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


Sean Penn


Sean Penn
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 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 »


When JoJo is dancing in front of John to Salt n Pepa's "Whatta Man", John gets up and stops the tape player. A minute later, he presses play on the tape player again, and the song comes in, however it is almost 4 bars rewound, and plays the same lyrics over again that has already been played, though no one rewound the tape. See more »


Freddy Gale: Now you pity me. You pity me. You know, this is funny...
Mary: Whatever you are doing Freddy, stop it.
Freddy Gale: "Whatever you are doing Freddy, stop it". I hope you die. I hope you FUCKING die.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Clyde is Hungry Watchdog - Dr Edward Katz See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: The Best of David Spade (2005) See more »


Any Time, Any Place, Any Where
Written and Performed by Hadda Brooks
See more »

User Reviews

An emotionally and morally clichéd script wastes good actors and good direction
13 April 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

It has been five years since Freddie and Mary's young daughter was killed by a drunk driver and they have both been dealing with it in their own ways. Mary has moved on with a new husband and her other children, while Freddie has collapsed in on himself with a glut of drinks and strippers. However now that the killer, John Booth, has been released Freddie has focus and aims to kill him in revenge. However nothing is that simple.

Sean Penn, Jack Nicholson and David Morse are pretty much going to be worth a look as they are all pretty intense actors when given the material to work with. In this film Penn is the writer and director and, unfortunately, he is not as good as writing as he is the other facets of his job. Here the film is pretty good but has one massive problem that it cannot get over - the script. The film is based on clichés that you will have seen before. This itself is not a problem as, although the characters are familiar, it's what you do with them that counts - not their basic descriptions.

However the film doesn't actually do much with these basic characters and, what it does, is confused and clichéd as much as the basics are! The `message' of the film will be different for everyone so I won't go into that but suffice to say that the characters are never really explained and it is impossible to really feel for any of them. They drift aimlessly for an hour or so just `feeling' in a story that borders on the dull, before something happens that has any meaning - and even then you could see it coming. The script wants to be deep and meaningful, and it appears to have fooled several people on this site, but really it is hollow and really lacking in anything close to engagement.

It is even more tragic when you see the potential that the film had. As director, Penn does pretty well with good atmosphere and style. Likewise the cast could have been great but are mostly left to aimlessly drift with a script they can't work with. You can tell Penn is an actor by the way he seems to have been content to let the actor's `explore the space' or, in my terms, do what they want. Morse is a good actor but here he is lumbered with a man who has done all his suffering off camera resulting in him being a bland character with nothing left to explore in front of us. Huston is given nothing of value to do and the inclusion of Robin Wright Penn can surely be nothing but nepotism.

Overall there is a good film in here somewhere, but this is not it. The big names gather around a script that eventually lets them down by being far too dull and simplistic (and confused at the same time!) and never really engages.

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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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