7.6/10
167,178
443 user 86 critic

Falling Down (1993)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
An ordinary man frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

Director:

Joel Schumacher

Writer:

Ebbe Roe Smith
Reviews
Popularity
1,853 ( 34)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... D-Fens
Robert Duvall ... Prendergast
Barbara Hershey ... Beth
Rachel Ticotin ... Sandra
Tuesday Weld ... Mrs. Prendergast
Frederic Forrest ... Surplus Store Owner
Lois Smith ... D-Fens' Mother
Joey Singer Joey Singer ... Adele (Beth's Child) (as Joey Hope Singer)
Ebbe Roe Smith ... Guy on Freeway
Michael Paul Chan ... Mr. Lee
Raymond J. Barry ... Captain Yardley
D.W. Moffett ... Detective Lydecker
Steve Park ... Detective Brian
Kimberly Scott ... Detective Jones
James Keane ... Detective Keene
Edit

Storyline

On the day of his daughter's (Joey Singer) birthday, William "D-Fens" Foster (Michael Douglas) is trying to get to his estranged ex-wife's (Barbara Hershey) house to see his daughter. He has a breakdown and leaves his car in a traffic jam in Los Angeles and decides to walk. Along the way he stops at a convenience store and tries to get some change for a phone call but the owner, Mister Lee (Michael Paul Chan), does not give him change. This destabilizes William who then breaks apart the shop with a baseball bat and goes to an isolated place to drink a coke. Two gangsters (Agustin Rodriguez & Eddie Frias) threaten him and he reacts by hitting them with the bat. D-FENS continues walking and stops at a phone booth. The gangsters hunt him down with their gang and shoot at him but crash their car. William goes nuts and takes their gym bag with weapons proceeding in his journey of rage against injustice. Meanwhile Sergeant Martin Prendergast (Robert Duvall), who is working on his last day ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Tale Of Urban Reality See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Raymond J. Barry and Lois Smith were both in Dead Man Walking (1996). In both Dead Man Walking and Falling Down, they have no scenes together. See more »

Goofs

When he confronts the two men in his store while D-FENS is looking at boots, Nick ("Surplus Store Owner") pulls what appears to be a nickel-plated revolver from a holster on his right hip. A short time later, in his back room, Nick again draws a handgun from his right hip to subdue D-FENS, but this time it's a semi-automatic pistol with a dark (perhaps blued) finish. It's unlikely that Nick would be carrying two different handguns on the same side. See more »

Quotes

Detective: We're really sorry, Prendergast. We tried and tried but could not fit your fucking name on the cake!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The role of Vondie Curtis-Hall, who plays the man protesting the bank, is credited as "Not Economically Viable Man." See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Underrated Films of the 1990s (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
See more »

User Reviews

Excellent Observations of Society
20 January 2004 | by BeauxSee all my reviews

"Falling Down" is a film that intends to point out the many quirks and oddities of modern urban society. It succeeds in doing so, but one must look carefully. Each situation Bill Foster (Michael Douglas) faces is one that most people can relate to. However, unlike most people he decides to "fight the system" and wage war on the everyday annoyances that we all face. Foster is a People's Champion. To illustrate this, most people who watch this film naturally pull for him and see him as being a hero, mostly out of pure sympathy. However, at the end of the day, Foster is still "the bad guy" for going against the societal grain. Most viewers will find this upsetting or even unfair, considering that he fought back against many criminals and unjust forces.

Where Falling Down fails at times is during the scenes where it attempts to do too many things at once. The bits of humor throughout the film are mostly derived from over-the-top scenes, and at times Foster's actions seem cheesy and unrealistic. The fact that the film is two stories in one (Foster and Prendergast) provides a good contrast because the viewer gets to see both sides of the story. On one hand, we see an ordinary family man going bezerk (but in a way most of us can understand) and on the other hand we see a cop who believes Foster is a complete psychopath. Only the audience knows the truth. The film could have done without some of the lame subplots such as Duvall's marriage, even though those scenes illustrate his perception of being "weak" or "whipped". The film sets out to do a lot at once, which is quite necessary to create a thorough storyline, but at times doesn't come out right on film.

One scene that I have always found moving and powerful is the scene where Bill Foster sees the man who is "Not Economically Viable" protesting outside of the bank that denied him a loan. As everyone on the busy street goes about their business and ignores this man, Foster (and the viewer) are focused directly on him. Foster obviously sympathizes with this poor, hardworking man who is also being stepped on by society. As the man is escorted away in the police car he looks directly at Foster and says "don't forget me". In a gesture of sympathy and appreciation, he nods to him. The two characters share a connection. It is especially important to notice the symbolism of this scene. Both men are wearing the exact same outfits: a white short-sleeved dress shirt, black tie and black pants. They are on the opposite sides of the street. When they look at each other, even though they are white and black, it is as though they are looking into a mirror and seeing the same thing: a victim of society.

Overall, a slightly sad story that tries to do a whole lot, succeeds in most of it and provides lots of entertainment. A good storyline and an excellent observation of modern society.


139 of 158 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 443 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | USA | UK

Language:

English | Spanish | Korean

Release Date:

26 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Falling Down See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,724,452, 28 February 1993

Gross USA:

$40,903,593

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,903,593
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed