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Falling Down (1993)

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


Joel Schumacher


Ebbe Roe Smith
1,799 ( 230)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


The adventures of an ordinary man at war with the everyday world. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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 »


In the store when Bill calls his wife and makes the Apollo 13 reference, the spacecraft was actually prior to the point of no return when the service module exploded. The reason why the spacecraft couldn't return early was because was because the service module near the main engine was damaged and they did not want to risk lighting the engine up for fear that the ship may explode. A free-return trajectory was advised and they returned safely. See more »


Sergeant Prendergast: Get a positive ID on the gym bag.
Captain Yardley: Prendergast, what do you think this is?
[Holds up his own gym bag]
Sergeant Prendergast: A gym bag.
Captain Yardley: Does this mean you're putting me under arrest?
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 »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.67 (2009) See more »


Written by Eddie Pola and George Wyle
See more »

User Reviews

a 26 year old Masterpiece!
17 September 2019 | by inspectorbobSee all my reviews

It has been 26 years since this movie came out. I saw it finally yesterday after desiring to see it since it was first advertised on circuit all those years ago. And what's my synopsis of this semi-vintage movie?...brilliant! So worth it! So much better than I ever imagined it could be! And not outdated at all! I expected it would be a novel, fun, action-packed movie about a guy who's had enough; with something of a pointed statement/indictment against our modern urban society. And it is that...but also so much more! This film is a masterpiece; it is beautiful and poignant art. There is not a scene or a shot or an utterance that is not absolutely intentional, loaded with depth and/or intrinsic to both the unfolding narrative and to its poetic depiction of humanity and the state of the world. It's a film that makes me feel robbed for having watched dozens of mindless one-dimensional action movies over these years. The writer (Ebbe Roe Smith), the director (Joel Shumacher), the awesome actors Douglas and Duvall and everyone involved with this production do not deserve a tinselly Oscar...they deserve a medal! And this movie deserves a shelf at the Louvre! And it most certainly deserves to be watched! As for me, I will be grabbing my shovel and go tracing the seam of movies from these great artists in search for more undiscovered gold. Last words: know that the language is not toned down and the very hard, very real issues that it deals with are weighty, so it's not for every audience or every occasion. But it couldn't have been any other way for being a look on real life. Phenomenal though that there is such hopefulness, joy, inspiration, overflowing humour and clever wit in this story. It is not at all a dark or depressing or ugly movie while it deals with matter in our society that is just that. It is like a great red wine that has the sweet and the bitter and the dry just perfectly balanced ... you take a sip, savour it and sigh out, in deep satisfaction!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | France | UK


English | Spanish | Korean

Release Date:

26 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Falling Down See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,724,452, 28 February 1993

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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