6.2/10
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24 user 17 critic

Off Limits (1988)

McGriff and Albaby are probably doing the worst law enforcement job in the world - they are plain clothes U.S. military policemen on duty in war-time Saigon. However, their job becomes even... See full summary »

Director:

Christopher Crowe
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Willem Dafoe ... Buck McGriff
Gregory Hines ... Albaby Perkins
Fred Ward ... Dix
Amanda Pays ... Nicole
Kay Tong Lim Kay Tong Lim ... Lime Green
Scott Glenn ... Colonel Dexter Armstrong
David Alan Grier ... Rogers
Keith David ... Maurice
Raymond O'Connor ... Elgin Flowers
Richard Brooks ... Preacher
Thuy An Luu ... Lanh (as Thuy Ann Luu)
Richard Lee Reed Richard Lee Reed ... Colonel Sparks
Woody Brown Woody Brown ... Co-Pilot
Ken Siu Ken Siu ... Plowboy
Viladda Vanadurongwan Viladda Vanadurongwan ... Sister Agnes
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Storyline

McGriff and Albaby are probably doing the worst law enforcement job in the world - they are plain clothes U.S. military policemen on duty in war-time Saigon. However, their job becomes even harder when they start investigating the serial killings of local prostitutes. Their prime suspect is high ranking U.S. Army officer which brings their lives in danger. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Being a cop is tough. But in Saigon, 1968, being a cop is crazy.

Genres:

Action | Thriller | War | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Saigon See more »

Filming Locations:

Bangkok, Thailand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,242,035
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Shot in the actual red light districts of Bangkok, Thailand. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene McGriff and Perkins are driving through what is supposed to be the bar district in Saigon, but the names of two famous bars from Patpong, Bangkok, Thailand are clearly visible, "Pussy Galore" and "King's Castle". See more »

Quotes

Dix: [Last lines, still speaking in third person] Dix's pain will probably never go away... no matter how may whores he kills
[Screams]
Dix: GODDAMN YOU... IF IT WASN'T FOR YOU... THEY NEVER WOULD'VE FOUND HIM
Buck McGriff: [Bursting through the doors along with Albaby Perkins] DIX ENOUGH!
[Dix points gun at them, both fire... he falls out of a stained glass window]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the cinema version was intact the UK video was cut by 22 secs to edit shots of a man caressing a woman's breasts with a riding crop as she is tied to a bed. The cuts were waived for the 2007 DVD. See more »


Soundtracks

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
Written by Arthur Resnick and Joey Levine (as Joe Levine)
Performed by Ohio Express (as The Ohio Express)
Courtesy of Buddah Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Goodnight Saigon ... Farewell Moral Values
9 June 2008 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Never heard about "Off Limits" before when it aired on late Friday night television here in my country, but everything about it instantly appealed to me big time. There's the obscurity status for starters (I'm particularly intrigued by films I never heard about before), the prominent cast (Willem Dafoe, Gregory Hines, Fred Ward, Keith David, Scott Glenn), the period of release (late 80's) and - most of all - the concept in its entirety. As you can derive from the alternate title "Saigon", the film is set in Vietnam during the infamous war, but it's definitely not just another epic illustrating the horrible battles in the jungle or the traumatizing impact on its soldiers. "Off Limits" is first and foremost a genuine cop thriller, set in a hellish environment torn apart through warfare, and an effectively disturbing portrait of the horrible issues caused by American soldiers outside of the battlefields. McGriff and Perkins have the worst jobs in the world, since they're employed as army police officers in Saigon and responsible to investigate the crimes committed by American soldiers. One day they're assigned to investigate the murder of a Vietnamese prostitute who had a child with an American soldier. They quickly discover this isn't the first gruesome crime of its kind, as no less than seven similar cases were reported during the past year and they're clearly the work of a serial killer with a strict modus operandi. The devoted and headstrong duo also discovers that the previous officer prematurely quit his investigation even though he came fairly close to capturing the killer, undoubtedly because several high ranked officers got involved and his own life became endangered. McGriff and Perkins, however, are determined to stop to sadist killer, especially when they receive help from a beautiful and street-wise young novice. "Off Limits" is a fast-paced, suspense and frequently very violent thriller with a screenplay that is full of misleading twists, false leads and red herrings, like a legitimate and compelling whodunit thriller ought to be. Some sequences are even downright fantastic, for instance the helicopter-interrogation (Scott Glenn is sublime) or the nail-biting scene where the copper duo is surrounded by a mob of furious and vengeful Vietnamese people. Christopher Crowe's direction is tight and consequently surefooted – which is quite remarkable for a debut feature – and his own script is *almost* completely devoid of dreadful clichés and irritating stereotypes. I do emphasize the word 'almost' because a Vietnam movie without mad-raving American officers and/or foul-mouthed Vietnamese prostitutes is practically unthinkable. Dafoe and Hines provide some terrific on screen chemistry, but they certainly aren't your typical witty interracial buddies like Eddie Murphy & Nick Nolte in "48 Hours" or Mel Gibson & Danny Glover in "Lethal Weapon". They tease and provoke each other all the time, but the atmosphere of the film and the nature of the events are simply to austere to mix with comedy. The film is beautifully shot and has a marvelous soundtrack filled with timeless contemporary songs from James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Arthur Resnick. "Off Limits" is a terrific and incomprehensibly overlooked film. If you have the opportunity to watch it, please do so without hesitation.


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