Malone (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Harley Cokeliss
Produced by Leo L. Fuchs
Screenplay by Christopher Frank
Rudolph Wurlitzer (uncredited)
Based on Shotgun by William P. Wingate
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Gerald Hirschfeld
Edited by Todd Ramsay
Orion Pictures Corporation
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release date
May 1, 1987
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10 million
Box office $3,060,858

Malone is a 1987 American film adaptation of William P. Wingate's novel, written by Christopher Frank, directed by Harley Cokeliss, and stars Burt Reynolds, Cliff Robertson and Lauren Hutton.


A floatplane navigates through the Pacific Northwest, landing in Puget Sound. As the well-dressed passenger emerges, ex-CIA agent Richard Malone targets him in his crosshairs, but he is unable to pull the trigger. He burns his Maryland driver's license and heads inland. His Mustang breaks down in a rural Oregon valley. He manages to push it to Mountain Service station, owned by Paul Barlow who runs the station with his 17-year-old daughter Jo. Barlow suggests the fastest way to repair the car is to tow it 60 miles to a larger service station. Malone opts to stay and wait for the necessary parts to arrive. Paul invites Malone to stay in the spare room.

The next day, Jo snoops and finds through Malone's property including his gun. Malone helps Paul with his repair work and quickly sizes up the town, which is under the thumb of Charles Delaney, who buys up all the property he can and forces people to sell to him, when they first refuse. One day, as Malone walks Jo home from the bus stop, a group of Delaney's thugs harass Jo and refuse to let the couple proceed. Malone severely beats the ringleader, Dan Bollard, sending him to the hospital. Dan's brother, Calvin is goaded into killing Malone by Delaney's main henchman Madrid, but Malone kills Calvin instead.

While Sheriff Hawkins holds Malone, Delaney breezes into the interrogation room to meet Malone for the first time. They size each other up, and Delaney orders Hawkins to let him go. Delaney orders Madrid to arrange a hit on Malone. The next day, two hitmen arrive at the service station, but Malone kills them both. During the attack, he is badly wounded. Hawkins instructs one of his deputies to drive Malone to the hospital. The deputy drives offroad, with Malone bouncing in the back seat. Realizing that the deputy is trying to kill him, Malone grabs the wheel and crashes the car.

In the hospital, Malone's CIA handler Jamie arrives to ferry him to safety. They hole up together in a safe house and rekindle their romance. When Malone goes to pick up his car from the Barlows, Madrid leads an attack on the safe house and kills Jamie with a plastic bag. Soon, Malone infiltrates Delaney's sprawling compound, killing Delaney's henchmen and Madrid to avenge Jamie's death. Delaney retreats to his secret command center, where he tells Malone that he is part of a vast conspiracy of like-minded "patriots" who are buying up land and electing Congressmen to retake the country from "mongrels". After killing Delaney and blowing up his compound, Malone burns his Commonwealth of Virginia driver's license.



Reynolds was paid $3 million for the role. He said at the time:

I was attracted to Malone because I thought there was a chance the movie might be more than a guy running away from his past. Let's be honest. The film is Shane. I am an ex-CIA man whose car breaks down in a small town who then gets close to a family and attempts to battle a Lyndon LaRouche character played by Cliff [Robertson]. I'm not doing Clint in 'Pale Rider'.' There's a little bit of Stallone from First Blood in this, but I'm not playing the damaged-goods-guy Sly became in Rambo. Just to show you how movies change, Gérard Depardieu and Christopher Lambert at one point were going to play Malone. I wonder how this guy got rewritten into me.[1]


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