project the local flare. In one scene for example, while Penn and Duvall are questioning a group of Hispanic suspects in the Barrio, you can hear a rooster crowing just off screen. The cast is teeming with soon-to-be famous folks like Damon Wayans, Don Cheadle, Glen Plummer and many others. Look out for a young Mario Lopez as a young gang member. But what on earth was Malakai from Children of the Corn doing in the Barrio???? 7 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


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