Death Before Dishonor (1987)

R | 95 mins | Adventure, Drama | 20 February 1987

Director:

Terry J. Leonard

Producer:

Lawrence Kubik

Cinematographer:

Don Burgess

Editor:

Steve Mirkovich

Production Designer:

Kuli Sandor

Production Companies:

M.P.I., Bima
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HISTORY

       Death Before Dishonor marked the directorial debut for Terry J. Leonard, who was primarily known for his stunt work, but had also served as a second unit director for several feature films and television shows. Death Before Dishonor was also the first feature-film starring role for professional-football-player-turned-actor Fred Dryer, best known for the television series Hunter (NBC, 18 Sep 1984--26 Apr 1991).
       Principal photography began on 12 May 1986 in Israel, according to the 27 May 1986 HR production chart. The film had a six-week shooting schedule, according to the 24 Jul 1986 Washington Post, and a $5 million budget, according to the 20 Feb 1987 DV.
       The film was originally scheduled to shoot in Yugoslavia, but producer Lawrence Kubik received a telephone call warning him not to come to Yugoslavia, the 18 Jun 1986 Var reported. Consequently, the location was moved to Israel, where production costs were lower. The film shot in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Jaffa.
       Promotional materials in AMPAS library files revealed the climactic scene, fought at a rebel stronghold, was filmed at Nebbi Mussa, a sacred 12th Century Moslem fort located twenty-two miles from the Jordan border.
       The film opened on 776 screens on 20 Feb 1987, earning $1.8 million in its first three days of release according to the 24 Feb 1987 DV box-office chart.

      End credits include “special thanks” to: “Lt. Colonel Fred Peck and the United States Marine Corps for their cooperation in the making of this motion ... More Less

       Death Before Dishonor marked the directorial debut for Terry J. Leonard, who was primarily known for his stunt work, but had also served as a second unit director for several feature films and television shows. Death Before Dishonor was also the first feature-film starring role for professional-football-player-turned-actor Fred Dryer, best known for the television series Hunter (NBC, 18 Sep 1984--26 Apr 1991).
       Principal photography began on 12 May 1986 in Israel, according to the 27 May 1986 HR production chart. The film had a six-week shooting schedule, according to the 24 Jul 1986 Washington Post, and a $5 million budget, according to the 20 Feb 1987 DV.
       The film was originally scheduled to shoot in Yugoslavia, but producer Lawrence Kubik received a telephone call warning him not to come to Yugoslavia, the 18 Jun 1986 Var reported. Consequently, the location was moved to Israel, where production costs were lower. The film shot in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Jaffa.
       Promotional materials in AMPAS library files revealed the climactic scene, fought at a rebel stronghold, was filmed at Nebbi Mussa, a sacred 12th Century Moslem fort located twenty-two miles from the Jordan border.
       The film opened on 776 screens on 20 Feb 1987, earning $1.8 million in its first three days of release according to the 24 Feb 1987 DV box-office chart.

      End credits include “special thanks” to: “Lt. Colonel Fred Peck and the United States Marine Corps for their cooperation in the making of this motion picture.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Jan 1987.
---
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1987.
---
Daily Variety
24 Feb 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 1987
p. 3, 20.
Los Angeles Times
20 Feb 1987
p. 4.
New York Times
20 Feb 1987
p. 10.
Variety
18 Jun 1986.
---
Variety
4 Feb 1987
p. 23.
Washington Post
24 Jul 1986
p. C1-C2.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New World Pictures in association with Balcor Film Investors presents
a Lawrence Kubik/M.P.I./Bima production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story and scr by
Story and scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
Focus puller
2d asst cam
Cam loader
Still photog
Key grip
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Sketch artist
Military prod des
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed/U.S.A.
Asst ed/U.S.A.
Apprentice ed/U.S.A.
1st asst ed/Israel
Asst ed/Israel
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Armourer
Set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Chief propman & action vehicles
Propman
Propman
Props buyer
COSTUMES
Ward mistress
Asst ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Dial/ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
ADR/Foley mixer
ADR/Foley mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Titles & opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Prod supv
Prod coord/Israel
Prod coord/U.S.A.
Prod secy
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Dial coach
Crowd marshall
Asst extras
Camp manager
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod accountant
Accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Transportation capt
Action vehicles mechanic
Action vehicles mechanic
Security
Chief catering
Caterer
Unit doctor
Nurse
Body building coach
Asst to Mr. Kubik
Asst to Mr. Kubik
Asst to Mr. Braunstein & Mr. Maslansky
Prod services by
Post prod services furnished by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 February 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 20 February 1987
Production Date:
12 May--late June 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Balcor Film Investors
Copyright Date:
20 January 1987
Copyright Number:
PA326935
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo
Color
Color by Deluxe
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28331
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The Middle Eastern country of Jemal is in a state of revolution as rebel forces try to take over. The United States is not officially involved in the conflict, but is secretly supplying weapons to the Jemali army to fight the rebels. As tensions escalate, Marine Colonel Halloran is assigned to be the assistant defense attaché to the United States ambassador there. A small group of Marines from Camp Pendleton, California, led by Gunnery Sergeant Jack “Gunny” Burns, accompanies Halloran. When the Marines arrive at the embassy, an anti-American demonstration is underway and the American flag is being burned. Burns goes to the docks to oversee the unloading of a weapons shipment, but as the convoy moves through town, rebels with machine guns ambush the trucks. They kill the convoy drivers and steal the truck carrying the weapons. Burns chases in a Jeep, firing repeatedly at the truck, but is unable to stop it. Ambassador Virgil Morgan chastises Burns for getting involved, reminding him that the Americans are there as observers. Colonel Halloran defends Burns, saying he was never given specific orders not to get involved and that he developed his military instincts while deployed in Vietnam. Ambassador Morgan says Burns must learn to curb his instincts. Burns meets with photojournalist Elli Bowman, whose photographs of the Jemali revolution have brought worldwide sympathy to the rebel cause. Elli photographed the ambush, saying she was invited to be there, but refuses to name the people who informed her. Burns advises her to tell her “terrorist friends” not to get the United States mad. The next morning as Colonel Halloran leaves for the office, he and his driver, Sergeant Manuel Ramirez, ... +


The Middle Eastern country of Jemal is in a state of revolution as rebel forces try to take over. The United States is not officially involved in the conflict, but is secretly supplying weapons to the Jemali army to fight the rebels. As tensions escalate, Marine Colonel Halloran is assigned to be the assistant defense attaché to the United States ambassador there. A small group of Marines from Camp Pendleton, California, led by Gunnery Sergeant Jack “Gunny” Burns, accompanies Halloran. When the Marines arrive at the embassy, an anti-American demonstration is underway and the American flag is being burned. Burns goes to the docks to oversee the unloading of a weapons shipment, but as the convoy moves through town, rebels with machine guns ambush the trucks. They kill the convoy drivers and steal the truck carrying the weapons. Burns chases in a Jeep, firing repeatedly at the truck, but is unable to stop it. Ambassador Virgil Morgan chastises Burns for getting involved, reminding him that the Americans are there as observers. Colonel Halloran defends Burns, saying he was never given specific orders not to get involved and that he developed his military instincts while deployed in Vietnam. Ambassador Morgan says Burns must learn to curb his instincts. Burns meets with photojournalist Elli Bowman, whose photographs of the Jemali revolution have brought worldwide sympathy to the rebel cause. Elli photographed the ambush, saying she was invited to be there, but refuses to name the people who informed her. Burns advises her to tell her “terrorist friends” not to get the United States mad. The next morning as Colonel Halloran leaves for the office, he and his driver, Sergeant Manuel Ramirez, are ambushed and taken prisoner by the rebels. Elli photographs Ramirez and Halloran holding up that day’s newspaper to prove the rebels have them. Elli says she welcomes any chance to expose Americans for what they really are. Later, acting as a messenger, Elli goes to see Ambassador Morgan, presenting him with a list of demands from the rebels. She says she is not a member of the revolution, just their media source. Jemali minister of finance Amin meets with Pablo Gavril, an international terrorist who is aiding the Jemali revolution. Amin, a wealthy man with homes throughout Europe, has funded the rebels in the past. Gavril promises the Americans will be gone soon and then Amin will have Jemal for himself. Colonel Halloran is forced to watch while rebels torture Sergeant Ramirez. Pablo Gavril tells Halloran he can save Ramirez by signing a confession that he brought in weapons to suppress the Jemali people. When he refuses, the rebels drill a hole through Halloran’s left hand with a power drill, but he still refuses to sign. When they begin to use the drill on Ramirez’s leg, the young sergeant agrees to sign. However, once his hands are untied, Ramirez grabs the power drill and kills one of the rebels. The others kill him with machine guns, then throw his body on the street in front of the U.S. embassy. Furious over Ramirez’s murder, Burns breaks into Elli’s hotel room, demanding to know where Colonel Halloran is being held. She says the Americans learned nothing in Vietnam and should go home as this is not their war. Burns replies, “It is now.” Later, a civilian comes to the American embassy with one of Ramirez’s medals, found on the street outside the tenement where he was being held. The civilian draws a map for Burns who sends soldiers to storm the building. The Americans and the rebels shoot it out, but the rebels escape with Halloran. A young rebel named Hamed drives an ambulance filled with explosives through the embassy gates and crashes into the building. The building is engulfed in flames and many are killed or wounded. Ambassador Morgan orders the immediate evacuation of all Americans in Jemal. Burns sends his men to the airport to assist with the evacuation, while he goes to meet an informant promising to tell him who ordered the suicide mission on the embassy. The informant turns out to be a member of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organization, which has been tracking Pablo Gavril and his partner, Maude Winter, for some time. The Israelis say Halloran is being held in an abandoned ministry in the mountains. As Burns and the Israelis plan an assault, Corporal James and Private Ruggieri return from the airport, to report that all Americans but them have been evacuated. Rather than leave, the young enlisted men stayed behind to help. Meanwhile Gavril and the rebels grow suspicious of Elli’s loyalties and throw her in a prison cell with Halloran. The Americans and Israelis sneak up on the ministry, knock out the guards and plant explosives around the compound perimeter. As the assault begins, many rebels are killed. The soldiers get inside and free Halloran, while Private Ruggieri throws himself on a grenade to protect Burns. Pablo Gavril and Maude Winters escape in a truck, but Burns gives chase, driving off a cliff and landing his Jeep on top of their truck to stop them. Elli, who turns out to be a Mossad agent, goes with the Israeli soldiers while Halloran, Burns and James leave, proud to have defended their country.
+

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

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