Original film poster
|Directed by||Dennis Hopper|
|Produced by||Robert H. Solo|
|Screenplay by||Michael Schiffer|
|Story by||Richard Di Lello
|Music by||Herbie Hancock|
|Distributed by||Orion Pictures Corporation|
|Release dates||April 15, 1988 (USA)|
|Running time||120 min. (original release)
127 min. (Director's Cut on Orion Home Video)
|Box office||$46,616,067 (domestic)
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 mitigate the gang violence between the Bloods, the Crips, and the 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.
The older cop 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 people they are trying to help. These lessons are lost on McGavin, and his actions bring him quick notoriety that affects Hodges.
Amidst this, a murder of a Bloods gang member leads to a series of escalations between two other street gangs, a relentless intertwining of seemingly random incidents that culminates in a gang war that finds the two partners in the middle of the Crips, Bloods and Mexican gangs' attempts to right what they perceive as wrongs against their respective crews.
Near the end of the film, the police have one final stand against the gangs. Hodges is shot and mortally wounded in the process. McGavin goes up to him and cries as he dies.
Sometime later, McGavin has a new partner, a rookie black cop who grew up in the neighborhood where they patrol. McGavin tells him a story about a bull that Hodges told him at the beginning of the film. The film ends with McGavin and his new partner driving and continuing their patrol.
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.
- Sean Penn as Officer Danny "Pac Man" McGavin
- Robert Duvall as Officer Bob Hodges
- María Conchita Alonso as Louisa Gomez
- Randy Brooks as Ron Delaney
- Glenn Plummer as Clarence "High Top" Brown
- Trinidad Silva as Leo "Frog" Lopez
- Grand L. Bush as Larry "Looney Tunes" Sylvester
- Don Cheadle as Roccet
- Damon Wayans as T-Bone
- Leon Robinson as Killer Bee
- Romeo De Lan as Felipe
- Gerardo Mejía as Bird
- Mario Lopez as a 21st Street gang member
- Karla Montana as Locita
- Sy Richardson as O.S.S. Sgt. Bailey
- Courtney Gains as Whitey
- Sherman Augustus as Officer Porter
- Rudy Ramos as Melindez
- Lawrence Cook as Officer Young
- R. D. Call as Officer Rusty Baines
- Clark Johnson as C.R.A.S.H. Officer Lee
- Jack Nance as Officer Samuels
The movie was successful.
- Janet Maslin (April 15, 1988). "Colors (1988) Review/Film; Police vs. Street Gangs In Hopper's 'Colors'". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- Roger Ebert (April 15, 1988). "Colors". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- Desson Howe (April 15, 1988). "‘Colors’". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- Hal Hinson (April 15, 1988). "'Colors'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- 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.