The Hitman

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The Hitman
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAaron Norris
Written byDon Carmody
Robert Geoffrion
Galen Thompson
Produced byDon Carmody
CinematographyJoão Fernandes
Edited byJacqueline Carmody
Music byJoel Derouin
Distributed by
  • Cannon Pictures (1991–1994)
  • Cannon Video (1994–2017)
  • Cannon Films (2017–present)
  • Warner Home Video (1991–2017)
  • Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (2017–present)
Release date
  • October 25, 1991 (1991-10-25)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4,654,288 (US)[1]

The Hitman is a 1991 Canadian-American action film starring Chuck Norris.[2] It was directed by Aaron Norris and written by Don Carmody, Robert Geoffrion and Galen Thompson.


Seattle cop Cliff Garret (Chuck Norris) is severely wounded in a drug bust gone bad—shot by his corrupt partner Ronny “Del” Delany (Michael Parks).

Garret dies momentarily in the emergency room, but is revived with a defibrillator. His police supervisor, Chambers, has the hospital conceal his survival, and Garret is given a new identity. Garret becomes hitman Danny Grogan and, a year later, he infiltrates the organization of mob boss mafioso Marco Luganni (Al Waxman).

The plan is for Grogan to bring together Luganni and his rival, French Canadian mafioso boss André LaCombe (Marcel Sabourin), so they can both be taken down together. After two years of working the plan, a gang of Iranian drug dealers looking to muscle in on everyone's territories suddenly enter the picture when they make a hit on one of Luganni's teams just as they finished making a hit on a team of LaCombe's money carriers.

Grogan plays all parties against one another while befriending a fatherless boy named Tim Murphy (Salim Grant), who lives in the apartment down the hall and is being bullied by a racist white kid in the neighborhood. Tim's mother works three jobs, so he begins spending time with Grogan. Grogan teaches Tim how to fight after seeing him bullied on the street one day. When Tim stands up to the white kid, he gets the best of him, then watches as the white kid is dragged off by his father and beaten for losing the fight. Grogan walks across the street, punches the father in the nose through a screen door, so hard that it knocks the father to the ground, then Grogan walks away.

Grogan's past returns to haunt him in the person of Ronny Delany, who is secretly working with Luganni. Delany recognizes Grogan as Garret, and ties Tim to a chair loaded with explosives in a bid to force Grogan to cooperate. Delany sets off the chair bomb, but Grogan is unharmed and Tim survives.

Grogan turns the tables on them all. At a meeting to set terms of an alliance, Delany has Luganni's men kill LaCombe and his men. Then the Iranians and Delany kill Luganni, but Grogan arrives on the scene and kills all of them. Grogan leaves an enormous sum of money for Tim and his mother in Tim's hospital room. Tim's mother discovers it and is very grateful. In the end, in retribution for what he did to Tim, Grogan blows Delany up while tied to a chair hanging outside a window, much to the chagrin of Chambers.


  • Chuck Norris as Detective Cliff Garrett / Danny Grogan
  • Michael Parks as Detective Ronny "Del" Delaney
  • Al Waxman as Marco Luganni
  • Alberta Watson as Christine De Vera
  • Salim Grant as Tim Murphy
  • Ken Pogue as Captain Chambers
  • Marcel Sabourin as Andre Lacombe
  • Bruno Gerussi as Nino Scarlini
  • Frank Ferrucci as Shahad
  • James Purcell as Sal
  • Candus Churchill as Kate Murphy
  • Alan C. Peterson as Mr. Lemke
  • Paris Mileos as Tony Scolari
  • Alex Bruhanski as Stansey Scarlini
  • Stephen Dimopoulos as Joe Galione
  • Anthony Stamboulieh as Rigoletti
  • Michael Benyaer as Hassan
  • Gerry Bean as Fierro
  • Nathan Vanering as Simon Nantel
  • Alex Diakun as Armone
  • Michele Goodger as Corrine Lacombe
  • Michael Rogers as "Sully"
  • Jon Cuthbert as Joe
  • Rebecca Norris as Waitress (#)
  • William B. Davis as Dr. Atkins
  • Henry Holmes as Chief Surgeon
  • Fred Henderson as E.R. Doctor
  • Sylvain Demers as Attendant
  • Suleka Mathew as Attendant
  • Beau Heaton as Bo Lemke
  • Amanda Norris as Lacombe's Twin Daughter #1 (#)
  • Meagan Norris as Lacombe's Twin Daughter #2 (#)
(#) NOTE: Amanda and Meagan are director Aaron's real-life offspring; Rebecca is the girls' mom, and the director's wife.


Norris was originally in talks to star in Fifty/Fifty for director Charles Martin Smith, before committing to this picture instead.[3]


Box office[edit]

The film was a box-office success.[citation needed]

Critical response[edit]

Had mixed reviews from critics.[4][5][6] Movie historian Leonard Maltin called the picture "Fairly awful...Although Norris gets to play a heavy for the first time in over a decade, this "stretch" still isn't enough to distinguish the movie from Chuck's other recent cinematic misses—especially since we know all along it's a ruse. Stuntwork remains the film's only redemption."[7]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a score of 13% based on 8 reviews.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Hitman (1991) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  2. ^ "Black Belt - Internet Archive". Internet Archive. p. 19. Retrieved 2015-03-04. hitman. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  3. ^ Lynch Party Los Angeles Times 15 Apr 1990: N27.
  4. ^ "The Hitman". Washington Post. 1991-10-29. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  5. ^ Holden, Stephen (1991-10-27). "Review/Film; Chuck Norris as a Spy In a Mafia Drug Operation". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  6. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1991-10-28). "MOVIE REVIEW Trite Plot Terminates 'The Hitman'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  7. ^ Maltin's TV, Movie, & Video Guide[ISBN missing]
  8. ^ "The Hitman". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2023-01-07.

External links[edit]

Media related to The Hitman at Wikimedia Commons