Extreme Prejudice (1987)

R | 104 mins | Adventure, Western, Drama | 24 April 1987

Director:

Walter Hill

Producer:

Buzz Feitshans

Cinematographer:

Matthew F. Leonetti

Editor:

Freeman Davies

Production Designer:

Albert Heschong

Production Company:

Carolco Pictures
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HISTORY

Opening credits include images of U.S. Army identification cards with the following titles superimposed: "Msgt. Larry McRose, M.I.A. Quang Tri 4-9-72, presumed dead; Sgt. 1C Buckman Atwater, killed defusing unexploded bomb, Laos 11-11-74, body damaged beyond recognition; Sgt. 1C Charles Biddle, killed helicopter crash, Honduras 2-5-83, body not recovered; Sgt. 1C Luther Fry, killed training maneuvers, Ft. Polk, LA. 10-25-77, body cremated - no identification possible; Ssgt. Declan Patrick Coker, killed on leave from Lebanon, chartered flight crash 12-14-84, body not identified; Major Paul Hackett, killed evacuation Saigon 2-5-73, mass burial - remains not identified."
       End credits include: “Special acknowledgement to: The Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch; Bob Knight, Joe Sierra and Susie Gains of the El Paso Film Commission; The City of El Paso; Joaquin Jackson, Texas Ranger; Cpl. Donald J. Skillman USMC; Bear Helicopters; Chrysler Motors and Hadler Public Relations.”
       Extreme Prejudice is a modern day Western conceived by writer-director John Milius. The 30 Aug 1976 LAT reported that Milius had completed his script and was planning to shoot the film for Warner Bros. in late Oct 1976 in Texas. The project was delayed when Milius opted instead to direct the coming-of-age tale Big Wednesday (1978, see entry). The 1 Oct 1976 DV reported that Milius was no longer interested in directing Extreme Prejudice, so producers were seeking another director and a Nov 1976 start date was planned. However, the project languished for over a year.
       The 6 Mar 1978 DV reported that Warner Bros. was negotiating with Casablanca Records and Filmworks to sell the rights, but that deal never came ... More Less

Opening credits include images of U.S. Army identification cards with the following titles superimposed: "Msgt. Larry McRose, M.I.A. Quang Tri 4-9-72, presumed dead; Sgt. 1C Buckman Atwater, killed defusing unexploded bomb, Laos 11-11-74, body damaged beyond recognition; Sgt. 1C Charles Biddle, killed helicopter crash, Honduras 2-5-83, body not recovered; Sgt. 1C Luther Fry, killed training maneuvers, Ft. Polk, LA. 10-25-77, body cremated - no identification possible; Ssgt. Declan Patrick Coker, killed on leave from Lebanon, chartered flight crash 12-14-84, body not identified; Major Paul Hackett, killed evacuation Saigon 2-5-73, mass burial - remains not identified."
       End credits include: “Special acknowledgement to: The Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch; Bob Knight, Joe Sierra and Susie Gains of the El Paso Film Commission; The City of El Paso; Joaquin Jackson, Texas Ranger; Cpl. Donald J. Skillman USMC; Bear Helicopters; Chrysler Motors and Hadler Public Relations.”
       Extreme Prejudice is a modern day Western conceived by writer-director John Milius. The 30 Aug 1976 LAT reported that Milius had completed his script and was planning to shoot the film for Warner Bros. in late Oct 1976 in Texas. The project was delayed when Milius opted instead to direct the coming-of-age tale Big Wednesday (1978, see entry). The 1 Oct 1976 DV reported that Milius was no longer interested in directing Extreme Prejudice, so producers were seeking another director and a Nov 1976 start date was planned. However, the project languished for over a year.
       The 6 Mar 1978 DV reported that Warner Bros. was negotiating with Casablanca Records and Filmworks to sell the rights, but that deal never came to fruition.
       By late 1984, Carolco Pictures acquired the project and was negotiating with Jonathan Demme to direct. Demme told the 28 Dec 1984 DV that he hoped to complete a rewrite of the screenplay by Mar 1985 and begin filming in Texas in summer 1985, with John Milius aboard as a producer. However, neither Demme nor Milius stayed with the project.
       Director Walter Hill was hired to direct and principal photography began in the El Paso, TX area on 14 Apr 1986, according to a 16 May 1986 DV production chart. The 28 Apr 1986 DV reported the film had a budget of $25 million, some $2.5 million of that going to actor Nick Nolte’s salary, according to the 27 Mar 1986 DV.
       Distributor Tri-Star Pictures was planning to release Extreme Prejudice during the 1986 Christmas holidays, but director Walter Hill and the producers had an Apr 1987 release in mind, telling the 14 Sep 1986 LAT that their contract did not specify a delivery date.
       Extreme Prejudice opened on 1,071 screens on 24 Apr 1987, earning $6.5 million in its first ten days of release, according to the 5 May 1987 DV box office report.
       To prepare for his role of Texas Ranger “Jack Benteen,” actor Nick Nolte worked with real-life Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate Nolte and Jackson spent several days together, covering over 400 miles of territory as Jackson demonstrated many aspects of his job. End credits include a “special acknowledgement” to Jackson.
       In summer 1990, Joaquin Jackson filed a $70,000 lawsuit against Nolte, claiming the actor reneged on his promise to pay him that amount in exchange for helping him to “dress, walk, talk, act and look like a real Texas Ranger,” according to a 13 Feb 1991 DV story. Tri-Star Pictures, Carolco Pictures Inc., and Extreme Prejudice Productions were also initially named, but were later dropped from the lawsuit. No additional information about this lawsuit could be found.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Oct 1976.
---
Daily Variety
6 Mar 1978
p. 1, 16.
Daily Variety
28 Dec 1984.
---
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1986.
---
Daily Variety
28 Apr 1986
p. 1, 13.
Daily Variety
16 May 1986.
---
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1987
p. 2, 6.
Daily Variety
5 May 1987.
---
Daily Variety
13 Feb 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 1987
p. 3, 49.
Los Angeles Times
30 Aug 1976.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Sep 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Apr 1987
p. 6.
New York Times
24 Apr 1987
p. 8.
Variety
29 Apr 1987
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna Present
A Walter Hill Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st cam asst
1st cam asst
1st cam asst
2d cam asst
2d cam asst
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Lamp op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Main title photog
Cam cranes
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Prop asst
Set des
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Standby painter
Paint foreman
Labor foreman
COSTUMES
Men`s cost
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Source mus provided by
Mus ed
Digital keyboards by
Mus score rec at
Mus score performed by
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby consultant
Tape recorders by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Mr. Nolte's makeup
Addl makeup
Body makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Asst to Mr. Hill
Asst to Mr. Hill
Asst to exec prod
Asst to exec prod
Prod secy
Prod secy -- Texas
Auditor
Asst auditor
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Extras casting
Extras casting -- Texas
Extras casting -- Texas
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Airplane pilot
Transportation coord
Driver capt
Driver capt
First aid
Craft service
Craft service
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Daily col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
“La Chancla,” composed by Tomas Ponce Reyes, published by Promotora Hispanoamericana de Musica, produced by Ry Cooder
“El Beso De La Asesina,” composed by Filiberto Benavides, performed by Jose Luis Talavera, published by Fiva Musical SA
“Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes,” composed by Manuel Esperon & Ernesto Cortazar, published by Promotora Hispanoamericana de Musica, produced by Ry Cooder
+
SONGS
“La Chancla,” composed by Tomas Ponce Reyes, published by Promotora Hispanoamericana de Musica, produced by Ry Cooder
“El Beso De La Asesina,” composed by Filiberto Benavides, performed by Jose Luis Talavera, published by Fiva Musical SA
“Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes,” composed by Manuel Esperon & Ernesto Cortazar, published by Promotora Hispanoamericana de Musica, produced by Ry Cooder
“Que Te Vaya Bonito,” composed by Jose Alfredo Jimenez, published by Golden Sands Enterprises, Inc. on behalf of Editorial Mexicana de Musica, produced by Ry Cooder
“Pero Hay Que Triste,” composed by Lydia Mendosa, published by Tradition Music Company & San Antonio Music Company, produced by Ry Cooder
“A Totonilco,” composed by Jose Lopez Espinoza, published by Promotora Hispanoamericana de Musica, produced by Ry Cooder
“La Feria De Las Flores,” composed by Jesus Monge, published by Promotora Hispanoamericana de Musica, produced by Ry Cooder
“Por Un Amor,” composed by Gilberto Parro, published by E. B. Marks, produced by Ry Cooder
“Relampago,” composed by Hermanos Martinez Gil, published by Promotora Hispanoamericana de Musica, produced by Ry Cooder
“Las Golondrinas,” composed by Narciso Serradell, produced by Ry Cooder.
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PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
24 April 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 24 April 1987
Production Date:
began 14 April 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Carolco Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 July 1987
Copyright Number:
PA336372
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Color by Technicolor ®
Lenses
Ultracam 35 Cameras and Lenses Provided by Leonetti Cine Rentals
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28487
SYNOPSIS

Jack Benteen and Cash Bailey have been best friends since childhood, but now find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Jack is a Texas Ranger working in the small border town of Benrey, Texas, outside El Paso, while Cash is now a drug kingpin in Mexico. After Jack kills one of Cash’s drug runners in the line of duty, the lawman sets up a meeting in a deserted canyon in Mexico, advising his old friend to shut down his operation. Cash replies there are too many people who want his cocaine and too much money to be made. Jack promises if Cash crosses the border into his jurisdiction, he will be arrested. Meanwhile, a paramilitary “zombie unit” of the United States Army Special Forces flies to El Paso on a mission commanded by Major Paul Hackett. All of the men in this unit were previously reported killed in service: Sergeant Larry McRose, Sergeant Buck Atwater, Sergeant Charles Biddle, Sergeant Luther Fry, and Sergeant Declan Patrick Coker. The “zombie unit” begins undercover surveillance about town, including watching Jack Benteen. Buck Atwater and Luther Fry get themselves jailed for disorderly conduct in order to check out how the sheriff’s station operates, while Paul Hackett goes to the bank pretending to set up an account in order to inspect its security operations. Hackett reports the vault is on a time lock when the bank is closed, so they will have to carry out their robbery during business hours. He emphasizes the robbery must look like a civilian operation, not a professional Army one. When an explosion kills two civilians in a restaurant, Jack Benteen and Sheriff Hank Pearson believe Cash ... +


Jack Benteen and Cash Bailey have been best friends since childhood, but now find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Jack is a Texas Ranger working in the small border town of Benrey, Texas, outside El Paso, while Cash is now a drug kingpin in Mexico. After Jack kills one of Cash’s drug runners in the line of duty, the lawman sets up a meeting in a deserted canyon in Mexico, advising his old friend to shut down his operation. Cash replies there are too many people who want his cocaine and too much money to be made. Jack promises if Cash crosses the border into his jurisdiction, he will be arrested. Meanwhile, a paramilitary “zombie unit” of the United States Army Special Forces flies to El Paso on a mission commanded by Major Paul Hackett. All of the men in this unit were previously reported killed in service: Sergeant Larry McRose, Sergeant Buck Atwater, Sergeant Charles Biddle, Sergeant Luther Fry, and Sergeant Declan Patrick Coker. The “zombie unit” begins undercover surveillance about town, including watching Jack Benteen. Buck Atwater and Luther Fry get themselves jailed for disorderly conduct in order to check out how the sheriff’s station operates, while Paul Hackett goes to the bank pretending to set up an account in order to inspect its security operations. Hackett reports the vault is on a time lock when the bank is closed, so they will have to carry out their robbery during business hours. He emphasizes the robbery must look like a civilian operation, not a professional Army one. When an explosion kills two civilians in a restaurant, Jack Benteen and Sheriff Hank Pearson believe Cash Bailey is responsible. They go to a remote bar after receiving reports that some of Cash’s drug runners are there, but it turns out to be a trap. During a shootout with Cash’s men, Sheriff Pearson is killed, but Jack escapes unharmed. Jack’s girl friend, Sarita Cisneros, a local bar singer who used to date Cash, offers sympathy over the sheriff’s death, but Jack is more focused on bringing Cash to justice, and when Sarita tries to talk to Jack about their relationship, they break up. Later, Cash Bailey comes to Sarita’s room, wanting her back and inviting her to stay with him in Mexico. Maj. Hackett goes to the sheriff’s office claiming to be “Frank Ralston,” an agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), investigating the increase in area drug trafficking. Jack tells “Ralston” to stay out of his way, but when he cannot determine the make of the ammunition that killed Sheriff Pearson, “Ralston” suggests they are German made. Jack assumes that Cash is equipping his own private army. The “zombie” unit rigs a tanker carrying liquid hydrogen to explode after crashing into an old warehouse. While Jack and his men investigate the explosion, the “zombies” cut the phone lines at the sheriff’s station, and rob the City Bank of Benrey. They take all the money in the vault and Maj. Hackett also breaks into Cash Bailey’s safety deposit box, taking a notebook filled with information about Cash’s drug deals. Before they can make their escape, Luther Fry is killed, and Jack arrests Buck Atwater and Declan Coker, as they attempt to get away. At the sheriff’s headquarters, the ballistics report indicates the bullets that killed Sheriff Pearson were issued only to members of Army Special Forces. Fingerprint reports also indicate that Fry, Atwater, and Coker have been listed as dead for years and when Jack telephones the DEA, they respond that they do not have an agent named “Frank Ralston.” Jack tracks down Paul Hackett, who admits his men are on a mission to get Cash Bailey, who was an undercover DEA informant until three years ago when he turned and became a drug kingpin. The bank robbery was staged to obtain Cash’s notebook, but the drug lord has other incriminating documents that could embarrass the United States government if made public. Maj. Hackett says the documents are all they want and he will leave Cash for Jack to deal with. The lawman agrees to work with Hackett and releases the two jailed “zombies.” Meanwhile, Jack learns that Sarita has gone to Mexico to be with Cash. Jack joins the “zombies” on their mission into Mexico, where they find a Mexican Independence Day celebration underway. Maj. Hackett gives Jack thirty minutes to deal with Cash, then his men will move in. However, as soon as Jack leaves, Hackett instructs the “zombies” that their operation is “termination with extreme prejudice,” meaning that not only is Cash Bailey to be killed, but also all those connected to him, including Jack. Upon coming face to face, Jack tells Cash that he is there for Sarita. Cash, who is snorting cocaine, says he and Sarita are not getting along, so Jack can have her back. Jack tries to talk his old friend into surrendering, but Cash is high from the drugs and talks nonsense. “Zombie” Buck Atwater comes into the bar, warning Jack to get out of the way when the shootout starts as Hackett has ordered him killed. Cash dances with Sarita, but everything he says to her sounds insane, and she rushes back to Jack’s arms. Maj. Hackett finds Cash’s accountant, Merv, and demands Cash’s notebook. When Merv refuses, Hackett says that he and Cash were partners and the notebook has the only documents that might incriminate him. Hackett stabs Merv in the stomach and takes the notebook. The “zombie” Larry McRose catches Hackett and comes to realize the unit was double-crossed: the Army never sent them on the mission and Maj. Hackett forged their orders. McRose, Coker and Biddle all shoot and kill Hackett. When the shootout begins, many of Cash’s men are also killed, as are all the “zombies.” Neither Cash nor Jack are hurt, but they subsequently engage in a pistol duel. Jack shoots Cash in the shoulder, begging him to give up. Cash replies he is in too deep, so Jack shoots him in the other shoulder. Cash collapses and dies. Jack and Sarita walk away, while Cash’s second-in-command takes off his dead boss’s white hat and puts it on his own head.

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

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