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|
|Edited by||Todd Ramsay|
Orion Pictures Corporation
|Distributed by||Orion Pictures|
|May 1, 1987|
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 Ford Mustang breaks down in a rural Oregon valley. Malone pushes it to a gas station and garage 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 wait for the necessary parts to arrive. Paul invites Malone to stay in the spare room.
Jo snoops through Malone's possessions, finding his gun. Malone helps Paul with his repair work and 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 if they first refuse. A group of Delaney's thugs harass Malone and Jo on a bridge and refuse to let them pass. 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 is shot by Malone instead.
While Sheriff Hawkins is holding Malone at the jail, Delaney breezes in to introduce himself. Delaney tells the sheriff to let him go, then orders Madrid to arrange a hit on Malone. The next day, two hitmen come to the service station. Malone kills both, although he is badly wounded. Hawkins instructs a deputy 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. An angry Malone soon infiltrates Delaney's sprawling compound, killing the henchmen including 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." Malone proceeds to kill Delaney and blow up his compound, then walks away, burning his Commonwealth of Virginia driver's license.
- Burt Reynolds as Richard Malone
- Lauren Hutton as Jamie
- Cliff Robertson as Charles Delaney
- Kenneth McMillan as Hawkins
- Cynthia Gibb as Jo Barlow
- Scott Wilson as Paul Barlow
- Alex Diakun as Madrid
- Philip Anglim as Harvey
- Tracey Walter as Calvin Bollard
- Dennis Burkley as Dan Bollard
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.