Running Scared (1986 film)

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Running Scared
Runningscaredposter.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byPeter Hyams
Produced byDavid Foster
Lawrence Turman
Written byGary DeVore
Jimmy Huston
StarringGregory Hines
Billy Crystal
Music byUdi Harpaz
Rod Temperton
CinematographyPeter Hyams
Edited byJames Mitchell
Distributed byMGM
Release date(s)
  • June 27, 1986 (1986-06-27)
Running time107 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$38,500,726 (USA)
 
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This article is about the 1986 American film. For other films of the same name, see Running Scared.
Running Scared
Runningscaredposter.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byPeter Hyams
Produced byDavid Foster
Lawrence Turman
Written byGary DeVore
Jimmy Huston
StarringGregory Hines
Billy Crystal
Music byUdi Harpaz
Rod Temperton
CinematographyPeter Hyams
Edited byJames Mitchell
Distributed byMGM
Release date(s)
  • June 27, 1986 (1986-06-27)
Running time107 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$38,500,726 (USA)

Running Scared is a 1986 action/comedy film directed by Peter Hyams, written by Gary Devore and Jimmy Huston, and starring Gregory Hines, Billy Crystal, and Jimmy Smits. Hines and Crystal play Chicago police officers who, after nearly being killed on the job, decide to retire and open a bar in Key West, only to get caught up in making one last arrest before they go.

Plot[edit]

Ray Hughes (Hines) and Danny Costanzo (Crystal) are two detectives working Chicago's North Side, known for their childish demeanors and unorthodox police methods, which get results in their various cases. One such case involves trying to bust up-and-coming drug dealer Julio Gonzales (Jimmy Smits). After arresting Snake (Joe Pantoliano), one of Julio’s associates, they convince him to wear a wire in order to get the necessary evidence to put Julio away. When they approach the meeting place (a cargo ship) they find that Gonzales has acquired a large store of Israeli Uzi submachine guns. Snake is setting the detectives up, however, prompting the detectives to rush in by acting as though Gonzales was preparing to kill him. Gonzales reveals his ambition to be the next "godfather" of Chicago, but chastises Snake for letting the detectives get close, and Snake is shot dead by a subordinate. The pair look as though they will be killed for sure, but two undercover detectives in Julio’s gang step in to make the arrest. In the ensuing gun battle, most of Julio’s gang escape, but Ray and Danny capture Gonzales.

Back at the station Ray and Danny expect to be praised, but instead their captain (Dan Hedaya) chastises them for their sloppy work (as revealed by Snake’s wire) and orders them to take a vacation. On vacation in Key West, Florida, the pair begin to question their career choice after the experience and decide to retire and open a bar.

When they return to Chicago and inform the captain of their intentions, they find out that Gonzales has been released and is free on bail. Incensed, they vow to capture Gonzales before retiring, but by being a little more careful in the process. To add insult to injury, Captain Logan assigns them the additional task of training their replacements before they go; detectives Anthony Montoya (Jon Gries) and Frank Sigliano (Steven Bauer), none other than the two undercover officers that saved them from being killed in the Gonzales bust.

During one of the attempts to capture Gonzales, Ray and Danny confiscate a large shipment of his drugs coming from Colombia. In order to get them back, Gonzales kidnaps Danny’s ex-wife Anna (Darlanne Fluegel), whom he still loves and has been trying to reconcile with, and says he will trade her for his drugs, otherwise he will kill her. Danny agrees, leading to the final confrontation inside the high-rise atrium of the James R. Thompson Center. During the ensuing firefight, Danny and Ray ironically rescue their would-be protégés in a way similar to their own rescuing, and Gonzales is killed. Anna and Danny reconcile and he and Ray decide not to retire after all.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Hyams later recalled:

After 2010 MGM came to me with this script about two elderly cops in New York who retire. I said I wanted to make it about two young cops in Chicago who don’t retire. We went around a bit. There were a lot of cop movies around at that time, so I decided that if I wanted to be interesting I needed to do it with two actors you would not normally expect to see in an action movie. So I wanted Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines, and I got them and they were wonderful together. They just clicked.[1]

Reception[edit]

Running Scared was a moderate box office success, earning over $38 million. Reviews were mixed, however, and the film has a current 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 20 reviews. Film critic Roger Ebert recommended it, saying that the film “transcends its dreary roots and turns out to be a lot of fun”.[2]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times, however, advised people to "stay home and watch Miami Vice or Cagney and Lacey" instead.[3]

Box office[edit]

The movie debuted at number 6 at the US box office.[4]

Soundtrack[edit]

Running Scared
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released1986
GenreR&B
Length43:04
LabelMCA Records
ProducerRod Temperton, Dick Rudolph, and Bruce Swedien

The Running Scared soundtrack was released in conjunction with the movie and contained a mix of songs and music featured in the film. The album sold well and produced three top 15 hits with performances by Klymaxx, Michael McDonald, New Edition, and Patti LaBelle. Producer Rod Temperton also contributed two songs with his band The Rod Temperton Beat Wagon.

Though "Say You Really Want Me" was included on the soundtrack, its chart success came a year later, released as the second single from Kim Wilde's Another Step album, in the summer of 1987.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitlePerformerLength
1"Man Size Love"Klymaxx4:15
2"Sweet Freedom"Michael McDonald7:38
3"I Just Wanna Be Loved"Ready For The World4:55
4"Running Scared"Fee Waybill4:31
5"Once In A Lifetime Groove"New Edition4:05
6"I Know What I Want"Patti LaBelle3:56
7"Say You Really Want Me"Kim Wilde4:31
8"El Chase (Instrumental)"The Rod Temperton Beat Wagon5:33
9"Never Too Late To Start"The Rod Temperton Beat Wagon4:11

Singles chart positions[edit]

YearSingleChartPosition
1986Man Size LoveBillboard Hot 10015[5]
Once In A Lifetime GrooveDance Music/Club Play Singles9[5]
Once In A Lifetime GrooveHot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales10[5]
Once In A Lifetime GrooveHot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks10[5]
Sweet FreedomAdult Contemporary4[5]
Sweet FreedomBillboard Hot 1007[5]
Sweet FreedomHot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks17[5]
1987Say You Really Want MeBillboard Hot 10044[5]

Album chart position[edit]

YearAlbumChartPosition
1986Running ScaredR&B Albums38[5]
Running ScaredBillboard 20043[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peter Hyams Film by Film" Empire accessed 30 July 2014
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 27, 1986). "Running Scared (1986)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent (June 27, 1986). "Film: Running Scared". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  4. ^ Vernon Scott (July 10, 1986). "`Karate Kid` Top Kick At Box Office". Sun Sentinel. Articles.sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "allmusic ((( Running Scared > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 

External links[edit]