Freddy Gale is a seedy jeweller who has sworn to kill the drunk driver who killed his little girl.


Sean Penn


Sean Penn
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Nicholson ... Freddy Gale
David Morse ... John Booth
Anjelica Huston ... Mary
Robin Wright ... Jojo
Piper Laurie ... Helen Booth
Richard Bradford ... Stuart Booth
Priscilla Barnes ... Verna
David Baerwald David Baerwald ... Peter
Robbie Robertson ... Roger
John Savage ... Bobby
Kari Wuhrer ... Mia
Jennifer Leigh Warren ... Jennifer
Kellita Smith ... Tanya
Richard C. Sarafian ... Sunny Ventura (as Richard Sarafian)
Bobby Cooper ... Coop


After his daughter died in a hit and run, Freddy Gale has waited six years for John Booth, the man responsible, to be released from prison. On the day of release, Gale visits Booth and announces that he will kill him in one week. Booth uses his time to try and make peace with himself and his entourage, and even finds romance. Gale, whose life is spiraling down because of his obsession towards Booth, will bring himself on the very edge of sanity. At the end of the week, both men will find themselves on a collision course with each other.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some lives cross, others collide.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Jack Nicholson turned down the role of Mitch Leary in the Clint Eastwood film In the Line of Fire (1993), which went to John Malkovich. Ironically, Leary uses the alias "John Booth" in reference to John Wilkes Booth and the Abraham Lincoln assassination to taunt Eastwood's character. Robert Duvall and Robert De Niro were also considered. Sean Penn has worked with Duvall, De Niro, Nicholson, and Eastwood. See more »


Peter's hair position changes when he says the famous line, "Did you get butt-fuc**d in prison?" and after John replies "It only hurts the first time". See more »


Joe: So listen to this. I'm coming out of the bathroom, right, and these two Orientals, they're arguin', they're hollerin', they're screaming at one another. And all in Japanese. So I told 'em, I said "Ay! You're in America now, speak Spanish."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Clyde is Hungry Watchdog - Dr Edward Katz See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Laura Leighton/Rancid (1995) See more »


Room At The Top
Written by Adam Ant, Andre Cymore and Marco Pirrone
Performed by Adam Ant
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

User Reviews

Occasionally powerful melodrama
18 September 2006 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Sean Penn wrote, co-produced and directed this strong drama about a conflicted Los Angeles businessman intent on nailing the drunk driver who killed his daughter. In the lead, Jack Nicholson is appropriately somber, displaying no over-the-top theatrics as he visits the parolee just sprung from jail, giving him three days of freedom before his death. Sub-plots detract from the main narrative, with Robin Wright a colorless love-interest for convict David Morse and Anjelica Huston lost in a confusingly-written role as Nicholson's ex-wife. Frequent trips to the local strip club muddy the focus of the piece, however the emotional showdown between the two men is wisely examined, heartfelt and exceptionally well-acted. **1/2 from ****

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

16 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crossing Guard See more »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$71,804, 19 November 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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