Jump to: Spoilers (13)
During the scene when Jake plays cards with the Latino gangsters, director Antoine Fuqua gave certain instructions to the actors playing the gangsters without telling Ethan Hawke. This was done to further confuse him and add to the tension of the scene.
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Denzel Washington has frequently said that Detective Alonzo Harris is his favorite character that he's played.
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The line "King Kong ain't got shit on me!" was ad-libbed by Denzel Washington.
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T. Rodgers, the founder of the Black P. Stones Bloods in Baldwin Village a.k.a. The Jungles in Los Angeles, was on-set for all of the filming in his neighborhood, and allowed the producers to use his neighborhood in exchange for casting gang members.
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Tobey Maguire was seriously considered for the part of Officer Jake Hoyt. He even followed undercover narcotics officers in Los Angeles for two months and gained weight for the role. He was dropped when Ethan Hawke, Fuqua's first choice, was finally available for the shooting schedule.
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About the casting of Ethan Hawke, Antoine Fuqua said "there's something innocent about Ethan, he's such a nice guy...but there's something in his eyes that tells you he's seen something."
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When the movie came out, many viewers and critics were skeptical of the scenes where Jake Hoyt smokes marijuana laced with PCP, and Alonzo's explanation of how a cop who didn't take drugs offered to him on the street would be ID'd as police and murdered. David Ayer responded in an interview by holding up a highlighted section of the L.A.P.D.'s rules and regulations; it stated that officers were allowed to use narcotics in very specific undercover situations, and hewed closely to what Alonzo told Jake.
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To give to his character a much more authentic aspect, Denzel Washington decided to have the same look as disgraced L.A.P.D. Officer Rafael Perez.
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The film had several police technical advisors. Among them is Detective-Sergeant Brian Davis, an L.A.P.D. veteran who is one of the most respected and decorated officer of the infamous elite Special Investigation Section.
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The coffee shop in the beginning of the movie (which was, incidentally, the first scene shot) is the same shop that was used in Se7en (1995) in the scene where Morgan Freeman meets Gwyneth Paltrow to talk. In the window in both movies, the writing reads "Quality Cafe". The Quality Cafe is also used in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Ghost World (2001), and Catch Me If You Can (2002).
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The license plate on Alonzo's car is "ORP 967" obviously a nod to Officer Rafael Perez, the disgraced L.A.P.D. officer who was born in 1967, and on whom the character was based.
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Eminem was offered to play rookie cop Jake Hoyt. The rapper turned it down, due to the development of 8 Mile (2002), and had to stay available for that. Had he accepted the role, he would've shared scenes with rappers Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, the latter of which is Eminem's mentor. Instead, Ethan Hawke took the part and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Eminem was nominated and won an Academy Award the following year for 8 Mile (2002), in the Best Original Song category for Lose Yourself.
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This movie is unique in Academy Awards history in that it's the only time an African-American, Denzel Washington, won the Best Actor Oscar as directed by a fellow African-American, Antoine Fuqua.
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David Ayer was the only writer to work on the script, such a rarity that it merited a congratulatory call from the chairman of Warner Brothers Pictures.
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Before Antoine Fuqua was involved in the project, Davis Guggenheim was set to direct with Samuel L. Jackson as Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris and Matt Damon as rookie Officer Jake Hoyt. When Denzel Washington accepted the role as Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris, Guggenheim was replaced per his request. Samuel L. Jackson would later voice the character Officer Frank Tenpenny in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and also based on Rafael Perez.
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Cle Sloan, the gang technical advisor of this movie, managed to get on-screen real-life gang members from Rollin' 60 Crips, P.J. Watts Crips, and B.P. Stones Bloods.
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With his Best Actor Oscar win for this film, Denzel Washington became the first black actor to win two acting Academy Awards.
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Bruce Willis was offered the role of Alonzo. He later worked with Antoine Fuqua on Tears of the Sun (2003).
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The word "f-ck" is used two hundred eleven times.
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Mickey Rourke was Antoine Fuqua's first choice for the part of Roger. The studio turned Fuqua's request down.
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David Ayer wrote the first draft in 1995, way before the Rampart scandal made headlines in 1998. In the first draft, Alonzo was a Latino officer in charge of drug enforcement in the gang infested area of Pico-Union within the Rampart Division. He was a loner and didn't have any partner because of his reputation as a corrupt and racist cop. But the basics elements of the character were there: he wears expensive jewelry and drives a 1979 Monte Carlo.
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At the Academy Awards, most directors usually sit close to the actors, but at The 74th Annual Academy Awards (2002), Antoine Fuqua was seated a few rows back from Denzel Washington. During his acceptance speech, even Washington didn't know where Fuqua was sitting, so he said "a brilliant young African-American filmmaker, I don't know where you are Antoine, love you".
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Christian Bale was offered the role of Jake Hoyt, but turned it down.
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Denzel's win at the Academy Awards for Best Actor was considered a major upset at the time, as fellow nominee Russell Crowe had won all the major precursor awards (Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Critics Choice and BAFTA) for A Beautiful Mind (2001).
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Alonzo's car is a 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo, with some modifications: it has Dayton wire wheels with bullet caps; a Grant steering wheel; Flowmaster exhaust; and hydraulics. Added to this, the car is outfitted with a sunroof, which that era's Monte Carlos never had.
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Ethan Hawke was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role despite the fact he has more screentime in the film than his co-star Denzel Washington, who was nominated for (and won) the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
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Mark Wahlberg was considered for the role of Jake Hoyt, but he would later act 2 Guns (2013) alongside Denzel Washington.
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Alonzo's weapons of choice in the film are the venerable Smith & Wesson 4506, of which he carries two in a dual shoulder holster. The 4506 is a .45 ACP semi automatic previously used by many police departments around the country.
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Although not shown in the film, the producers of the movie asked if the Angelus Temple cross, a famous Echo Park landmark, could be used in the film. When the church declined, they brought in a "fake" cross and using a crane hoisted it up a few feet in front of the real Angelus Temple.
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Antoine Fuqua says the production was a very intense period of his life. The locations in South Central Los Angeles included some gang-infested neighborhoods, and Fuqua also went through some personal grief in the middle of shooting the film. After the film was released, Fuqua needed to step away from it, and he didn't do much publicity. He attended the 58th Venice International Film Festival where the film premiered, out of competition, in 2001.
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When Hoyt wakes up from his nap with Alonzo's son, he taps him on the chest and says "see ya buddy." Similarly, when Alonzo gives Hoyt the "It's ugly, but it's necessary" speech, after Hoyt calms down, Alonzo pats him on the chest and the scene concludes. The chest pat is symbolic of a fatherly exchange in both instances.
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The whiskey Roger offers to Alonzo and Jake is a vintage of the Macallan. Alonzo mentions it as "three hundred dollars a glass." Whether or not this is an exaggeration, the whiskey is sure to be on the finer side. Given its light shade and the white label, it could well be Macallan thirty-year-old, which sells for an average of two thousand five hundred dollars per bottle.
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Roger's (Scott Glenn's) snail joke he tells Jake (Ethan Hawke) symbolically means the man represents the streets and the snail represents just another random person falling victim to the streets. The size difference between the two represents how big "the streets" are and how small we are. So this big guy kicks this little tiny helpless snail and breaks his shell showing how easy it is for the streets to tear you up. the joke means that street life will run you over and totally just tear you to pieces and won't even remember (or care) the next second. You're just another victim (a tiny snail in the way). So no matter who you are or what you've been through, on the streets, you're just another person. So when the snail healed and came back, the man (the streets) didn't give him any respect whatsoever because he doesn't care. I think the jokes main meaning was: The streets will tear you up and not think twice. And don't expect any respect in the street regardless of who you are or what you've been through.
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Raymond Cruz was considered for the role of Smiley, before being cast as Sniper.
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Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke's first film together.
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Denzel Washington's Virtuosity (1995) and American Gangster (2007) co-star Russell Crowe lost out to Washington when Washington won the Best Actor Oscar for Training Day (2001). Russell Crowe was nominated for his performance as John Nash in A Beautiful Mind (2001) and a year earlier, he won an Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Maximus in Gladiator (2000).
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A scene that was filmed and deleted which happens just before Jake gets on the bus and goes back to The Jungle to confront Alonzo, Smiley reveals that Alonzo wanted him to kill him by setting him on fire in front of his wife and child.
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The Movie's script was made in 1995.
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The scene where Alonzo (Denzel Washington) is scraping together his guns to a drug addict was improvised.
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Esai Morales was originally cast as Smiley, but was re-cast due to scheduling.
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Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke starred in The Magnificent Seven (2016) also directed nxt Antoine Fuqua
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A scene was filmed but deleted which reveals Alonzo wasn't always corrupt and Alonzo and Jake drive to a house which belonged to a man called Spooky. Alonzo tells Jake that during his 2nd week on patrol as a LAPD cop he pulled up outside Spooky's house and he witnessed an old man called Too Fine beating a dog with a garden hose. Alonzo wanted to get out of the car and do something about it, but his partner don't him to leave it and that Spooky paid Too Fine to beat the dog to teach it to hate colored people and Alonzo almost quit and got on a bus and went home.
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Famous novelist and true crime specialist James Ellroy described the movie as "a complete waste of time".
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Scott Glenn and Denzel Washington both played John Creasy in films based on A.J. Quinell's Man on Fire ; Glenn for Man on Fire (1987) Washington for Man on Fire (2004)
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The first of two movies where Snoop Dogg plays an informant for the police. He would do so again in Starsky & Hutch (2004).
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Film location where the movie's scenes were filmed look very different now, including the scene where Jake & Alonzo found the 2 drug addicts is completey different, they can still be found in the streets of California.
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Raymond Cruz, who plays Sniper, played a Marine sniper in Clear and Present Danger (1994)
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The cigarettes Alonzo smokes are Kools.
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The second film with Harris Yulin about police corruption. The first was Scarface (1983). It's also his second film about police corruption. The first was, He played Bernstein, the crooked cop in, again, Scarface.
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Denzel Washington's character "Easy" in Devil In A Blue Dress (1995) is a hero detective, but his character in Training Day (2001) "Alonzo Harris" is a villain detective.
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2003 Denzel Washington would work with Eva Mendez again in "Out of Time".
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Training Day is a Oscar winning 2001 crime drama from director Antoine Faqua and stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. In Training Day, Denzel Washington stars as a corrupt Los Angeles Narcotic Cops whom supervises the 24 hour training of a new recruit (Ethan Hawke). But the recruit begins to distrust the Narcotic Cop and questions his unorthodox methods of enforcing the law when the Narcotics Cop abuses suspects and mishandles drugs and evidence.
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Roger's (Scott Glenn's) house was filmed only 0.6 miles from Sheri Pierce's apartment shown in the the beginning of Big Momma's House (2000). The direct ("as the crow flies") distance is even shorter: 750 feet. Joanne Greenwold's house in Better Off Dead... (1985).
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Supposedly Basketball Player Lebron James' favorite movie.
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Ramond Cruz and Harris Yulin both appeared in Clear and Present Danger. Despite both having larger roles in that film, they did not share any scenes in that film either.
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Just after Smiley tells Sniper to deal the cards again, the sound of Alonzo's car can be heard leaving.
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Despite being rated R for strong brutal violence, only two people are killed: Roger and Alonzo.
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The original ending had Alonzo getting away with his crimes, but Denzel Washington insisted that it be amended so he gets his comeuppance.
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The original ending of the script was Hoyt crashing the pad of Alonzo's girlfriend, and find his training officer in the middle of a three-way with two young women. Hoyt shows him the money that Smiley was supposed to deliver to the Russians, and tells him that there is a crew of hitmen looking all over for him. Alonzo then commits suicide in front of Hoyt.
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During the movie, Hoyt often does the opposite of what Alonzo tells him to do. He tells Hoyt not to get involved with anything but organized crime, and avoid wasting time with small crimes, but he helps the girl who is getting raped (which eventually saves his life), he tells him never to mention his family while working, but he says he's married and has a daughter when he's about to be shot in the tub, he tells Hoyt never to enter the rough neighborhood "Jungles" without him, but he does (which eventually helps him catch Alonzo).
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Right before Hoyt gets into Alonzo's car following Roger's murder, Alonzo can be heard on the phone saying "make sure the bathtub is clean". He is presumably speaking with Smiley about killing Jake.
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Following Glory (1989), this is Denzel Washington's second Oscar win. In both roles, his character dies in a hail of gunfire.
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Body count: two.
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Some weaponry used in the film includes: Two Smith and Wesson 4506s carried by Alonzo, Berreta 92FS (used by Jake Hoyt), Glock 17 (one of the backup guns carried by Alonzo), M1911 pistol (used by Alonzo and Hoyt during the confrontation in Imperial Courts) Mossberg 500 (used to shoot Roger), sawed off Remington 870 (used by Alonzo when shooting at Jake) and Glock 19 (used by crippled drug dealer Blue as well as Officer Paul). Many of these weapons are L.A.P.D. issue which lends to the credibility of the film and shows that the production team did its research.
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When Detective Hoyt is sitting at the table playing cards with Smiley and his crew, they ask him "has he ever had his shit pushed in?" This is street terminology way of asking him has he ever engaged in anal sex as a recipient. Smiley follows up by saying "I always like getting love from the homies".
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In the backstory behind the Russian gangsters: Alonzo owed the Russian gangsters a large debt because he killed a courier of theirs and they demanded he pay them $1 million dollars or they will kill him.
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The music artists featured in the film play criminals, most notably Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Macy Gray.
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Although Alonzo's death at the hand of the Russian hitmen was Alonzo's comeuppance. Jake is directly responsible for Alonzo's death because in his confrontation with Alonzo, Jake walks away with the money Alonzo owes the Russian Mafia and submit it as evidence against him. If Jake hadn't walked away with the money, Alonzo could had paid off the Russian Mafia and saved his life and by taking Alonzo's money from him, Jake signed Alonzo's death warrant and allowed the Russian hitmen to kill him.
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