A Force of One (1980)

PG | 96 mins | Drama | 7 March 1980

Director:

Paul Aaron

Producer:

Alan Belkin

Cinematographer:

Roger Sherman

Production Designer:

Norman Baron

Production Company:

American Cinema Productions
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HISTORY

A 1 Jan 1979 Box brief announced that principal photography began 11 Dec 1978 in San Diego, CA. A 10 Jan 1979 Var article stated that the film’s budget was estimated to be $2 million. According to a news item in the 31 Jan 1979 HR, principal photography was completed on that day.
       A 27 Aug 1980 DV article reported that writer Elliot Hayden Parker, a former editor with United Airlines magazine Mainliner, filed a lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court against actor Chuck Norris, seeking damages of $15 million for the alleged theft of his feature film concept. In Mar 1977, Parker wrote an article about Norris for his magazine titled “Good Guys Wear Black.” Parker maintained that he entered into an oral agreement with Norris to write a screenplay after penning a five-page outline based on his story. The complaint went on to say that Parker discovered that Norris had plans to make a movie using the same title as his article and outline without his participation. The men allegedly met and Parker was paid $5,000 to sign an agreement that stipulated Norris would only use the title and the lead character from Parker’s outline for a first film, but then his services would be retained for a second film. In actuality, the agreement waived Parker’s rights of ownership, but he was not aware of this at the time. Parker alleged that Norris’ second film, released in Mar 1980 and referred by its working title, Force of One, was “substantially identical” to his original outline. The lawsuit also asked for financial disclosure ... More Less

A 1 Jan 1979 Box brief announced that principal photography began 11 Dec 1978 in San Diego, CA. A 10 Jan 1979 Var article stated that the film’s budget was estimated to be $2 million. According to a news item in the 31 Jan 1979 HR, principal photography was completed on that day.
       A 27 Aug 1980 DV article reported that writer Elliot Hayden Parker, a former editor with United Airlines magazine Mainliner, filed a lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court against actor Chuck Norris, seeking damages of $15 million for the alleged theft of his feature film concept. In Mar 1977, Parker wrote an article about Norris for his magazine titled “Good Guys Wear Black.” Parker maintained that he entered into an oral agreement with Norris to write a screenplay after penning a five-page outline based on his story. The complaint went on to say that Parker discovered that Norris had plans to make a movie using the same title as his article and outline without his participation. The men allegedly met and Parker was paid $5,000 to sign an agreement that stipulated Norris would only use the title and the lead character from Parker’s outline for a first film, but then his services would be retained for a second film. In actuality, the agreement waived Parker’s rights of ownership, but he was not aware of this at the time. Parker alleged that Norris’ second film, released in Mar 1980 and referred by its working title, Force of One, was “substantially identical” to his original outline. The lawsuit also asked for financial disclosure of both films and sought an injunction against their distribution. The outcome of the lawsuit has not been determined.
       The film marked the theatrical film debut of Bill Wallace, then Professional Karate Association middleweight world full-contact karate champion.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1 Jan 1979.
---
Daily Variety
29 Jun 1979.
---
Daily Variety
27 Aug 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1980
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
7 Mar 1980.
---
Variety
10 Jan 1979.
---
Variety
4 Jul 1979
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Presentation of American Cinema Productions
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Addl photog
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Leadman
Leadman
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop man
COSTUMES
Men`s ward
Ladies' ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Creative sd
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
Boom man
Re-rec eng
Re-rec eng
Re-rec eng
Scoring mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles & opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Fight choreog by
Fight choreog by
Casting
Asst to dir
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to Mr. Aaron
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Loc services by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Force of One
Release Date:
7 March 1980
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 7 March 1980
Production Date:
1 - 31 January 1979 in So. California locations
Copyright Claimant:
ACG Motion Picture Investment Fund 1978
Copyright Date:
2 July 1979
Copyright Number:
PA39785
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

An undercover detective named Murphy, and his rookie partner, Johnson, suspect that a teenage skateboarder is working with drug dealers, using a sporting goods store as a front. After the skateboarder leaves the store with a package, Murphy decides they will return at night to search the store. After closing, Murphy rips open a down vest, and discovers drugs hidden in the garment’s lining. However, a karate-savvy security guard kills both men. When the bodies of Murphy and Johnson turn up in the bay with their throats crushed, their colleagues are stumped. At a police briefing, the dead officers’ paperwork reveals no clues. When female Officer Mandy Rust suggests that they did not see their martial artist attacker, Lt. Sam Dunne is skeptical, but asks his officers to investigate. Later, Lt. Dunne meets with karate expert Matt Logan, convincing him to train his officers. The lieutenant reveals that the city’s drug activity has escalated, and takes Matt on a tour to the evidence room, where confiscated cocaine, heroin and every other kind of drug is stored. The lieutenant notes that once drugs are destroyed, more take their place. Getting a lift from Mandy back to his karate school, Matt reveals that his adopted son’s mother died fifteen years earlier of a drug overdose. At the time, Charlie, who was born addicted, was one of Matt’s students, and he became Charlie’s legal guardian. Matt adds that Charlie does not do drugs. Rather, his goal is to become a karate champion. When Mandy stops to visit a fifteen-year-old addict named Alice, the girl’s drug-supplying boyfriend, Rudy, threatens Mandy with a knife. Matt disarms Rudy with a few karate kicks, then ... +


An undercover detective named Murphy, and his rookie partner, Johnson, suspect that a teenage skateboarder is working with drug dealers, using a sporting goods store as a front. After the skateboarder leaves the store with a package, Murphy decides they will return at night to search the store. After closing, Murphy rips open a down vest, and discovers drugs hidden in the garment’s lining. However, a karate-savvy security guard kills both men. When the bodies of Murphy and Johnson turn up in the bay with their throats crushed, their colleagues are stumped. At a police briefing, the dead officers’ paperwork reveals no clues. When female Officer Mandy Rust suggests that they did not see their martial artist attacker, Lt. Sam Dunne is skeptical, but asks his officers to investigate. Later, Lt. Dunne meets with karate expert Matt Logan, convincing him to train his officers. The lieutenant reveals that the city’s drug activity has escalated, and takes Matt on a tour to the evidence room, where confiscated cocaine, heroin and every other kind of drug is stored. The lieutenant notes that once drugs are destroyed, more take their place. Getting a lift from Mandy back to his karate school, Matt reveals that his adopted son’s mother died fifteen years earlier of a drug overdose. At the time, Charlie, who was born addicted, was one of Matt’s students, and he became Charlie’s legal guardian. Matt adds that Charlie does not do drugs. Rather, his goal is to become a karate champion. When Mandy stops to visit a fifteen-year-old addict named Alice, the girl’s drug-supplying boyfriend, Rudy, threatens Mandy with a knife. Matt disarms Rudy with a few karate kicks, then Rudy is arrested. Later in his gym, Matt mulls over the officer’s needle marks and the needle marks on Alice’s arm, then, Matt calls Mandy and agrees to help. However, Charlie and Matt’s secretary, Harriet, warn him that it will distract him from preparing for his next big match with fighter Jerry Sparks. Later, at the police station, officers complain about learning karate, but Lt. Dunne tells them the instruction is mandatory. Meanwhile, officers Bishop and Orlando follow a suspicious skateboarder to the sporting goods store. The skateboarder gives Mr. Melrose, the storeowner, a packet of money, and reports he was followed. From an upstairs office window, Melrose and the skateboarder watch the undercover agents walk into the storeroom. As Orlando and Bishop hunt among the boxes, they discover a vat of hot wax that they think is being used in containers to hide cocaine. The officers are ambushed and killed by karate attackers. At their first lesson at his studio, Matt teaches the officers several moves to outmaneuver their enemies. When the class is over, Matt asks Mandy on a date. He takes her to a karate match to see Sparks, who wins, and later, introduces the two, but she is paged and Matt accompanies her to a crime scene, where the bodies of Bishop and Orlando have been dumped. Mandy is upset, and Matt promises to do all he can to help. Meanwhile, young Charlie follows a hunch and visits Sparks, who is training at Mr. Melrose’s private gym. Hiding in the bushes, Charlie sees Sgt. Dan Rollins snorting cocaine with Melrose, and revealing details about the police investigation. Sparks discovers Charlie and a fight erupts until Melrose breaks up the brawl. Soon, Matt calls Mandy at the station, and tells her to meet him at a Chinese restaurant. There in the parking lot, a masked karate fighter attacks Matt, but runs away when he sees two kitchen workers. Later, Lt. Dunne asks Matt to meet him at the morgue. There, Matt sees that Charlie is dead from a drug overdose. Matt insists that Charlie did not use drugs, and vows to avenge his death. Mandy visits Matt at his gym, and advises him to let the police find Charlie’s killer. She encourages him to win his match against Sparks. Later, Mandy and her partner, Moskowitz, search the sporting goods warehouse and encounter Rollins, who assures them that his search turned up nothing. Mandy later tells Lt. Dunne she suspects that there is a corrupt officer in the department. Meanwhile, Rollins asks Mandy to get him a ticket to Matt’s fight with Sparks. He suggests that they go to the match together, but she has plans to go with Harriet. Before the fight, Mandy searches Rollins’ apartment and discovers cocaine, but Melrose appears, pointing a gun. As he takes her weapon, Harriet ambushes him. Mandy handcuffs Melrose, asks Harriett to stand guard, and leaves for the fight. As the match begins, Matt stuns Sparks, but he gets back on his feet. Within a few minutes, Sparks jabs Matt in the jaw with his knee, and he falls to the canvas. Sparks ignores the referee, and continues to pummel Matt, while Matt realizes that Sparks was the masked fighter who attacked him in the parking lot. Sparks gives Matt one more kick before he sees officers converge in the arena. He escapes, as officers surround Rollins, who grabs a woman in the next seat to use as a human shield. Matt knocks Rollins off balance, and the police move in to arrest the rogue officer. Meanwhile, Matt chases after Sparks, who escapes in a stolen car. Matt and Mandy follow in a police car, but the vehicle gets stuck in high grass. Matt frees the car and crashes into Sparks, who picked up a package from Melrose’s house, and backtracked along the same route. Matt lunges at Sparks, who grabs for the package, claiming he aims to get away with the box containing $1 million. As they fight, Mandy points her gun at them and the action momentarily stops. Then, Sparks heaves the box at Matt’s head. With a karate chop, Matt splinters the box and sends cocaine flying through the air. Matt overpowers Sparks and breaks his neck. His body crumples to the ground as Matt and Mandy embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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