Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) is sent to find and return bail jumper and former Mafia accountant, Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas (Charles Grodin). The FBI has had no success in locating The Duke, so when Jack finds him in next to no time, they are a little embarrassed. In order to collect his $100,000 fee, Jack must take The Duke from New York to Los Angeles. However, the Mafia and the FBI have other ideas, as does Marvin Dorfler (John Ashton), a rival bounty hunter. On their long cross-country trip to LA, the two get to know each other and they build up a strange friendship.Written by
The script originally had Marvin die in the scene where Serrano's thugs knock him out, but it was felt that the climax would have been less dramatic and suspenseful without him. See more »
When Dorfler is being released after questioning prior to the desert chase, the desk officer tells him he'll need to go to Flagstaff if he wants his cigarettes back. There is no reason a law officer would tell a civilian, let alone one who was questioned, the itinerary and whereabouts of an FBI agent pursuing fugitives. See more »
[Jack trying to pick door lock. He drops one of his picks. When he bends over to pick it up, a gun shot is fired through the door, right where his head had been previously]
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In the opening credits, Robert De Niro's name is spelled Robert DeNiro. See more »
In the scene for theatrical release, when Dorfler is in his hotel room eating french fries, and Carmine-The-Bail-Jumper, is handcuffed to a pipe in the bathroom, Dorfler addresses Carmine as "Hey Scumbag," and Carmine reassures that his name is not such by replying, "The name's 'Carmine', Fucko!" In the alternate version for TV, his reply is "The name's 'Carmine', Fatso!" See more »
DeNiro is (Jack Walsh) a self-righteous ex-cop so unpopular with the Chicago police department, now wanting to make one final 'midnight run' that'll pay big so he can buy a nice coffee shop
He is hired by an hysterical bondsman to find and bring back a former Mob accountant called Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas (Grodin) who has stolen $15 million from the Los Angeles mob, given the money to the 'unfortunates of the earth.'
DeNiro quickly captures the 'white-collar criminal' in New York, and is given five days to bring him to Los Angleles, to collect his $100,000 fee...
Unfortunately for DeNiro, the fugitive accountant is too neurotic to fly the distance... The embezzler's ex-boss wants him badly for knowing all his financial transactions, and agent Yaphet Kotto warns Walsh not to interfere with the FBI's plans to bring the 'Duke' into federal court And if this isn't enough, there is some third-rate bounty hunter (John Ashton) who is intrigued about DeNiro's special deal
In an extended cross-country chase, the two men's personalities and relationship develop
DeNiro shows how to catch talents of improvisation... His cheeky schoolboy look certainly supplies some of the film's lighter moments... He delivers some of the best punchlines, when he replies: 'Well if you don't cooperate, you're gonna suffer from fistophobia.'
Charles Grodin is perfect as the prisoner who gets some of Serrano's records on computer disks, figuring if things got too rough, he could always trade them for his life He continually gets on DeNiro's nerves, and with his soft and ironic tone of voice he advises Walsh that a restaurant is 'a very tricky investment.' He easily dips into Jack Walsh's life ('Don't you want to be loved?'), wandering about his broken marriage ('Did she hurt you, Jack?'), his habits ('Cigarettes are killers. Put the cigarette out.') and whatever he can think of...
The best parts of the film are, in fact, the interactions between the two stars The story holds up perfectly and entertains the viewer in every way Martin Brest does bring out the realistic, funny and moving sides of his likable characters Suspense is maintained to the very end
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