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Point Break (1991) Poster

(1991)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (9)
Patrick Swayze was an accomplished skydiver, and took part in the big skydiving scene. He made fifty-five jumps in total.
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Johnny Utah became a F.B.I. Agent after a knee injury ended his football career. In real-life, Keanu Reeves was once an aspiring hockey player who suffered a knee injury, and went on to become an actor.
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For many of the surfing scenes, Patrick Swayze refused to use a stunt double, as he never had one for fight scenes or car chases.
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Keanu Reeves observed real F.B.I. Agents in Los Angeles to study for the role. He also practiced with UCLA quarterback coaches, to help with the football scene.
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Tyler explains to Johnny Utah that Patrick Swayze's character is named Bodhi, the Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva is a term in the Buddhist religion meaning an enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others. Bodhi means "wakefulness".
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The film was originally called "Johnny Utah" when Keanu Reeves was cast in the title role. The studio felt that this title said very little about surfing, and by the time Patrick Swayze was cast, the film had been renamed Riders on the Storm after the famous song by The Doors. However, the lyrics had nothing to do with the film, and so that title was also rejected. It was not until halfway through filming, that "Point Break" became the film's title, because of its relevance to surfing.
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Patrick Swayze, who participated in skydiving as a hobby, was told to stop for insurance purposes, once production began. Producers coaxed him into the agreement with the promise of letting the star do one actual skydive on-screen. The uncut shot of Bodhi yelling "Adios amigo!" and falling from the plane, features Swayze actually making a jump.
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According to Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze was so nuts about skydiving, that he actually badgered him until he gave in, and agreed to go with him after filming.
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The scene in which Utah jumps after Bodhi without a parachute, was tested by MythBusters (2003). It was determined that Utah and Bodhi would not have been able to free-fall for ninety seconds (as in the film), nor would they have been able to hold a conversation in mid-air. However, it was determined that, by streamlining his body, Utah could have conceivably caught up with Bodhi after jumping from the plane.
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In her DVD commentary for Strange Days (1995), Director Kathryn Bigelow described filming the foot chase scenes in this movie using a stripped-down, hand-held 35mm camera nicknamed the "Pogo-Cam". The camera weighed eighteen pounds, and was equipped with a gyro-stabilizer, borrowed from a Steadicam. A wire loop on top of the camera gave Steadicam Operator James Muro a rough idea of what was in the frame as he followed the actors at breakneck speed.
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The beach spot, where the football game is played at the beginning of the film, is the same spot used for the soccer game in The Karate Kid (1984).
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Patrick Swayze cracked four ribs while filming the surfing scenes.
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Officially uncredited (because of an unresolved issue with the Writers Guild of America), James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow re-wrote the final script together.
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The skinny, long-haired guy, named Tone, in Warchild (Vincent Klyn) and Bunker's (Chris Pedersen's) gang was Anthony Kiedis, lead singer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
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Matthew Broderick was originally offered the role of Johnny Utah. Others who auditioned were Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen.
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Two months before filming, Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and Lori Petty trained with former world class professional surfer Dennis Jarvis on Kauai, Hawaii. Jarvis remembers, "Patrick said he'd been on a board a couple of times, Keanu definitely had not surfed before, and Lori had never been in the ocean in her life."
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Patrick Swayze felt that Bodhi was a lot like him, and that they both shared "that wild man edge".
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When Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) is introduced to Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) on the beach, he remarks that Utah's surfboard reminds him of a '57 Chevy he used to have. Swayze previously drove a '57 Chevy in Dirty Dancing (1987).
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Patrick Swayze originally auditioned for the part of Johnny Utah before eventually landing the role of Bodhi.
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Patrick's Roadhouse, often attributed to an in-joke aimed at Patrick Swayze, is a real place located at 106 Entrada Drive, Santa Monica, California. It's right on the Pacific Coast Highway, which would be a reasonably logical place for Johnny and Bodhi to have a meal.
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Patrick Swayze is not the one wearing the Reagan mask during the foot chase sequence. Instead, his stunt double, Scott Wilder, performed the scene, because Swayze was in Europe doing press for Ghost (1990).
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Val Kilmer auditioned for the role of Johnny Utah.
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This was Kathryn Bigelow's highest grossing film until Zero Dark Thirty (2012).
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Bojesse Christopher (Grommet) and John Philbin (Nathaniel) were pro surfers, who acted on the side.
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The song "Nobody Rides for Free", by Ratt, was recorded especially for the film's soundtrack. It does not appear on any of the band's studio albums, but is included on the band's greatest hits album "Ratt N' Roll 81-91". The song was also the final single released by the band in its classic line-up form.
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The youngest of the gang of surfers in the film is known by the nickname "Grommet". In surfer slang, a grommet is a young kid or an inexperienced surfer.
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This is the first of two movies in which Keanu Reeves played a former Ohio State quarterback. The second was The Replacements (2000).
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Co-Producer Rick King first came up with the idea for the movie, while lounging on the beach. He had been given an L.A. Weekly article, about Los Angeles being the robbery capital of America, and dreamed up a movie about an F.B.I. Agent infiltrating a surf gang that robs banks to fuel their fun.
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To get close-ups of the actors during the skydiving sequences, a crane rig with a telescoping arm was built for each actor. The rigs enabled the cast to say their lines while the camera shot them from below to achieve the sense of floating while skydiving.
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Second Unit Director and Stunt Coordinator Glenn R. Wilder held fight training sessions for the cast on weekends, because Director Kathryn Bigelow wanted the actors to do their own fights on-screen without stuntmen. Anthony Kiedis was allegedly the only cast member to miss this training, so Wilder had his character knocked out with one punch during the first fight sequence in the movie.
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20th Century Fox had made plans for a sequel to the film to be released in the Summer of 1993. In fact, a script had been written and was in pre-production. Despite the film grossing ninety million dollars worldwide, the studio decided to scrap the project.
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The girl seen dancing (after the guy shakes his tongue at the camera) when Utah enters Bodhi's house party, is Betsy Lynn George. She's the same dancer in Billy Idol's, Billy Idol: Cradle of Love (1990) music video.
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The film inspired a piece of cult theater, Point Break Live!, in which the role of Johnny Utah is played by an audience member chosen by popular acclamation after a brief audition. The new "Keanu" reads all of his (or her) lines from cue-cards for the duration of the show, "to capture the rawness of a Keanu Reeves performance, even from those who generally think themselves incapable of acting."
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The "f" word is said one hundred five times.
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When Johnny Utah goes to purchase his first surfboard, 15 (Christopher Pettiet) and Utah (Keanu Reeves) have a conversation where 15 is surprised someone like Utah would take up surfing 'at a late age' (Utah being 25 years old). In a strange twist of fate, Christopher Pettiet did not make it to 25-he died from a drug overdose aged 24.
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The Ex-Presidents' masks are of Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Lyndon Johnson.
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Willem Dafoe turned down the role of Johnny Utah.
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U.S. rentals for the film grossed twenty million dollars. Worldwide rentals were much higher.
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Patrick Swayze based aspects of his character after one of his stunt doubles, Darrick Doerner, a top big wave surfer.
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Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze appeared in Youngblood (1986).
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Two scenes from the movie that were deleted from the final cut but were shown in the theatrical trailer are:
  • Bodhi and Utah are in Bodhi's truck. Utah is shooting with a gun on the left side. Bodhi says, "This is gonna be a great day, Johnny!"
  • Utah meets Harp at his office with his surfboard. Harp is angry and says, "You are not here to pick up girls, Utah." Utah replies, "The original term is 'babes', sir!"
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People refer to The Fast and the Furious (2001) as a remake of this film.
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Elizabeth Berkley had a small scene in the movie, but it was cut out.
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Though cast members took surfing lessons to appear in some of the less technically complex surfing shots, many of the more dangerous shots utilized pro-surfer stunt doubles. During the 50 Year Storm scene at the end of the movie, Swayze was doubled by legendary big wave surfer Darrick Doerner.
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Keanu Reeves described his character as a "total control freak, and the ocean beats him up and challenges him. After a while, everything becomes a game. He becomes as amoral as any criminal. He loses the difference between right and wrong."
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Ridley Scott was the first choice to direct the movie, he instead directed Thelma & Louise (1991).
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The last thing Johnny Utah says to Bodhi is "Vaya con Dios". Similarly, in Red Dawn (1984), the last words spoken to Patrick Swayze's character, Jed, is "Vaya con Dios", by Colonel Bella.
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Rick King recruited Screenwriter W. Peter Iliff to pen the script for only six thousand dollars. Since the pay was paltry, Iliff had to wait tables at a restaurant during the day, before going home to write the script at night.
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Utah tosses his F.B.I. badge in the water, which was previously done in Dirty Harry (1971) and High Noon (1952).
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In Spain the movie was called "Le Llaman Bodhi", it means "They Call Him Bodhi".
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The Spanish phrase, "Vaya con Dios", spoken by Johnny to Bodhi at the end of the film, in English translates to, "Go with God".
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This film and Platoon (1986), feature Chris Pedersen and John C. McGinley. Also, Keanu Reeves auditioned for a role in Platoon, while Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp, and Willem Dafoe were contenders for the role of Utah.
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Patrick Swayze hosted Saturday Night Live (1975) a few days after production completed. He memorably sported the same long blond hair he had as Bodhi in the episode.
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The nighttime surfing scenes were filmed the day, due to the difficulty in filming, and completed later with visual effects, making it appear as though it's nighttime. If you watch during the scene, you can see the actors and actresses shadows on the water, as well as a little lens flair caused by the sun.
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Michael Biehn revealed in an interview that there were briefly talks of him co-starring as Bohdi, but plans fell through.
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The gas station man who was soaked with gasoline by Bohdi, was stuntman Jeff Imada.
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Keanu Reevess' first action film.
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Keanu Reeves liked the name of his character, as it reminded him of star athletes like Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana.
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To get a sense of frenetic energy for the foot chase scene, Kathryn Bigelow and her crew shot the sequence with what they dubbed the "pogo-cam", which was a rig that mounted a gyro-stabilized camera on a body-length pole that could be led by the cameraman shooting the actors in front or behind him.
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The watch shown prior to the first bank job is a Breitling Navitimer New Pluton.
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Tyler's (Lori Petty's) birthday is revealed to be November 27, the same as Director Kathryn Bigelow.
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Johnny Utah's handgun is a 9x19mm SIG-Sauer P226, at the time of filming, the P226 and the more compact SIG-Sauer P228 were just coming into service as the new FBI-issue sidearms, after the 10mm Smith & Wesson 1076 proved to be too unwieldy for the Bureau's purposes.
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The film was originally about skateboarding.
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This was director Kathryn Bigelow's first film to be shot in 2.39:1. This film, Strange Days (1995), and K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) are her only films that were made in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, through the Super 35 format.
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The off-duty cop in the bank carried an older-model Smith & Wesson 6906 with a squared trigger guard
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Gary Busey was also in the surfing film, Big Wednesday (1978).
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During the party scene, the song "If 6 Was 9" by Jimi Hendrix, is played in the background. Kathryn Bigelow and Hendrix share the same birth date (both on November 27).
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In Buddhism, the word Bodhi is linked to the state of nirvana, where the soul is free from hate, greed and ego. Siddhartha Gautama, the wise sage who was the founder of Buddhism, was sitting under a Bodhi tree when he attained enlightenment.
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Pappas' (Gary Busey's) handgun is an older model two inch Charter Arm's Undercover .38 special.
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The plot is the same as the Charlie Sheen movie No Man's Land (1987), and Charlie was cast as Utah, with Ridley Scott directing. But production stalled, and Sheen did Young Guns (1988), and eventually the script went in other directions.
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According to Patrick Swayze's autobiography he states that the producers wanted him to audition for Johnny Utah and that it was his brother, Don, who was an accomplished skydiver. He had never before skydived until the movie.
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The shotguns used by the Ex-Presidents (Nathaniel and Grommet) are a Mossberg 590 with an extended tube, a Mossberg 590AT with a pistol grip, they also have a sawed off Ithaca 37, and a Remington 870.
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In 2015, Alcon Entertainment re-made this movie, with Ericson Core directing a screenplay by Kurt Wimmer.
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Chris Pederson's character in Platoon (1986) was also a surfer.
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In this movie, Johnny Utah is a former football player-turned F.B.I. Agent. In Black Dog (1998), Sonny (Gabriel Casseus) is a football player-turned F.B.I. Agent.
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Johnny Utah says at one point "I'm 25" in real life Keanu Reeves was actually 26 at the time of filming.
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Roach (James Le Gros) carried a second generation Detonics Scoremaster.
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The number of Utah's pickup at the end of the movie is 549 956 EUE.
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John Philbin and James Le Gros share a birthday, April 27.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

James Cameron confessed at the end of his Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) commentary that Bodhi killed himself at the end of this movie.
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The members of The Ex-Presidents are killed in chronological order of when their respective President served in office.
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At one point, there were talks of making Point Break 2, with Keanu Reeves reprising his role as Johnny Utah, and Patrick Swayze reprising his role as Bodhi (apparently, Bodhi survived the ending). The real-life death of Swayze put an end to these plans.
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Body count: ten.
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Bodhi, who wears the Ronald Reagan mask, is the only member of The Ex-Presidents that isn't shot. In real-life, Ronald Reagan was shot during an attempted assassination.
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Grommet says during the bonfire outside during the party "I ain't gonna live to see 30" foreshadows his death later in the movie when he gets killed during the final bank heist by an off duty cop.
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Director Kathryn Bigelow, and her then husband and collaborator on the film, James Cameron, re-wrote the end together. Cameron said in his Terminator 2 (1991) commentary that Bodhi killed himself at the end of this movie.
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When Johnny Utah (Reeves) is listing the places he followed Bodhi (Swayze) to, he says Bodhi "had lunch at Patrick's Roadhouse". Patrick Swayze was the lead in the film Road House (1989).
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The revolver Bodhi uses, is a Freedom Arms model 83 in .454 Casull at the time this film was released, this was the most powerful production revolver available.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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