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Lethal Weapon (1987)

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Two newly paired cops who are complete opposites must put aside their differences in order to catch a gang of drug smugglers.

Director:

Richard Donner

Writer:

Shane Black
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Popularity
2,210 ( 16)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Martin Riggs
Danny Glover ... Roger Murtaugh
Gary Busey ... Joshua
Mitchell Ryan ... The General
Tom Atkins ... Michael Hunsaker
Darlene Love ... Trish Murtaugh
Traci Wolfe ... Rianne Murtaugh
Jackie Swanson ... Amanda Hunsaker
Damon Hines Damon Hines ... Nick Murtaugh
Ebonie Smith ... Carrie Murtaugh
Bill Kalmenson ... Beat Cop
Lycia Naff ... Dixie
Patrick Cameron Patrick Cameron ... Cop #1
Don Gordon ... Cop #2
Jimmie F. Skaggs ... Drug Dealer #1
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Storyline

Martin Riggs is an L.A. cop with suicidal tendencies and Roger Murtaugh is the unlucky police officer with whom Riggs is assigned. Together they uncover a huge drug-smuggling operation, and as their success rate grows so does their friendship. Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two cops. Glover carries a weapon. Gibson is one. He's the only L.A. cop registered as a LETHAL WEAPON. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lethal Weapon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,829,949, 8 March 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$65,207,127

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$120,207,127
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jackie Swanson did perform the high fall on her own. Trained by legendary stuntman Dar Robinson. Also, the stunt was done using an airbag covered with a life-size painting of the driveway and cars, which, like a foreground miniature, visually blends into the real scene. Thus, the editor is able to hold the shot until just as she makes contact with the airbag, for greater realism. See more »

Goofs

Joshua shoots open the front door of Murtaugh's house and walks into the kitchen. The TV is turned on and the breakfast table has a two cereal boxes, some flowers and some place settings on it. It is being lit by the light hanging above the table. Joshua fires a couple of shots into the TV screen to turn it off, and when it cuts to a wide shot with Joshua's back to the camera, we can now see that the table is covered in debris and the hanging light is out and laying on top of the table even though he never fires his gun at that area of the room. See more »

Quotes

Martin Riggs: You know they're going to kill her, don't you?
Roger Murtaugh: Yeah.
Martin Riggs: So if you want her back, you're going to have to take her away from them.
Roger Murtaugh: I know.
Martin Riggs: You do this my way. You shoot, you shoot to kill, get as many of them as you can. All you got to do is just not miss.
Roger Murtaugh: I won't miss.
Martin Riggs: We're going to get bloody on this one, Rog.
Roger Murtaugh: Are you really crazy? Or are you as good as you say you are?
Martin Riggs: You're just gonna have to trust me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a dedication to Dar Robinson, a stuntman who died in a motorbike accident as Lethal Weapon was in Post-Production. See more »

Alternate Versions

All versions of "Lethal Weapon" released in Germany before the Director's Cut had a rating FSK 16, and were all slightly cut. The Director's Cut of LW 1 released in 1998 is uncut, but also got an FSK 16 rating. See more »


Soundtracks

Jingle Bell Rock
Written by Joe Beal (as Joe Beal) and Jim Boothe (as Jim Boothe)
Performed by Bobby Helms
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This is the classic action film that introduces one of the best action duos ever to come to the big screen.
12 November 2000 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

Lethal Weapon is a nearly perfectly structured action movie. The acting, the story, the script, the directing, even the IDEA of the movie all combine to make up a fascinating and thrill-packed police film. The cross-cutting at the beginning of the film was particularly effective, in my opinion, as Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are introduced. The startling difference between their separate lives provides for tons of fun to be had later in the movie. Roger starts his day off as the family man reluctantly celebrating his 50th birthday party with his numerous children and his loving wife in the big family house, while Riggs is shown waking up naked in his trashy trailer and beginning his day with a healthy breakfast of a cigarette and a beer.

The fact that both Roger and Riggs hated that they had to work together was especially effective in creating a touching atmosphere as they grew to be closer and closer friends. They worked so well together in this movie; it was a symbiotic relationship. It was almost like they fed off of each other, and kept each other in line and out of trouble. I also liked the way that they showed that Riggs was deeply angered when he learned that the bad guys had taken Murtaugh's daughter. Things like this, when done right, can really get you to sit up and really get into the movie, and it was definitely done right here. Riggs was also very amusing in his anxiousness about being a cop (`Why don't you let me go to sleep?' `No, come on, we gotta get up and catch bad guys!'), and Gary Busey delivers an excellent performance as the lead bad guy. This is the type of role that he plays best (see "Under Siege").

Although the violence was painfully present in some parts (the torture scenes were short but extremely difficult to watch), the film never relied on violence to pull it along or keep the audience's attention. The story was sufficient enough so that there was no overindulgence necessary in anything like that. In this film you see the first of the now traditional Lethal Weapon scenes in which Riggs and Murtaugh stagger away from a smoking crime scene, seeming to hold each other up. The final fight scene between Riggs and Mr. Joshua (Busey) was a little excessive, and there were a few scenes which were a bit faulty (how did the guy on the building ledge expect to kill himself when there was such a huge air bag inflated on the ground directly below him?), but overall this was a spectacular crime thriller. The movie rushes along at a feverish pace, and particularly Gibson's and Glover's success working together on screen make this a timeless action film that is not to be missed.


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