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Band of the Hand

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Band of the Hand
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul Michael Glaser
Written byLeo Garen
Jack Baran
Produced byMichael Rauch
CinematographyReynaldo Villalobos
Edited byJack Hofstra
Russ Kingston
Music byMichel Rubini
Color processMetrocolor
Delphi V Productions
Distributed byTri-Star Pictures
Release date
  • April 11, 1986 (1986-04-11)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8.7 million
Box office$4,865,912[1]

Band of the Hand is a 1986 American action crime neo noir thriller film directed by Paul Michael Glaser starring Stephen Lang, Leon Robinson, James Remar, Lauren Holly, and Laurence Fishburne.[2]

The film's score was composed and performed by Michel Rubini and the title track was written and performed by Bob Dylan, backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.



A group of five juvenile delinquents in their teens are doomed to be prosecuted as adults for their crimes unless they take part in a new and experimental "program" led by a Vietnam veteran Native American named "Indian Joe" Tegra (Stephen Lang). The five teens include two rival gang leaders, Ruben Pacheco (Michael Carmine), the leader of the Home Boys serving a three-year sentence for aggravated assault and armed robbery; Moss Roosevelt (Leon Robinson), the leader of the 27th Avenue Players, also serving a three-year sentence, for assault and armed robbery; Carlos Aragon (Danny Quinn), a drug trafficker serving a four-year sentence after being arrested in a police sting; James Lee "J.L." MacEwen (John Cameron Mitchell), the youngest and most violent of the teenagers, serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter of his abusive and alcoholic father and various arson charges; and Dorcey Bridger (Al Shannon), a car thief serving three-plus years for auto theft and over 15 escape attempts from various juvenile halls.

Forced into the swamps, the teens must learn to survive in the dangerous swamp and how to work together. Upon completion of the program, the group leases a vacant house in a dangerous part of Miami and slowly rebuilds the neighborhood, kicking out the pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. This offends the former illegal inhabitants of their house, all loyal customers of drug baron Cream (Laurence Fishburne). The conflict leads to armed fights, in which Joe is killed. The surviving members of the group take the fight directly to a drug manufacturing facility that is equipped with an M-134 Minigun.





On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 0%, based on eight reviews.[3]

Critics have described the film as "a poor 1970s vigilante movie produced a decade too late."[4] At the 1986 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, the film was nominated for Worst Picture but lost to Howard the Duck.[5]


  1. ^ "Band of the Hand (1986)". Box Office Mojo. 1988-07-05. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  2. ^ Goodman, Walter (April 12, 1986). "SCREEN: 'BAND OF THE HAND'". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Band of the Hand (1986)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Allon, Yoram; Cullen, Del. (2002). Contemporary North American Film Directors: A Wallflower Critical Guide. Wallflower Press. p. 201. ISBN 1-903364-52-3
  5. ^ "Past Winners Database". The Envelope at LA Times. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 18 September 2019.