When a little boy witnesses a mob hit, he is kidnapped by two professional assassins who are not what they seem.


Eric Red


Eric Red
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Scheider ... Cohen
Adam Baldwin ... Tate
Harley Cross ... Travis Knight
Cooper Huckabee ... Jeff Knight
Suzanne Savoy ... Martha Knight
Marco Perella ... FBI George
Tom Campitelli ... FBI Fred
Andy Gill ... FBI Roy (as Andrew R. Gill)
Frank Bates Frank Bates ... Highway Patrolman
James Jeter ... Trooper #1
Jeff Bennett Jeff Bennett ... Trooper #2
Ron Jackson ... Trooper #3
Ted Baader Ted Baader ... Trooper #4
Kenneth McCabe Kenneth McCabe ... Gas Station Attendant
Ina B. Bott Ina B. Bott ... Fat Woman


A boy kidnapped by two mismatched hitmen puts them at each other's throats while being driven to their employers, possibly to be killed. Cohen, an older professional becomes increasingly irritated with his partner Tate, a brutish killer, when their prisoner uses unnatural guile and resourcefulness to play them off against each other. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They were hired killers going up against the deadliest force of all. Each other.


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Directorial debut of Eric Red. See more »


In the final scene, Cohen stops his badly damaged car in a downtown area. It is immediately surrounded by the many police cruisers that were giving chase. Dozens of officers leave these vehicles, pull their weapons, and take aim at Cohen. But none of them gives him any kind of command. In a real situation, at least one officer would immediately order Cohen to drop his weapon and follow other necessary instructions. See more »


Tate: Hey what's the last thing that goes through a bug's mind when it hits a windshield? IT'S ASS
[He and Cohen laugh]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was cut by MPAA to avoid an X rating, the killing of Travis family was originally longer and so was the showdown, with blood explosions in close-up. See more »


Featured in A Look Back at 'Cohen & Tate' (2013) See more »

User Reviews

Filled with tension.
2 August 2013 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"Cohen and Tate" is a reasonably entertaining road movie of the dramatic kind: mismatched mafia hit men Cohen (Roy Scheider) and Tate (Adam Baldwin) carry out an assignment to kidnap young Travis (Harley Cross of "The Believers"), gunning down his parents and the FBI agents watching over them. Travis had witnessed a mob rubout and now the employers of Cohen and Tate want to know everything that the kid knows before taking *him* out. The problem is, nothing goes smooth because of the two opposing personalities in play here. Cohen is the Older and Wiser type, very weary at having to put up with a hothead punk such as Tate, the kind of guy who enjoys violence way too much. Travis soon notices this and realizes that his best chances for survival lie in attempting to pit them against one another.

Eric Red, screenwriter of "The Hitcher" and "Near Dark", made his feature length directing debut with this moderately interesting, very well paced little film, his version of the O. Henry story "The Ransom at Red Chief". Most of the film takes place inside a car, so he proves up to the challenge of shooting in a claustrophobic environment and keeping the audience involved in what is happening. As Cohen and Tate spend more and more time with each other, things just get more and more grim and uneasy. Tate has shown his capacity for savagery, and his quick temper, and the increasingly more frustrated Cohen finds it harder and harder to maintain his self control. What is often truly disturbing is seeing guns repeatedly leveled at young Cross' head. You really fear for this kids' life.

Right from the start, Red is ratcheting up the suspense, diving head first into the action. In an odd touch, he gets his back story out of the way *very* quickly with a brief expository text. Then things soon get ugly. Red does an excellent job of keeping his tone grim throughout. Much of the effectiveness, however, can be attributed to the acting. Baldwin is a live wire in his part, and young Cross delivers a sympathetic, mature performance, holding his own opposite his more experienced co-stars. Scheider is of course superb; he's as commanding as ever as the professional killer saddled with a loose cannon partner. Cooper Huckabee ("The Funhouse") is good in his brief screen time as Travis' father. Talents behind the camera include composer Bill Conti and cinematographer Victor J. Kemper.

"Cohen and Tate" is good stuff and is worth seeking out or rediscovering for the cult movie aficionado.

Seven out of 10.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

27 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cohen & Tate See more »

Filming Locations:

Houston, Texas, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,586, 29 January 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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