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HISTORY

       The 25 Mar 1985 DV announced that the $8 million picture would begin principal photography 15 Apr 1985 with locations set for Los Angeles, Catalina Island, and Santa Barbara, CA, with an Oct 1985 release date. However, production charts from the 30 Apr 1985 HR stated that filming began 22 Apr 1985.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files confirmed that shooting began 22 Apr 1985 in Mt. Baldy, CA, before moving to the Los Angeles International Airport. A three-week night shoot took place in Long Beach and San Pedro, CA. The Sherman Oaks Galleria, in Sherman Oaks, CA, served as the film’s shopping mall location, and was used for six days after 9pm, after stores closed. “Arius’s” fortress was filmed in San Simeon, CA. There, with permission from the Hearst Corporation and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, a watchtower and five barracks were constructed, and subsequently blown up for the film’s finale.
       Arnold Schwarzenegger performed many of his own stunts, as producers found it difficult to find a stunt double for the body builder, according to production notes. The actor suffered a dislocated shoulder and several stitches during the shoot.
       According to the 24 Jun 1985 LAHExam, the script for Commando went through numerous rewrites, and writers. Larry Gross and Richard Tuggle were both attached to the project during production, but neither appear in the film’s credits. The 30 Oct 1985 Var reported that Tuggle’s name appeared on advance posters for the film, despite his omission from onscreen credits. Despite ... More Less

       The 25 Mar 1985 DV announced that the $8 million picture would begin principal photography 15 Apr 1985 with locations set for Los Angeles, Catalina Island, and Santa Barbara, CA, with an Oct 1985 release date. However, production charts from the 30 Apr 1985 HR stated that filming began 22 Apr 1985.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files confirmed that shooting began 22 Apr 1985 in Mt. Baldy, CA, before moving to the Los Angeles International Airport. A three-week night shoot took place in Long Beach and San Pedro, CA. The Sherman Oaks Galleria, in Sherman Oaks, CA, served as the film’s shopping mall location, and was used for six days after 9pm, after stores closed. “Arius’s” fortress was filmed in San Simeon, CA. There, with permission from the Hearst Corporation and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, a watchtower and five barracks were constructed, and subsequently blown up for the film’s finale.
       Arnold Schwarzenegger performed many of his own stunts, as producers found it difficult to find a stunt double for the body builder, according to production notes. The actor suffered a dislocated shoulder and several stitches during the shoot.
       According to the 24 Jun 1985 LAHExam, the script for Commando went through numerous rewrites, and writers. Larry Gross and Richard Tuggle were both attached to the project during production, but neither appear in the film’s credits. The 30 Oct 1985 Var reported that Tuggle’s name appeared on advance posters for the film, despite his omission from onscreen credits. Despite earlier reports of an initial $8 million budget, the LAHExam noted that the $9 million picture was $3 million over budget, and revisions caused production delays of two or three days. Production notes stated that principal photography ended 3 Jul 1985.
       The Dec 1985 Box review reported the film’s opening on 1,495 screens with a three day total of $7.7 million.
      End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks to the State of California, Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, California Department of Parks and Recreation, NEC America, Inc., Mobile Radio Division.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Dec 1985
p. 137.
Daily Variety
25 Mar 1985.
---
Daily Variety
31 May 1985
p. 8.
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 1985
p. 3, 7.
LAHExam
24 Jun 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1985
p. 8.
New York Times
4 Oct 1985
p. 13.
Variety
9 Oct 1985
p. 23.
Variety
30 Oct 1985.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Silver Pictures production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Co-assoc prod
Co-assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam op
2d asst cam op
"B" cam op/Steadicam
1st asst "B" cam op
Still photog
Key grip
Best boy
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Best boy/Elec
Best boy/Elec
Lamp op
Lamp op
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
Supv ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const painter
Prod painter
Prod illustrator
Leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Greensman
Prop maker foreman
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Costumer
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus prod by
Mus prod by
Mus scoring mixer
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Spec mus consultant
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman
Sd ed
Spec sd eff
Asst sd eff ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Foley by
Foley by
Foley rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Rerec
Rerec
ADR mixer
ADR rec
Vocal eff adv
Dolby stereo consultant
Boom op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Main & end titles des and prod by
Live action inserts and spec visual eff
Opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod assoc
Extras casting
Extras casting, Central Casting
Extras casting, Central Casting
Casting assoc
Scr supv
Pub coord
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Apprentice loc mgr
Apprentice loc mgr
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Asst auditor
Teacher
Asst to Joel Silver
Asst to Joel Silver
Asst to Mark Lester
Asst to Arnold Schwarzenegger
Prod asst
DGA trainee
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Police coord
Craft service
First aid
Caterer, Cinema Catering Services, Inc
Grauman Goose pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Military consultant
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
COLOR PERSONNEL
Head timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"We Fight For Love," music by Andy Taylor, lyrics by Michael Des Barres, performed by Power Station, produced by Bernard Edwards and Andy Taylor courtesy of Capitol-EMI Records.
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 October 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 4 October 1985
New York opening: week of 4 October 1985
Production Date:
22 April--3 July 1985 in Southern CA
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
28 October 1985
Copyright Number:
PA263729
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27763
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Retired army operative John “Matrix” lives in the mountains of Mt. Baldy with his daughter, Jenny. When General Kirby arrives by helicopter, he alerts Matrix that unknown attackers have killed three of his former colleagues, Lawson, Forrestal, and Bennett. The men had been retired and living under assumed identities when they were murdered. Before Kirby leaves, he warns Matrix that he is in danger, and leaves two army guards behind for protection. Moments later, a gunman shoots from the bushes, killing one of the guards. After hiding Jenny in her bedroom, Matrix races to his arsenal, locked in a shed outside. Back in the house, Matrix finds the other guard dead, and Jenny missing. The gunman, waiting in his living room, promises Jenny’s safe return if Matrix cooperates with his employers, but Matrix shoots the man dead. Outside, Matrix sees Jenny being driven down the mountain and gives chase. After crashing into the kidnappers with his truck, a fight ensues. His attacker reveals himself as Bennett, Matrix’s former co-operative, who was presumed dead. Bennett reports he is seeking revenge because Matrix had him expelled from their unit, and shoots Matrix with a tranquilizer. Regaining consciousness, Matrix learns that Bennett is working with Arius, the former tyrant leader of Val Verde, a country that Matrix helped to overthrow. Arius demands that Matrix return to Val Verde and murder the current president so he can resume his dictatorship. When Matrix insults his attackers and refuses to go along with the plan, Arius reveals that he is holding Jenny hostage, and vows to kill the girl if Matrix ... +


Retired army operative John “Matrix” lives in the mountains of Mt. Baldy with his daughter, Jenny. When General Kirby arrives by helicopter, he alerts Matrix that unknown attackers have killed three of his former colleagues, Lawson, Forrestal, and Bennett. The men had been retired and living under assumed identities when they were murdered. Before Kirby leaves, he warns Matrix that he is in danger, and leaves two army guards behind for protection. Moments later, a gunman shoots from the bushes, killing one of the guards. After hiding Jenny in her bedroom, Matrix races to his arsenal, locked in a shed outside. Back in the house, Matrix finds the other guard dead, and Jenny missing. The gunman, waiting in his living room, promises Jenny’s safe return if Matrix cooperates with his employers, but Matrix shoots the man dead. Outside, Matrix sees Jenny being driven down the mountain and gives chase. After crashing into the kidnappers with his truck, a fight ensues. His attacker reveals himself as Bennett, Matrix’s former co-operative, who was presumed dead. Bennett reports he is seeking revenge because Matrix had him expelled from their unit, and shoots Matrix with a tranquilizer. Regaining consciousness, Matrix learns that Bennett is working with Arius, the former tyrant leader of Val Verde, a country that Matrix helped to overthrow. Arius demands that Matrix return to Val Verde and murder the current president so he can resume his dictatorship. When Matrix insults his attackers and refuses to go along with the plan, Arius reveals that he is holding Jenny hostage, and vows to kill the girl if Matrix deviates from the plan. Blackmailed into saving his daughter, Matrix is escorted to the airport by two henchmen: Sully, who will ensure that he boards the plane, and Henriques, who will travel with him to Val Verde. Before takeoff, Matrix kills Henriques, and escapes from the airplane. With an eleven-hour flight time to Val Verde, he notes the scheduled landing time on his watch and sets out to rescue Jenny before his absence from the airplane is discovered. Matrix returns to the airport in search of Sully, believing the henchman will lead him to Jenny. After Sully telephones Arius and mistakenly reports that Matrix boarded the airplane, Matrix sees him flirting with a flight attendant named Cindy, and follows them to the parking garage, where Cindy rejects her pursuer. Matrix then forces his way into Cindy’s car and orders her to chase Sully. While in pursuit, Matrix assures Cindy he will not harm her, and appeals for her help in finding his daughter. They follow Sully to a restaurant inside of a shopping mall, and Matrix asks Cindy to lure the man to him. However, Cindy sees a security officer and betrays Matrix, reporting that he kidnapped her. As officers move in to arrest Matrix, Sully sees him and hurries to report back to Arius. Fighting past the officers, Matrix pursues Sully to a telephone booth and destroys it before Sully can make the call that would prompt Jenny’s death. Seeing an officer take aim at Matrix, Cindy knocks the guard down. When Sully speeds away in his car, Matrix pursues him in Cindy’s vehicle, and she jumps inside, demanding that he take her along. During the chase, Sully’s car flips over and Matrix crashes Cindy’s vehicle into a pole. Approaching Sully’s vehicle, Matrix finds a motel key on the ground near his car. Pulling Sully from the wreckage, Matrix dangles the henchman over a ravine. Begging for his life, Sully promises to take Matrix to Jenny, but after seeing the motel name on the key, Matrix drops Sully over the ravine, certain he can find Jenny on his own. With Cindy’s vehicle damaged, Matrix flips over Sully’s car and drives to the motel, with Cindy in tow. Once there, they search the room for clues, before another of Arius’ henchmen, Cooke, comes to the door. A fight ensues, and Cooke is killed without revealing Jenny’s whereabouts. Searching Cooke’s car, Cindy finds a receipt for jet fuel, and with her knowledge of airplanes, recognizes the name of the supplier. When she takes Matrix to the company’s warehouse, he recognizes the location from where he had earlier been held captive. Inside, they discover that Jenny was flown to a small island. With only five hours left before the airplane bound for Val Verde lands and Matrix’s escape is discovered, he breaks into an Army surplus store to procure an arsenal, but is arrested during the robbery. Cindy uses a rocket launcher to attack the police van and free Matrix from captivity. The two later steal a seaplane, and Matrix tries to radio Gen. Kirby for assistance. Landing on the island, Matrix finds Arius’ estate, and suits up for combat. When his henchmen telephone from Val Verde to report that Matrix was not on the plane, Arius orders Bennett to kill Jenny. However, he discovers the girl has escaped. Matrix announces his presence by blowing up several buildings, and a gunfight ensues. Elsewhere, in the seaplane, Cindy gets through to Gen. Kirby. Matrix kills Arius as he hears Jenny’s cries for help, but Bennett reaches the girl first. The former comrades face off in a knife fight, and Matrix prevails. Carrying Jenny to safety, Matrix is met on the beach by Gen. Kirby, who asks him to return to active duty. Matrix refuses, and flies away in the seaplane with Jenny and Cindy. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.