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An Innocent Man (1989)

A man is framed by two corrupt cops for drugs. After he gets out of prison, he comes after them.


Peter Yates


Larry Brothers

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Selleck ... Jimmie Rainwood
F. Murray Abraham ... Virgil Cane
Laila Robins ... Kate Rainwood
David Rasche ... Mike Parnell
Richard Young ... Danny Scalise
Badja Djola ... John Fitzgerald
Todd Graff ... Robby
M.C. Gainey ... Malcolm
Peter Van Norden ... Peter Feldman
Bruce A. Young ... Jingles
James T. Morris ... Junior
Terry Golden Terry Golden ... Felix
Dennis Burkley ... Butcher
Thomas B. Kackert Thomas B. Kackert ... Dove
Vito Peterson Vito Peterson ... Handjob


Jimmie Rainwood was minding his own business when two corrupt police officers (getting an address wrong) burst into his house, expecting to find a major drug dealer. Rainwood is shot, and the officers frame him as a drug dealer. Rainwood is convicted of drug dealing, based on the perjured evidence of a police informant. Thrown into a seedy jail, fighting to prove his innocence is diffucult when he has to deal with the realities of prison life, where everyone claims they were framed. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two cops on the take just made the biggest mistake of their lives. They framed An Innocent Man


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

6 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Rain See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Richard Young, who plays Danny Scalise in this film, also played Fedora in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, both films 1989. Tom Selleck, who stars in this movie was originally cast to play Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but was unable to do so, due to his contract on Magnum, P. I. See more »


Rainwood is granted parole on his first appearance before the board, yet during his time in prison Rainwood was sent to solitary confinement twice for insubordination towards the Guard Captain and was also the primary suspect in the murder of another inmate. Based on the regulations used by the California Parole Board, it is highly unlikely that someone with Rainwood's prison record would have been granted parole. See more »


[former LBPD Officer Parnell is being escorted into the prison main room]
Virgil Cane: Hey! Officer!
[Parnell looks around. Every inmate starts to glare at him]
Virgil Cane: Ain't life a motherfucker.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Network television version used several alternate takes of scenes, with milder language. See more »


References The Twilight Zone (1959) See more »


When the Night Comes
Written by Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance and Diane Warren
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Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

That's Virgil Cane man, Lone Ranger ain't got nothing on him.
24 April 2010 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

James Rainwood (Tom Selleck) is a real stand up guy, with a loving wife and in a dream job with a company that just couldn't cope without him. His life is just dandy, That is until two corrupt cops make a mistake and burst into his home believing it to be host to a drug deal. Thinking his hairdryer is a gun, one of the cops shoots Rainwood and it's then that the cops realise they have made a monumental error. So planting drugs around the home they set Rainwood up as a dealer who shot at the cops. Believing justice & honesty will see him OK, Rainwood refuses to cop a plea, and is promptly sentenced to a hell hole prison for six years. Here the affable Rainwood needs to wise up quickly or face a brutal and torrid time in the big house.

Earlier in 1989 we had seen the release of Sly Stallone vehicle Lock Up, a film, that for all its many faults, was a dream come true to the action movie fan who also has a bent for any piece involving incarceration. So up steps Tom Selleck, who after recently showing himself to be a more than effective light entertainer in films such as Three Men and a Baby and Her Alibi, is looking to break out into other, more rounded genres (he also made the quite excellent Quigley Down Under in 1989). For the most part it's a good fit for Selleck and the casting director. The role of Jimmie Rainwood calls for someone charming, elegant and reeking of pure homeliness. That's Selleck without doubt. But the problems for many observers have been, and will be for first time viewers, the transformation of homely Tom into cocksure daddio prison geezer. Thrust into a world of violence and male rape, Rainwood simply must shape up or face a few years of brutality and a stripping of his soul. We know this, and once he starts to be guided by Virgil Cane (F. Murray Abraham adding a touch of class to a stereotypical role), the film for the rest of the prison sections is sign posted for us. And it's hard to swallow, even for someone like me who is a fan of the film!

As for the other elements in the film, the various sub-plots hold few surprises. Rainwood's wife (Laila Robins) is loving and crusading for her man's release, but writer Larry Brothers has her very much by the numbers. As he does for Badja Djola's Internal Affairs investigator, John Fitzgerald. The latter of which is a real shame as Djola holds his scenes very well and is aching to put more meat into the character. Then there is of course our dirty cops played by Richard Young & David Rasche. Young's Danny Scaliese is the calm thinking one, Rasche's Mike Parnell is the aggressive and borderline psychotic one. It's hard to tell if Rasche is playing it for ham or really attempting to layer the madness lurking within? Either way, it's very entertaining, if ultimately miles away from the brilliance that was his Sledge Hammer! TV series. These cops are of course in desperate need of a fall, the question is if the makers here are merely reverting to formula or do they have some tricks up their sleeves? Well it's directed by Peter Yates and the writer is hardly an inspired scribe, so you do the maths. And lets face it, Selleck is no Stallone - a better actor for sure, but when it comes to shanking and shooting who you gonna call? Rambo or Magnum?

I do like the film a lot, but I love the genre it belongs to anyway. And I literally will watch Abraham in anything. So take my 7/10 rating purely with a pinch of salt and call it a 6/10 time filler if you not be singing of the same page as myself.

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