Nowhere to Run (1993 film)

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Nowhere to Run
Nowhere to Run.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Harmon
Produced by
  • Gary Adelson
  • Craig Baumgarten
Screenplay by
Story by
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography David Gribble
Edited by
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • January 15, 1993 (1993-01-15)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million
Box office $52.2 million

Nowhere to Run is a 1993 American action film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and directed by Robert Harmon. The film co-stars Rosanna Arquette, Kieran Culkin, Ted Levine and Joss Ackland. The film was released in the United States on January 15, 1993.[1]


Sam Gillen (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a Québécois convict in the United States who escapes from Federal custody with the aid of his bank-robbing partner. In their last heist, Sam's partner killed a bank guard, a crime for which Sam was ultimately convicted. Sam's partner is killed in the break, forcing Sam to continue on alone. He sets up camp on a piece of farmland owned by Clydie Anderson (Rosanna Arquette), the widowed mother of two kids, Mike (nicknamed "Mookie") (Kieran Culkin) and Bree (Tiffany Taubman).

While sneaking into Clydie's house to "borrow" some salt, Sam catches sight of Clydie taking a shower. The next morning, Sam is spotted bathing outdoors by Mookie. After saving Clydie, Mookie, and Bree from a trio of intruding thugs, Sam learns that Clydie is holding out from selling her land to property developer Franklin Hale (Joss Ackland), who will be put out of business if he does not get Clydie's land so that he can put a tract house development on it.

Sam stays in Clydie's barn while repairing her late husband's Triumph motorcycle. Meanwhile Hale has one of his men, Mr. Dunston (Ted Levine), try to force Clydie into selling her land. Secretly on Hale's payroll is the corrupt Sheriff Lonnie Poole (Edward Blatchford), who harbors feelings for Clydie.

A jealous Lonnie discovers Sam's true identity and strongly urges him to leave. Sam complies, only to find the state police chasing him. Sam returns to save Clydie from Dunston and Hale, who have forced her to sign a sale agreement in his absence and are about to burn down her house.

Sam decides to turn himself in to the authorities after he realizes that running away was never the right thing to do. He promises Clydie that he will come back someday.



Joe Eszterhas wrote the original script with director Richard Marqand with whom he made two films. "The script was taken and destroyed many years later by Jean-Claude Van Damme as Nowhere to Run," said Eszterhas. "It lost its sensitivity, it lost everything. I don't like to remember that movie."[2]

The film was the first in a three picture deal between Van Damme and Columbia Pictures. His fee was $3.5 million. Columbia said the film is ”true to his audience and goes beyond his audience."[3]

Van Damme later said " the script was... not that good. The writer told me he was going to fix everything. I was in his house, he shook my hand, he promised me, but he didn't fix it."[4]


The film had a mostly negative response from critics.[5][6][7][8][9] Rotten Tomatoes reports that 25% of 20 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.8/10.[10]

Box office[edit]

Nowhere to Run opened January 15, 1993, in 1,745 theaters. In its opening weekend, the film made $8,203,255, at #4 behind Aladdin's tenth weekend, A Few Good Men's sixth, and Alive's first weekend.[11]

The film finally grossed $22,189,039 domestically, just getting back the film's $15 million budget.[12] The film however did perform better internationally, grossing $30,000,000 in other territories for a worldwide gross of $52,189,039.[13]


  1. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1993-01-18). "Van Damme flexes his acting muscles in 'run'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  2. ^ Vulliamy, Ed (20 August 2000). "The Hollywood Hitman". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ Cagle, Jess (22 January 1993). "Career makeover: Jean-Claude Van Damme". EW. 
  4. ^ Grobel, Lawrence (January 1995). "Interview with Jean Claude Van Damme". Playboy magazine. 
  5. ^ Canby, Vincent (1993-01-16). "A Kickboxer's Evolution Into a Two-Fisted Lawyer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  6. ^ "Nowhere to Run". Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  7. ^ "Nowhere to Run". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  8. ^ "Nowhere to Run". Washington Post. 1993-01-18. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  9. ^ "Nowhere to Run". Variety. 1992-12-31. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  10. ^ Nowhere to Run at Rotten Tomatoes
  11. ^ Fox, David J. (1993-01-19). "Weekend Box Office `Body' Struggles to Make the Top 5". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  12. ^ Nowhere to Run at Box Office Mojo
  13. ^ "Nowhere to Run, Box Office Data". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. 

External links[edit]