Next of Kin (1989 film)

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Next of Kin
Next-of-Kin-Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Irvin
Produced byLarry Dewaay
Jeb Stuart
Richard D. Zanuck
Written byMichael Jenning
StarringPatrick Swayze
Liam Neeson
Adam Baldwin
Helen Hunt
Bill Paxton
Music byJack Nitzsche
Larry Gatlin (song) "Brothers"
CinematographySteven B. Poster
Editing byPeter Honess
Distributed byLorimar Film Productions
Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • October 20, 1989 (1989-10-20)
Running time111 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$12 million
Box office$15,942,628
 
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Next of Kin
Next-of-Kin-Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Irvin
Produced byLarry Dewaay
Jeb Stuart
Richard D. Zanuck
Written byMichael Jenning
StarringPatrick Swayze
Liam Neeson
Adam Baldwin
Helen Hunt
Bill Paxton
Music byJack Nitzsche
Larry Gatlin (song) "Brothers"
CinematographySteven B. Poster
Editing byPeter Honess
Distributed byLorimar Film Productions
Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • October 20, 1989 (1989-10-20)
Running time111 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$12 million
Box office$15,942,628

Next of Kin is a 1989 American action film directed by John Irvin and starring Patrick Swayze, Liam Neeson and Adam Baldwin and Ben Stiller in smaller roles. The screenplay was based on a story of the same title, both written by Michael Jenning.

Plot[edit]

Truman Gates (Patrick Swayze), a Kentucky native raised in Appalachia, has migrated to Chicago to become a police officer. After his younger brother Gerald (Bill Paxton) becomes unemployed when the local coal mine closes, Truman persuades his brother to look for work in Chicago.

Soon after landing a job as a truck driver, Gerald's vehicle is hijacked by mobsters from the Chicago Outfit. Gerald is killed by Joey Rosellini (Adam Baldwin), the nephew of Outfit boss John Isabella (Andreas Katsulas). Joey lies and says that it was in defense of his cousin's life.

Truman returns to Kentucky for the funeral. When his surviving brother, Briar Gates (Liam Neeson), insists on a traditional mountain blood feud, Truman urges his family to let the police deal with Gerald's murder. Briar is disgusted, as he considers Truman's reluctance to be disgraceful.

Determined to deal with the murderers in his own way, Briar travels to Chicago. Meanwhile, Truman desperately tries to solve the crime before Briar. He approaches John Isabella and explains the mountain code to him. He suggests that if Gerald's murderer surrenders peacefully, it would save them both a lot of trouble. John, however, refuses on general principle and Truman continues his investigation. Meanwhile, Briar is making shotgun shells when Harold (Michael J. Pollard), the manager of the apartment building that Briar is staying at while going after the Outfit that killed Gerald, walks up to his door and notices it. Briar tells him if he is not back by the next morning, he is to call his kin (later revealed as Hollis Gates). He goes to Lake Michigan Vending and sees Joey and tells him to get downstairs. He tells him he wants the man who killed Gerald. He shoots a gallon jug of water and it tips the water on Joey and says that he made the worst mistake of his life. He replies that he made the worst mistake. Truman arrives at the vending factory and says he is not pressing charges against Briar. Learning of the Gates family's determination to seek revenge, Joey dismisses the threat, saying that the Gates family, "plow rocks for a living." John responds, "That's what they said about 'our' people back in Sicily." The Isabella mobsters come to kill Briar in his hotel but manages to escape thanks to the bungling mobster (Paul Greco). Truman soon learns the identity of the hijackers from a witness. To his amazement, he learns that Lawrence Isabella (Ben Stiller), the Don's son and a criminal informant, witnessed the murder. He approaches Lawrence and tells him that he intends to arrest Joey.

Lawrence is brutally tortured and finally murdered with Briar's shotgun by Joey, but he had to tell the Don that it was Briar. A devastated John sanctions a hit on the supposed culprit. However, Briar first breaks into Rosellini's trucking company and engages in a gunfight with Joey's crew and kills two of Joey's guys and Joey walks in and shoots Briar twice. Fatally wounded, Briar dies in Truman's arms when he arrives.

Truman resigns from the police force. The morning after the shooting, Harold hears about it and calls his kin Hollis Gates, his cousin, and informs him of Briar's death and the Gates family gathers together and travels to Chicago to begin a war against the Outfit. Truman paints, "You forgot one," on Joey's car after he throws one of Joey's guys into the window of a restaurant. Enraged, Joey vows to murder Truman without his uncle's permission.

Truman lures the Rosellini crew to a darkened cemetery, where an extended gun battle ensues. Truman ambushes and silently kills two members of Joey's crew with a compound bow and one with a knife, which in turn, the guy Truman killed shoots Truman in the leg. Then, just as Truman is cornered by the remaining four, the Gates family descends to his rescue. Once the remaining mobsters are killed or cornered, Truman and Joey engage in hand-to-hand combat. Truman has Joey pinned on the ground with a knife to his throat when John Isabella arrives and, at gunpoint, orders Truman to drop the knife and move out of the way. To Joey's horror, the Don has learned the truth about Lawrence's murder. The Don points the gun at Joey. Joey asks him what is he going to do. The Don tells Joey, "This is for killing my son," and shoots him dead.

The Gates and Isabella families make peace. At the police station, Truman sees Jessie. She hears about Briar's death from Truman when she asked about him. Truman tells Jessie, "Now you're my only family."

Filming Locations Kentucky[edit]

Some of the home scenes and the opening scenes were filmed in the small Perry County Kentucky coal camp of Hardburly.Others were done at the MC Napier High School Gym in Hazard and in Letcher County near Carbonton.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

This film was rated 43% on Rotten Tomatoes out of 7 reviews. It earned a Razzie Award nomination for Patrick Swayze as Worst Actor (also for Road House).

Soundtrack[edit]

A soundtrack to the film was also released through Warner Bros. Records. Here is the track listing:

  1. "Brother to Brother" - Gregg Allman & Lori Yates - 3:58
  2. "Hey, Backwoods" - Rodney Crowell - 4:11
  3. "Hillbilly Heart" - Ricky Van Shelton - 2:56
  4. "Straight and Narrow" - Ricky Skaggs - 2:51
  5. "Paralyzed" - Sweethearts of the Rodeo - 3:00
  6. "The Yard Sale" - Billy Lawson - 2:24
  7. "My Sweet Baby's Gone" - Charlie Daniels - 3:15
  8. "Pyramid of Cans" - George Jones - 2:31
  9. "Brothers" - Patrick Swayze & Larry Gatlin - 4:10
  10. "Wailing Sax" - Duane Eddy - 3:19

The album has been out of print for years and is considered a highly sought-after collector's item, usually priced fairly high on many online stores, including Amazon.

External links[edit]