|Directed by||Martin Brest|
|Produced by||Martin Brest|
|Written by||George Gallo|
|Starring||Robert De Niro
|Music by||Danny Elfman|
|Cinematography||Donald E. Thorin|
|Editing by||Chris Lebenzon
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||July 20, 1988|
|Running time||126 minutes|
|Box office||$81.6 million|
Midnight Run is a 1988 American action-comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano and Philip Baker Hall play supporting roles.
The film was followed by three made-for-TV sequels in 1994, which did not feature any of the principal actors, although a few characters are carried over from the first film.
Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (De Niro) is enlisted by bail bondsman Eddie Moscone (Pantoliano) to bring accountant Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Grodin) back to L.A. The accountant had embezzled $15 million from Chicago mob boss Jimmy Serrano (Farina) before skipping the $450,000 bail Moscone has posted for him. Jack must bring The Duke back within five days, or Eddie defaults. Eddie says the job is easy, a "midnight run," but Jack demands $100,000. Jack is then approached by FBI Agent Alonzo Mosely (Kotto), who wants The Duke to be a witness against Serrano. At Kennedy airport in New York, Serrano’s henchmen Tony (Foronjy) and Joey (Miranda) offer Jack $1 million to turn The Duke over to them.
Jack takes custody of The Duke and calls Eddie from the airport, not knowing that Eddie’s line is tapped by the FBI and Jerry (Kehoe), Eddie’s assistant, is secretly working for Serrano. When The Duke has a panic attack on the plane, Jack is forced to travel via train. When Jack and The Duke fail to show up, Eddie brings in rival bounty hunter Marvin Dorfler (Ashton) to find them. Marvin uses Jack’s credit card number to find out where they are and then has the card canceled. Jack is able to get the drop on Marvin and leaves the train, but without funds, he is forced to rely on other means to get across the country, including stealing cars, borrowing his ex-wife’s (Phillips) car in Chicago, and hitchhiking.
The Duke tries to get to know Jack, who eventually reveals that he had been an undercover officer in Chicago trying to get close to Serrano. Refusing to take money like other corrupt officers, Jack is setup and forced to leave town.
In Arizona, Marvin catches up with them and takes The Duke away from Jack, who is found by Mosely. Jack realizes that Marvin intends to turn The Duke over to Serrano. Marvin tries to get $2 million from Tony and Joey for The Duke, but the plan backfires. Jack bluffs that he has computer disks created by The Duke with enough information to put Serrano away. At McCarran Airport, Jack meets up with Serrano while wearing a wire and being watched by the FBI. Marvin, at the airport to fly home, spots The Duke and interrupts the exchange. Marvin punches Jack and unknowingly disables the wire. At the last minute, Jack yells that Serrano has the disks; the FBI closes in, arresting Serrano and his henchmen. Moseley turns The Duke over to Jack with enough time to return him to L.A. by the deadline.
In L.A., Jack calls Eddie to tell him that he has The Duke, but that he is letting him go. Before parting, The Duke gives Jack $300,000 in a money belt he had been hiding. Jack flags down a taxi and asks the driver if he has change for a $1,000 bill, but the taxi drives away, so he starts walking home.
- Robert De Niro as Jack Walsh
- Charles Grodin as Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas
- Yaphet Kotto as Alonzo Mosely
- John Ashton as Marvin Dorfler
- Dennis Farina as Jimmy Serrano
- Joe Pantoliano as Eddie Moscone
- Richard Foronjy as Tony
- Robert Miranda as Joey
- Jack Kehoe as Jerry Geisler
- Wendy Phillips as Gail
- Danielle DuClos as Denise Walsh
- Philip Baker Hall as Sidney
- Tom McCleister as Bill "Red" Wood
After completing The Untouchables, De Niro wanted to try something different and decided on appearing in a comedy. He pursued the lead role in Penny Marshall's film, Big. Marshall was interested but the studio was not and the role went to Tom Hanks. Martin Brest, who directed Beverly Hills Cop, had developed a script with George Gallo that blended elements of comedy and action. Paramount Pictures was originally interested in backing Midnight Run, but they wanted a big name star opposite De Niro in order to improve the film's chances at the box office. Their production executives suggested that the Mardukas character be changed to a woman and wanted Cher for the role in the hope she would provide some "sexual overtones". When Brest rejected the idea, Paramount suggested teaming De Niro up with Robin Williams, who became eager to get the role and offered to audition for Brest. Brest was impressed by Charles Grodin's audition with De Niro. The director felt that there was a real chemistry between the two actors. As a result, Paramount backed out and their UIP partner Universal Studios became interested in the project. Paramount president Ned Tanen claimed that the budget became too high and he decided that "it wasn't worth it".
To research for his role, De Niro worked with real-life bounty hunters and police officers. As Jack uncuffs the Duke on the train, the Duke says, "Thanks, 'cause they're starting to cut into my wrists.'" In fact, Grodin has permanent scars resulting from the handcuffs he had to wear for most of the film. In the scene where Grodin fell off a cliff, it was shot on location in the Verde River in Clarkdale, Arizona and the conclusion, taking place in rapids, was shot in New Zealand because the water was too cold in Arizona.
Universal invested $15 million in a print and television advertising campaign.
- Walsh Gets The Duke (1:47)
- Main Titles (2:21)
- Stairway Chase (:54)
- J.W. Gets a Plan (1:41)
- Gears Spin I (:54)
- Dorfler's Theme (1:24)
- F.B.I. (1:16)
- Package Deal (1:07)
- Mobocopter (2:42)
- Freight Train Hop (1:18)
- Drive To Red's (1:04)
- In The Next Life (1:06)
- The River (1:19)
- The Wild Ride (1:31)
- Amarillo Dawn (:26)
- Potato Walk (1:09)
- Desert Run (1:09)
- Diner Blues (1:19)
- Dorfler's Problem (1:01)
- Gear's Spin II (1:30)
- The Confrontation (2:30)
- The Longest Walk (1:32)
- Walsh Frees The Duke (2:44)
- End Credits: "Try to Believe" – Mosley & The B-Men (4:16)
Note: The end credits track as heard in the film is instrumental.
Box office 
Midnight Run was released on July 20, 1988 in 1,158 theaters grossing USD $5.5 million in its opening weekend. It went on to make $38.4 million in North America and $43.2 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $81.6 million.
Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars and wrote, "What Midnight Run does with these two characters is astonishing, because it's accomplished within the structure of a comic thriller ... It's rare for a thriller to end with a scene of genuinely moving intimacy, but this one does, and it earns it." In his review for the Globe and Mail, Jay Scott praised the performances: "De Niro has the time of his acting life lightening up and sending up all those raging bulls that won him all those Oscars ... Charles Grodin, master of the double-take and maestro of the slow burn, the best light character comic since Jack Benny stopped playing himself". Vincent Canby, in his review for the New York Times, wrote, "Mr. De Niro and Mr. Grodin are lunatic delights, which is somewhat more than can be said for the movie, whose mechanics keep getting in the way of the performances". In his review for the Washington Post, Hal Hinson criticized director Martin Brest for, "carrying the dead weight of George Gallo's script, Brest isn't up to the strenuous task of transforming his uninspired genre material in something deeper, and so the attempts to mix pathos with comedy strike us merely as wild and disorienting vacillations in tone". David Ansen, in his review for Newsweek, wrote, "The outline of George Gallo's script – odd-couple antagonists become buddies under perilous circumstances – was stale five years ago, and the outcome offers no surprises. Too bad: a lot of good work has been wasted on an unworthy cause". Midnight Run has a 96% score at Rotten Tomatoes based on 25 reviews.
Proposed second film 
Universal Pictures has hired Tim Dowling to write a sequel with Robert De Niro reprising his role as Jack Walsh. In addition to starring, the actor will also be producing the film with Jane Rosenthal. Charles Grodin may be reprising his role.
See also 
- Parker, John (1995). "De Niro". Victor Gollancz.
- "De Niro is Making the Publicity Rounds". St. Petersburg Times. May 23, 1988. pp. 3D.
- O'Regan, Michael (July 17, 1988). "The Private De Niro". Sunday Mail.
- Grodin, Charles (1989). "It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here". William & Morrow & Company, Inc.
- van Gelder, Laurence (July 21, 1988). "Off a Cliff, Across an Ocean: Splash!". New York Times. p. 19.
- "Midnight Run". Box Office Mojo (IMDB). Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- Ebert, Roger (July 20, 1988). "Midnight Run". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- Scott, Jay (July 20, 1988). "Midnight Run". Globe and Mail.
- Canby, Vincent (July 20, 1988). "De Niro and Grodin in Cross-Country Chase". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- Hinson, Hal (July 20, 1988). "Random Bounty". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- Ansen, David (July 25, 1988). "Reactivating Action Heroes". Newsweek.
- Kit, Borys (March 5, 2010). "Universal taking another Midnight Run". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-03-08.[dead link]
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Midnight Run|
- Midnight Run at the Internet Movie Database
- Midnight Run at AllRovi
- Midnight Run at Rotten Tomatoes
- Midnight Run at Box Office Mojo
- Midnight Run at Metacritic