Colors (film)

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This article is about the 1988 American film. For the 2009 Malayalam film, see Colours (film).
Colors
Colors film.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Dennis Hopper
Produced by Robert H. Solo
Screenplay by Michael Schiffer
Story by Richard Di Lello
Michael Schiffer
Starring Sean Penn
Robert Duvall
María Conchita Alonso
Music by Herbie Hancock
Cinematography Haskell Wexler
Distributed by Orion Pictures Corporation
Release dates April 15, 1988 (US)
Running time 120 min. (original release)
127 min. (Director's Cut on Orion Home Video)
Country United States
Language English/Spanish
Box office $46,616,067 (domestic)
$21,196,856 (rentals)

Colors is a 1988 American police procedural crime film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, and directed by Dennis Hopper. The story takes place in South Central, North West and East Los Angeles, and centers on Bob Hodges (Duvall), an experienced Los Angeles Police Department CRASH Police Officer III, and his rookie partner, Danny McGavin (Penn), who try to stop the gang violence between the Bloods, the Crips, and Hispanic street gangs. Colors relaunched Hopper as a director 18 years after Easy Rider, and inspired discussion over its depiction of gang life and gang violence.

Plot[edit]

Two white cops, Bob "Uncle Bob" Hodges (Robert Duvall) a respected, 19-year LAPD veteran and rookie officer Danny "Pacman" McGavin (Sean Penn) have just been teamed together in the C.R.A.S.H. unit that patrols East L.A.

The older cop is appreciated on the local streets. He is diplomatic on the surface, preaching "rapport" to gang members to encourage them to offer help when it is truly needed and recognizes that every action cops take is scrutinized by the very people they are trying to help. Hodges explains his view on proceduring to his young partner with a joke about bulls and cows. Although the pair bond quickly, life lessons are seemingly lost on the aggressive, cavalier McGavin, whose stunted actions soon bring him quick notoriety with the local gang members and the people themselves.

McGavin also has a short lived romance with a waitress named Louisa (María Conchita Alonso) who, like the offended Hodges, feels the weight of the Pacman persona. Amidst the strains of these relationships, the murder of a Bloods gang member leads to a series of escalations between two other street gangs. A relentless intertwining of seemingly random incidents culminates in a plot that finds the two partners in the middle of the Crips, Bloods and Hispanic Barrio war. The Hispanic gang led by a criminal named Frog, attempts to negotiate a peace similar to Hodges and steer clear of the melee. To protect his partner, Hodges unwittingly exposes Frog as his source on the Crips leader Rocket (Don Cheadle) with his scheme to kill McGavin. Each group attempts to right the wrongs against their respective crews as police work to prevent the hit and stand their authority over the fall out.

In the end, the unit moves in on the would-be last crew standing - the Hispanic gang. While arresting Frog, Hodges is mortally shot by a gunman trying to enact the hit on McGavin. With medics en route, McGavin comforts Hodges and breaks down with regret as the elder partner falls into delirium and dies.

Sometime later, a more conservative McGavin has a rookie partner, a black cop who grew up in the neighborhood where they patrol and sports an attitude similar to the "Pacman". McGavin tells him the joke about the bulls that Hodges taught him and he reciprocates the advice just the same as he did. The film ends with McGavin considering the cycle as the pair drive on and continue their patrol.

Production[edit]

The movie was filmed entirely in Los Angeles in 1987. The original script by Richard Di Lello took place in Chicago and was more about drug dealing than gang members. Dennis Hopper ordered changes, so Michael Schiffer was hired and the setting was changed to Los Angeles and the focus of the story became more about the world of gang members.

Real gang members were hired as guardians as well as actors by producer Robert H. Solo. Two of them were shot during filming.

On April 2, 1987, Sean Penn was arrested for punching an extra on the set of this film who was taking photos of Penn without permission. Penn was sentenced to 33 days in jail for this assault.

Soundtrack[edit]

Main article: Colors (soundtrack)

A soundtrack containing mainly hip-hop music was released on April 15, 1988, by Warner Bros. Records. It peaked at 31 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold on July 12, 1988.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The movie received both praise and criticism.[1][2][3][4] It holds an 82% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 28 reviews.[5]

  • The film is rated  R16  in New Zealand for violence and offensive language.

Box office[edit]

The movie earned over 46 million dollars in its domestic release.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Janet Maslin (April 15, 1988). "Colors (1988) Review/Film; Police vs. Street Gangs In Hopper's 'Colors'". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  2. ^ Roger Ebert (April 15, 1988). "Colors". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  3. ^ Desson Howe (April 15, 1988). "‘Colors’". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  4. ^ Hal Hinson (April 15, 1988). "'Colors'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  5. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1004485-colors/
  6. ^ LEONARD KLADY (1989-01-08). "Box Office Champs, Chumps : The hero of the bottom line was the 46-year-old 'Bambi' - Page 2 - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 

External links[edit]