Armed and Dangerous (film)

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Armed and Dangerous
Armed and dangerous.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mark L. Lester
Produced by Brian Grazer
James Keach
Written by Brian Grazer
James Keach
Harold Ramis
Peter Torokvei
Starring John Candy
Eugene Levy
Robert Loggia
Kenneth McMillan
Meg Ryan
Music by Bill Meyers
Cinematography Fred Schuler
Edited by Daniel P. Hanley
Mike Hill
Gregory Prange
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s)
  • August 15, 1986 (1986-08-15)
Running time 88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $15,945,534[1]

Armed and Dangerous is a 1986 American action-crime comedy film starring John Candy, Eugene Levy, Robert Loggia and Meg Ryan. It was directed by Mark L. Lester and filmed on location in and around Los Angeles, California.


Officer Frank Dooley (John Candy) of the LAPD is framed for the theft of a television set by two corrupt detectives. He is dismissed from the force, but escapes criminal punishment at his day in court. The next case features hapless defense attorney Norman Kane (Eugene Levy) attempting to defend a white supremacist leader, who threatens him with death should Kane fail to keep him out of prison. A fearful Kane reveals his ineptitude to the judge (Stacy Keach, Sr.), who agrees to give the criminal an especially long sentence in exchange for Kane immediately leaving law behind.

Dooley and Kane both apply for work at Guard Dog Security, a low-rent firm run by the gruff Clarence O'Connell (Kenneth McMillan) and part of a security guard's union requiring heavy contributions that is represented by Clyde Klepper (Jonathan Banks) and Tony Lazarus (Brion James). Becoming licensed security guards after a single afternoon of training (Kane: "So that's it"? Dooley: "Yeah, class of Thursday, 3pm. Congratulations"), Dooley and Kane are made partners by Guard Dog supervisor Maggie Cavanaugh (Meg Ryan) and assigned to night duty at the Carlex Pharmaceutical company's warehouse. After being loudly ordered to take a lunch break by senior guard Bruno (Tom Lister, Jr.), they happen upon an armed robbery of the warehouse, but prove no match for the thieves (Klepper and Lazarus in ski masks) who used machine guns.

The next day, the pair are berated and fined $100 each by O'Connell, leaving them suspicious of the company. When they leave O'Connell's office they are asked by Maggie how the meeting went, with both venting their anger about O'Connell and Kane calling him a "Poophead". Maggie then reveals that O'Connell is her father. Dooley and Kane then attend a meeting of the union, where Kane pointedly questions union president Michael Carlino (Robert Loggia) about how the $15 per week union dues each member is required to pay are spent following Carlino's rejection of his grievance against Guard Dog. After Kane rejects an evasive answer from Union treasurer Lou Brackman (James Tolkan), an enraged Carlino threatens that if Kane ever showed his face at another union meeting he would break his legs, then promptly adjourns the meeting. Over the next few days, Dooley and Kane find themselves assigned to work at a landfill and a toxic waste dump.

Convinced something illegal is afoot, the pair track down Bruno at his gym and interrogate him. Bruno states that it was O'Connell who had him order them to lunch the night of the robbery. The pair then visit an old friend of Dooley's, a retired thief named Cappy (Tony Burton) to get information on Carlino. Cappy informed them that "Carlino is heavy" and that it was organized guys like him who put independent thieves like Cappy out of business. During the meeting with Cappy at the wharf, Dooley manages to catch a shark on Cappy's spare fishing line and uses his gun to kill it. They then bring their suspicions to Maggie, but she rejects them as having no evidence to back them up. The pair next attend a party thrown by Carlino in hopes of gathering some evidence. Eavesdropping on a meeting between Carlino and Brackman, they learn of Carlino's use of the pension fund to finance dealings with a Colombian drug cartel and his plans to have the money robbed from an armoured car and then have insurance cover the loss. Brackman then points out that the insurance company will launch an investigation and that he will end up taking the fall, telling Carlino not to be an asshole, which see's Carlino indicate to Klepper and Lazarus to get rid of him. Dooley and Kane prove too late to save Brackman from being murdered by Klepper and Lazarus to keep him from talking and find themselves framed for his death.

After a night spent evading the police, including dressing as a couple of outlandish gay men, the pair make plans with a now receptive Maggie to prevent the armoured car robbery. Kane and Maggie take over driving the truck, while Dooley will meet them ahead of the would-be robbers. Dooley has problems with his motorcycle and is forced to hitch a ride with The Cowboy (Steve Railsback), a wild trucker who eagerly disobeys traffic laws and uses his truck to ram his way through a traffic jam caused by an accident (while hauling rocket fuel). Meanwhile, Kane and Maggie must avoid assaults from multiple cars attempting to hold them up. With The Cowboy's help, Dooley is able to arrive in time to save the armoured car from a guided missile strike and foil a final attack from Klepper and Lazarus. O'Connell, no longer willing to abide the scheme after Carlino threatened to hurt Maggie if he didn't co-operate with the robbery, arrives having captured Carlino and his associates, the two detectives who originally framed Dooley and had him thrown off the police force.

The criminals are arrested and Dooley is invited back to the police force, along with a reluctant Kane.


The film opened in the United States on 15 August 1986.



The album features mainly R&B artists, and it was produced by Maurice White and Bill Meyers.

Side One[edit]

  1. Atlantic Starr - "Armed and Dangerous"
  2. Escapades - "Respect, Respect, Respect!"
  3. Maurice White - "I Need You"
  4. Cheryl Lynn - Steppin' into the Night"
  5. Tito Puente and his Latin Ensemble - "Oye Como Va"

Side Two[edit]

  1. Glen Burtnik - "Some Kind of Day"
  2. Eve - "The Walls Came Down (For Rock 'N' Roll)"
  3. Sigue Sigue Sputnik - "She's My Man"
  4. Michael Henderson - "That's the Way It Is"
  5. Bill Meyers - "Candy's Theme"


External links[edit]