Tango & Cash (1989)

R | 98 mins | Comedy | 22 December 1989

Writer:

Randy Feldman

Producers:

Jon Peters, Peter Guber

Cinematographer:

Donald E. Thorin

Production Designer:

J. Michael Riva

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures
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HISTORY

A 1 Nov 1989 LAT article claimed that the idea for Tango & Cash was conceived by producer Jon Peters.
       A 30 Jan 1989 DV news item stated that actor Patrick Swayze was initially cast in the role of “Cash.” Actress Daphne Ashbrook was initially cast as "Kiki," according to a 4 Sep 1989 People brief, but she was replaced by Teri Hatcher because studio executives wanted someone with darker looks, who was more believable as Sylvester Stallone’s sister. A 15 Aug 1988 DV item claimed boxer Mike Tyson was in negotiations to appear in the film, but his name does not appear in credits.
       An 18 May 1989 HR news item reported that Setup, the film’s working title, was scheduled to begin principal photography on 22 May 1989; however, the 20 May 1989 HR reported it was scheduled to start on 12 Jun 1989. The 1 Nov 1989 LAT reported filming ended 20 Oct 1989. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, filming took place in Los Angeles, CA, and surrounding areas. The climactic quarry battle scene was shot in Irwindale, CA. The film’s budget was estimated at $54 million according to a 14--20 Jun 1989 Var article.
       Director Andrei Konchalovsky left the project after nearly three months of shooting. A 1 Nov 1989 LAT article claims that the film fell behind schedule and producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters requested Konchalovsky accelerate the shooting schedule by cutting some scenes and changing others. Konchalovsky balked at these demands and ... More Less

A 1 Nov 1989 LAT article claimed that the idea for Tango & Cash was conceived by producer Jon Peters.
       A 30 Jan 1989 DV news item stated that actor Patrick Swayze was initially cast in the role of “Cash.” Actress Daphne Ashbrook was initially cast as "Kiki," according to a 4 Sep 1989 People brief, but she was replaced by Teri Hatcher because studio executives wanted someone with darker looks, who was more believable as Sylvester Stallone’s sister. A 15 Aug 1988 DV item claimed boxer Mike Tyson was in negotiations to appear in the film, but his name does not appear in credits.
       An 18 May 1989 HR news item reported that Setup, the film’s working title, was scheduled to begin principal photography on 22 May 1989; however, the 20 May 1989 HR reported it was scheduled to start on 12 Jun 1989. The 1 Nov 1989 LAT reported filming ended 20 Oct 1989. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, filming took place in Los Angeles, CA, and surrounding areas. The climactic quarry battle scene was shot in Irwindale, CA. The film’s budget was estimated at $54 million according to a 14--20 Jun 1989 Var article.
       Director Andrei Konchalovsky left the project after nearly three months of shooting. A 1 Nov 1989 LAT article claims that the film fell behind schedule and producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters requested Konchalovsky accelerate the shooting schedule by cutting some scenes and changing others. Konchalovsky balked at these demands and left, citing “creative differences.” Director Albert Magnoli stepped in, completing principal photography in Sep 1989. The cast and crew were later called back to reshoot the opening sequence. This required two more weeks of filming. Although Magnoli finished the film, only Konchalovsky is credited as director on screen.
       Guber and Peters were taken off the project two days before they were asked to run Columbia Pictures by Sony. Warner Bros. refused to release the pair from a contract they signed in May 1989 resulting in a lawsuit over whether Warner Bros. or Sony owned the rights to Guber-Peters Entertainment. In a memorandum filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, Peters claimed that over his objections, Warner Bros. had advanced the film’s release date to 15 Dec 1989, just eight weeks after completion of principal photography. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Aug 1988.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jan 1989.
---
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1989
p. 2, 19.
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 May 1989
p. 27.
Los Angeles Times
1 Nov 1989
pg 1 , 8.
Los Angeles Times
22 Dec 1989
p. 4.
New York Times
22 Dec 1989
p. 16.
People
4 Sep 1989.
---
Variety
14--20 Jun 1989.
---
Variety
27 Dec 1989
p. 10, 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. Presents
A Guber-Peters Company Production
A Film by Andrei Konchalovsky
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
D. G. A. trainee
Dir, 2d unit
Unit prod mgr, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Rigging gaffer
Grip best boy
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Still photog
Still photog
Video assist
Video assist
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Chief lighting tech, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir, 2d unit
FILM EDITORS
Supv ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set des
Leadperson
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Standby painter
Standby painter
Prop master, 2d unit
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
Cost supv, 2d unit
MUSIC
Mus score co-prod by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Supv ADR ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR ed
Foley ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Sd mixer, 2d unit
Boom op, 2d unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Visual eff supv
Visual eff
Titles & opticals
Spec eff, 2d unit
Spec eff, 2d unit
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup, 2d unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Prod secy
Asst to Mr. Peters
Asst to Mr. Franco
Asst to Mr. Konchalovsky
Asst to Mr. Stallone
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod accountant
Unit pub
Transportation capt
Transportation asst capt
Transportation asst capt
Weapons specialist
Craft service
Asst to Mr. Macdonald, 2d unit
Scr supv, 2d unit
Prod secy, 2d unit
STAND INS
Stunt coord, 2d unit
Dance double
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Best Of What I Got,” performed by Bad English, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department, produced by Richie Zite, written by John Waite, Jonathan Cain, and Neal Sehon
“Let The Day Begin,” performed by The Call, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Michael Been
“Don’t Go,” performed by Yaz, courtesy of Mute Records/Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products, written by Vince Clarke
+
SONGS
“Best Of What I Got,” performed by Bad English, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department, produced by Richie Zite, written by John Waite, Jonathan Cain, and Neal Sehon
“Let The Day Begin,” performed by The Call, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Michael Been
“Don’t Go,” performed by Yaz, courtesy of Mute Records/Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products, written by Vince Clarke
“Poison,” performed by Alice Cooper, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department, written by Alice Cooper, Desmond Child, and John McCurry
“It’s No Crime,” performed by Babyface, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department, written by L. A. Reid, and D. Simmons
“Harlem Nocturne,” performed by Darktown Strutters, written by Earle Hagen.
+
PERFORMERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Tango and Cash
Setup
Release Date:
22 December 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 22 December 1989
New York opening: week of 22 December 1989
Production Date:
12 June--20 October 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 May 1990
Copyright Number:
PA464025
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Well-dressed Lieutenant Raymond Tango of the Beverly Hills Police Department is in hot pursuit of a tanker truck. Warned that he is leaving his jurisdiction, Tango speeds in front of the truck, blocks the road, steps out and fires two rounds into the trucker’s windshield. The driver hits the breaks, causing him and his passenger to smash through the windshield. Captain Hendricks shows up with half of the California Highway Patrol. A search reveals the truck is only hauling gasoline and Hendricks screams that Tango thinks he is “Rambo” and demands his badge. Instead, Tango shoots the truck’s fuel tank and cocaine spills out. A limousine slowly passes, carrying crime lord, Yves Perret, and his aides, Lopez and Quan. Perret complains that Tango and another cop, Lieutenant Gabriel Cash, are hurting his business. Quan suggests they murder the two police officers, but Perret has a better idea. The next day, when Cash enters his apartment, an Asian assassin shoots out a wall mirror and enters through the wall. He fires two rounds into Cash, knocking him out the window. However, Cash is wearing a bulletproof vest and discharges a shotgun he has embedded in his boot heel. He pursues the assassin into a parking lot, where the killer leaps into a pickup truck. Tango commandeers a car and a chase ensues, in which cars are demolished and gunfire is exchanged. Cash smashes into a small car, sending it into the pickup truck’s path. The killer loses control and crashes. At the police station, Tango’s young sister, Katherine ''Kiki” Tango, informs him she is ... +


Well-dressed Lieutenant Raymond Tango of the Beverly Hills Police Department is in hot pursuit of a tanker truck. Warned that he is leaving his jurisdiction, Tango speeds in front of the truck, blocks the road, steps out and fires two rounds into the trucker’s windshield. The driver hits the breaks, causing him and his passenger to smash through the windshield. Captain Hendricks shows up with half of the California Highway Patrol. A search reveals the truck is only hauling gasoline and Hendricks screams that Tango thinks he is “Rambo” and demands his badge. Instead, Tango shoots the truck’s fuel tank and cocaine spills out. A limousine slowly passes, carrying crime lord, Yves Perret, and his aides, Lopez and Quan. Perret complains that Tango and another cop, Lieutenant Gabriel Cash, are hurting his business. Quan suggests they murder the two police officers, but Perret has a better idea. The next day, when Cash enters his apartment, an Asian assassin shoots out a wall mirror and enters through the wall. He fires two rounds into Cash, knocking him out the window. However, Cash is wearing a bulletproof vest and discharges a shotgun he has embedded in his boot heel. He pursues the assassin into a parking lot, where the killer leaps into a pickup truck. Tango commandeers a car and a chase ensues, in which cars are demolished and gunfire is exchanged. Cash smashes into a small car, sending it into the pickup truck’s path. The killer loses control and crashes. At the police station, Tango’s young sister, Katherine ''Kiki” Tango, informs him she is going on a dance tour. He begs her not to go when his stockbroker calls, and Kiki sneaks away. At another station, Cash forces the killer into revealing that Quan placed the contract on him and also giving up the location for a drug deal. Across town, Tango receives the same information from Hendricks. At the same time, in a million-dollar office hidden in a rundown warehouse at an abandoned airfield, Perret lets Quan, Lopez, and his bodyguard, Requin, in on his plan to frame Tango and Cash. That night, Tango follows Requin into an industrial building, unaware Cash is sneaking in the back way. Requin gives Tango the slip and he finds himself staring into Cash’s gun. Cash gloats that he is the best cop in Los Angles, until he realizes Tango has a gun pointed at his crotch. They enter an office, and discover a dead man wearing a microphone. Bags of drugs and money sit nearby. FBI agents arrive and arrest them. Agent Wyler “finds” Cash’s spare gun and claims it is the murder weapon. Outside, Requin hands Federal Agent Davis an altered tape that will “prove” Tango and Cash murdered the FBI agent. At the trial, an acoustics expert named Skinner testifies the tape is real, sealing the police officers' fate. Tango and Cash’s lawyers convince them to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and spend eighteen months in a minimum security jail. However, they are sent to a maximum-security facility and placed in the general population in different cells. That night, both men are yanked out of t bed, stuffed in bags and tossed down the laundry chute. In the basement, they are surrounded by prisoners. Perret and Requin step from the shadows and announce that the cops are about to die. Although they put up a good fight, Tango and Cash are bound and hung over two tubs of water. Requin orders Cash lowered into the tub and places a power line into the water. When Cash survives, Tango is given the same treatment. Guards, led by Cash’s old captain, Assistant Warden Matt Sokowski, arrive and Requin and Perret slip away. Realizing the men do not stand a chance in prison, Matt supplies them with blueprints to the facility. However, Tango does not trust Matt and leaves Cash to escape on his own. Cash sneaks off and finds a ventilation shaft with a fan turned off. He is about to emerge on the other side, when Warden Sokowski’s dead body rolls into the shaft, followed by dogs and guards. Before he can escape, the fan is turned on, blocking his exit. Tango appears and stops the fan blades with a pipe. They escape to the yard, scale a water tower, and jump over a barbed wire fence. Cash uses his belt to slide down an electrical line to freedom, but before Tango can follow, he is attacked by a prisoner wielding a grappling hook on a chain. Tango electrocutes the prisoner by pushing him into a transformer. Before they split up, Tango tells Cash he can contact him through Katherine at the Cleopatra club. Cash goes to the police laboratory where his friend Owen supplies him with clothes, weapons and a new pair of gun boots. He then finds Skinner, the acoustics expert, and forces him to turn over a cassette tape of Perret hiring him to frame Cash. Across town, Tango breaks into Wyler’s house and gets him to reveal Requin paid him to set Tango up. Wyler gives Tango the slip, but when he jumps into his car, it blows up. Cash goes to the Cleopatra, but no one knows a “Katherine.” As cops swarm the club, Kiki begins her number. She spots Cash and signals him to go to the dressing room. Kiki dresses Cash in drag and they escape as Kiki pretends to be his lesbian lover. At Kiki’s apartment, Tango enters and thinks he hears Cash and Kiki having sex. Instead, Kiki is popping Cash’s slipped disk back in place. Tango then sees a shadow at the door and leaps on it to discover it is Capt. Hendricks. After Cash produces Skinner’s tape, Hendricks assures them he can keep the police away from them for twenty-four hours and gives them Requin’s name and address. The next morning, Cash breaks into Requin’s apartment. The killer gets the drop on him, but Tango appears and turns the table on the hitman. They take Requin to the rooftop and dangle him over the side. When Requin refuses to talk, Tango tapes a grenade into his mouth. This convinces Requin to give up Perret. The two cops go to see Owen who provides them with an armored car with mounted machine guns. They drive to Perret’s hideout. Before they go in, Cash promises to leave Kiki alone unless he has Tango’s blessing. He races the armored car, smashes the gates, and gets into a running battle with a dozen trucks firing bullets and rockets. They destroy the other vehicles, only to have two bulldozers box them in and slowly crush the armored car. Tango and Cash crawl out a roof hatch, shoot the bulldozer drivers, climb into the bulldozers and ram Perret’s building. Inside, Perret activates a self-destruct mechanism to blow up the facility, then sends Quan and Lopez after Tango and Cash. With only eleven minutes before detonation, the bomb is set to explode. The pair engage in a shootout with Quan and Lopez. Although they kill the men, Lopez gets off a lucky shot, hitting Cash in the arm. They storm into Perret’s office, to find him holding a razor to Kiki’s throat. Requin and Sonny, another bodyguard, appear. Requin reveals he is holding a grenade, and the two men put down their guns. A brutal hand-to-hand battle takes place until Cash pulls the grenade out of Requin’s hand, sticks it down the killer’s pants and pushes him down a flight of stairs. The explosion distracts Sonny, allowing Tango to beat him unconscious. They run into a hall of mirrors to find Perret holding a gun to Kiki’s head. Tango pulls a spare gun from his ankle holster while Cash falls on his back and fires his gun boots. Both shots hit Perret between the eyes. They grab Kiki and rush out of the building seconds before it blows up. As they lie in the dirt, Cash declares he has earned the right to date Kiki. When Tango responds, “Over dead body”, Cash yells “Deal!”
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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