6.0/10
25,330
85 user 31 critic

Tequila Sunrise (1988)

A former L.A. drug dealer tries to go straight but his past and his underworld connections bring him into the focus of the DEA, the Mexican feds and the Mexican drug cartels.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
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Andy Leonard
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Cody McKussic
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Arturo (as Garret Pearson)
Eric Thiele ...
Vittorio
Tom Nolan ...
Leland
Dawn Martel ...
Sin Sister
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Sin Sister #2 (as Lala)
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Judge Nizetitch
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Shaleen
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Storyline

Mac Mckussic is an unlikely drug dealer who wants to go straight. His old and best friend Nick Frescia is now a cop who is assigned to investigate and bring him to justice. Mac is very attracted to Jo Ann, the owner of a stylish restaurant. Nick gets close to Jo Ann attempting to know more about Mac's drug dealing plans and his connections with the Mexican dealer Carlos, who the police believe is coming to town to meet with him. Nick also falls for Jo Ann's charms and his friendship with Mac is in danger. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A business on the line. A friendship on the edge. A woman caught in the middle. [Video] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

TraiciĆ³n al amanecer  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,350,974, 4 December 1988, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$41,292,551

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$105,932,000, 31 December 1989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point, Robert Towne considered Warren Beatty and Scott Glenn for the lead roles. See more »

Goofs

When Pfeiffer is at the police station getting her chef released, Russell pulls up and parks directly in front of her car. When they leave the station, his car isn't there and Pfeiffer is able to drive away unobstructed. See more »

Quotes

Carlos: Don't worry, buddy. I won't kill her unless you approve.
McKussic: And if I don't approve?
Carlos: Then we'll talk until you do...
See more »

Connections

References Chinatown (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Las MaƱanitas
Traditional Mexicam song
Performed by El Mariachi Vargas
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User Reviews

 
vastly underrated noir
1 June 1999 | by See all my reviews

Robert Towne, best known as the writer of Chinatown, directed this backstabbing corkscrew of a film from his own script after several notable directors didn't meet interpretation. A dark brooding piece, that is as meditative and murky as it is tightly written for suspense and twists, Tequila Sunrise focuses on the expectations that conventional mores place upon our freedom to interct and even love whomever our heart bids us.

Gibson plays a drug dealer with, if not a conscience, at least a code of some sort of ethics. He is raising a son and wants to retire from illegal activities so that he may be a good role model.

Russel plays a narcotics cop bucking for a promotion. In order to get his promotion he needs to bust the area's most notorious dealer... guess who. Problem: he and Gibson and childhood mates.

Pfeiffer is a woman caught between them, each one wanting her for different reasons. Raul Julia and J.T. Walsh complete the central players in a fine ensemble on people with agendas that may be worth sacrificing the alliances they have made along the way.

As the various subplots tie themselves into impossible-to-unravel knots, every character will be forced to question what it is he or she holds sacred. Tough and even regretted decisions are made. Friendships are made and dissolved, hearts are broken, revenges plotted...

Gibson is at his best here, Pfeiffer brings great depth to what could easily have been little more than a trophy role. Walsh and Julia are so poker-faced that an audience member who succeeds in reading all the angles should account himself no more than a lucky guesser as they leave you very few clues to work with.

Ironically, despite the desires of Gibson and Towne, the ending had to be altered to please test audiences. Later critics would harp severely on the final shot, the reviews keeping away significant audience. While the ending may be unsatisfying to the typically cynical noir fan, it does not change the fact that this a far-above-average genre flick with an excellent cast and a superb script.

Worth a watch, worth several.


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