Armed and Dangerous (1986 film)

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Armed and Dangerous
Armed and dangerous.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMark L. Lester
Produced byBrian Grazer
James Keach
Written byBrian Grazer
James Keach
Harold Ramis
Peter Torokvei
Music byBill Meyers
CinematographyFred Schuler
Edited byDaniel P. Hanley
Mike Hill
Gregory Prange
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • August 15, 1986 (1986-08-15)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million
Box office$15,945,534[1]

Armed and Dangerous is a 1986 American comedy film starring John Candy, Eugene Levy, Robert Loggia and Meg Ryan. It was directed by Mark L. Lester[2] and filmed on location in and around Los Angeles, California.


LAPD Officer Frank Dooley is framed for the theft of a television set by two corrupt detectives. He is dismissed from the force, but escapes criminal punishment. The court's next case features hapless defense attorney Norman Kane attempting to defend a white supremacist leader, who threatens him with death should Kane fail to keep him out of prison. Kane reveals his ineptitude and the death threat to the judge, who agrees to render a long sentence if Kane promises to leave law behind.

Dooley and Kane meet when they both apply for work at Guard Dog Security, run by "Captain" Clarence O'Connell and part of a union represented by Klepper and Lazarus. Becoming licensed security guards after a single afternoon of training, Dooley and Kane are made partners by supervisor Maggie Cavanaugh and assigned to night duty at a pharmaceutical warehouse. Ordered to take a lunch break by senior guard Bruno, Kane happens upon an armed robbery of the warehouse and calls Frank for help, but they prove no match for the thieves.

The next day, the pair are berated by O'Connell for their failure. While venting their anger toward O'Connell, Maggie reveals that she is his daughter. Dooley and Kane then attend a meeting of the union, where Kane's attempt to file a grievance against Guard Dog is quashed by union president Michael Carlino. Kane pointedly questions Carlino about how the union dues, adding to about $4 million per year, are spent. After Kane rejects an evasive answer from treasurer Lou Brackman, Carlino threatens Kane should he ever attend another union 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 after hearing a story from two fellow security guards about a similar robbery, the pair track down Bruno at his gym and interrogate him. Bruno admits that it was O'Connell who had him order them to lunch the night of the robbery. They visit an informant friend of Dooley's for information on Carlino. They bring their suspicions to Maggie, but she rejects them as having no evidence.

Dooley and Kane 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 drug cartel and his plans to have the money robbed from an armored car, with insurance covering the loss. Fearing an investigation by the insurance company, Brackman urges Carlino not to go through with the robbery. Carlino instructs Klepper and Lazarus to kill Brackman. Dooley and Kane attempt to save Brackman, but are too late to prevent his murder. After a night spent evading police, the two make plans with Maggie to prevent the armored car robbery. Kane and Maggie take over driving the truck, while Dooley plans to meet them ahead of the would-be robbers.

Dooley has problems with his motorcycle and is forced to hitch a ride with a trucker who disobeys traffic laws. Meanwhile, Kane and Maggie avoid assaults from multiple cars attempting to hold them up. Dooley is able to arrive in time to save the armored car from a final attack from Klepper and Lazarus. O'Connell arrives, having captured Carlino and his associates, the two detectives who originally framed Dooley.

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



The project was developed by Harold Ramis who said it "had died a quiet death, and then was resurrected by Brian Grazer, the producer. And Brian said, "If I can find a director, can I make the movie?" And I said okay. So then he finds a director—and I mean, literally, he just found a guy—and it was not good. I tried to take my name off it. I took my name off in one place."[3]


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


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Armed and Dangerous". TCM database. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  3. ^

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