Under Siege (1992)

R | 112 mins | Adventure | 9 October 1992

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HISTORY

The 9 Oct 1992 DV reported the film was originally titled Dreadnought, which refers to a heavily armored vessel. The title did not test well, and the Warner Bros. marketing department came up with the title Last to Surrender. However, Steven Seagal was upset with the studio’s insistence on a three-word title. Seagal’s first four films had three-word titles, and it had become a “well-known Seagal trademark.” Seagal noted it was difficult to get studio executives to change their minds, and he reportedly wrote a “harshly worded letter” to the marketing executives declaring he would not accept the three-word title. Seagal prevailed, and the film was retitled Under Siege.
       A 21 Apr 1992 HR production brief reported principal photography began 1 Mar 1992 in Mobile, AL. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Mobile was chosen because the decommissioned USS Alabama was permanently moored as a tourist attraction and museum in Mobile Bay. The script featured a situation on the USS Missouri, and the filmmakers were given permission from the USS Alabama Battleship Commission to renovate the Alabama to look like the Missouri. The “largest logistical problem” was to make the ship appear to be at sea. A 100 foot long barge was built with a sixty foot high framework along its entire length, and black cloth covered the framework. The “blackout barge” was moved around the ship as needed to block out city buildings and lights. Used in combination with barges created for cameras and ... More Less

The 9 Oct 1992 DV reported the film was originally titled Dreadnought, which refers to a heavily armored vessel. The title did not test well, and the Warner Bros. marketing department came up with the title Last to Surrender. However, Steven Seagal was upset with the studio’s insistence on a three-word title. Seagal’s first four films had three-word titles, and it had become a “well-known Seagal trademark.” Seagal noted it was difficult to get studio executives to change their minds, and he reportedly wrote a “harshly worded letter” to the marketing executives declaring he would not accept the three-word title. Seagal prevailed, and the film was retitled Under Siege.
       A 21 Apr 1992 HR production brief reported principal photography began 1 Mar 1992 in Mobile, AL. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Mobile was chosen because the decommissioned USS Alabama was permanently moored as a tourist attraction and museum in Mobile Bay. The script featured a situation on the USS Missouri, and the filmmakers were given permission from the USS Alabama Battleship Commission to renovate the Alabama to look like the Missouri. The “largest logistical problem” was to make the ship appear to be at sea. A 100 foot long barge was built with a sixty foot high framework along its entire length, and black cloth covered the framework. The “blackout barge” was moved around the ship as needed to block out city buildings and lights. Used in combination with barges created for cameras and lights, the filmmakers had “tremendous flexibility” and were able to make it appear as if the ship were on the ocean rather than moored in a bay. Most of the film’s interior scenes were shot on sound stages built in two vacant hangers at the Fairhope, AL, municipal airport. The filmmakers decided not to use stock footage of the USS Missouri. To “enhance realism,” director Andrew Davis and aerial cameraman Frank Holgate filmed footage of the ship in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, HI, sailing on the Pacific Ocean, and steering into the San Francisco, CA, bay. The 30 Dec 1992 HR reported the film’s budget was $30 million.
       The 13 Oct 1992 DV reported that the film’s first three-day box-office gross was $14,097,770, breaking the Oct opening weekend record. The final box-office results over the four-day Columbus Day holiday weekend were also expected to exceed the Oct weekend record of $14,147,340 set by 1989’s Look Who’s Talking (see entry). On 20 Dec 1992, HR noted the film’s domestic box-office gross had surpassed $76 million.
       Several reviews, including the 9 Oct 1992 HR and the Dec 1992 Box, compared Under Siege to Die Hard (1988, see entry). The 1 Nov 1992 LAT reported that the “runaway success” of Under Siege impacted the third film in the Die Hard series, which featured a similar plot of terrorists attacking a cruise ship. A new “non-nautical” screenplay was commissioned for 1995’s Die Hard With a Vengeance (see entry).
       A sequel, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (see entry), was released in 1995.
       End credits include the statements: “Special thanks to: USS Alabama Battleship Commission; Mayor James P. Nix and the city of Fairhope, Alabama; Mayor Michael C. Dow and the city of Mobile, Alabama; Alabama Film Commission; Mobile Film Commission; Hawaii Film Commission” and “USS Missouri BB63 was decommissioned March 31, 1992 and is now moored at Bremerton Naval Shipyard, awaiting her next call to service.”
       Actor Dale Dye’s name appears in opening and end credits, with the end credits listing his name as “Dale A. Dye.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Dec 1992.
---
Daily Variety
9 Oct 1992
p. 3, 24.
Daily Variety
13 Oct 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 1992
p. 6, 30.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 1992
p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
9 Oct 1992
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
1 Nov 1992.
---
New York Times
9 Oct 1992
p. 12.
Variety
12 Oct 1992
p. 185.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Co-starring:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. Presents
In Association with Regency Enterprises, Le Studio Canal+ and Alcor Films
An Arnon Milchan Production
An Andrew Davis Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
2d unit dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
"A" cam op
"B" cam op and Steadicam op
Aerial cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Chief rigging lighting tech
Key grip
Key grip
Best boy
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
2d unit dir of photog
2d unit cam op
2d unit cam op
2d unit asst cam
2d unit asst cam
2d unit asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Film ed
Post prod supv
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Armorer
Leadman
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Paint supv
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus consultant
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus rec and mixed by
Orch rec by
Orch rec by
Orchestrated and cond by
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR asst
Supv foley ed
Supv foley ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Sd eff rec
Sd eff rec
Sd eff coord
Sd eff coord
Sd eff coord
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Computer graphics
Spec visual eff by
Spec visual eff supv, Introvision International, I
Prod, Introvision International, Inc.
Prod, Introvision International, Inc.
Tech supv, Introvision International, Inc.
Art dept, Introvision International, Inc.
Art dept, Introvision International, Inc.
Cam, Introvision International, Inc.
Cam, Introvision International, Inc.
Cam asst, Introvision International, Inc.
Cam asst, Introvision International, Inc.
Radio controlled model planes, Introvision Interna
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Marine coord
Asst Marine coord
Asst Marine coord
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Video/Computer supv
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Exec asst
Asst to Mr. Milchan
Asst to Mr. Milchan
Asst to Mr. Seagal
Asst to Mr. Reuther
Asst to Mr. Davis
Asst to Mr. Lawton, Alabama
Asst to Mr. Bernstein
Asst to Mr. Macgregor-Scott
Casting assoc
Casting asst
Loc casting
Loc casting
Video prod aide
Video prod aide
Set prod aide
Set prod aide
Set prod aide
Set prod aide
Set prod aide
Set prod aide
Transportation consultant
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Fitness consultant
MAGNAPhone provided by
Remote crane supplied by
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“Whiskey Fever,” written by Clifford Smith, James Hughes, Johnny Barnes, Robert Bird, Randy Smith and Mark Aceves, performed by The Regulators, courtesy of Left Bank Records/Polydor, by arrangement with Polygram Special Markets
“Rap Mama Goose,” written by Gene Barge, Hiram Bullock, Tony Brown, Chris Cameron, Richard Davis, Tad Robinson, Wayne Stewart and Tommy Lee Jones, produced by Hiram Bullock
“Love You To Death,” written by Gene Barge, Hiram Bullock, Tony Brown, Chris Cameron, Richard Davis, Tad Robinson, Wayne Stewart and Tommy Lee Jones, produced by Hiram Bullock
+
SONGS
“Whiskey Fever,” written by Clifford Smith, James Hughes, Johnny Barnes, Robert Bird, Randy Smith and Mark Aceves, performed by The Regulators, courtesy of Left Bank Records/Polydor, by arrangement with Polygram Special Markets
“Rap Mama Goose,” written by Gene Barge, Hiram Bullock, Tony Brown, Chris Cameron, Richard Davis, Tad Robinson, Wayne Stewart and Tommy Lee Jones, produced by Hiram Bullock
“Love You To Death,” written by Gene Barge, Hiram Bullock, Tony Brown, Chris Cameron, Richard Davis, Tad Robinson, Wayne Stewart and Tommy Lee Jones, produced by Hiram Bullock
“The Power,” written by Benito Benitez, John Garrett, III and Toni C, performed by Snap, courtesy of BMG Ariola Munchen GmbH and Arista Records, Inc.
“Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” written and performed by Jimi Hendrix, courtesy of Elber B. V.
“Sea Of Blues,” written by Gene Barge, Hiram Bullock, Tony Brown, Chris Cameron, Richard Davis, Tad Robinson and Wayne Stewart, produced by Hiram Bullock
“Ooh Baby,” written by Paul Colt, Ricky Hart, Pete Sykes and Steve Ross, performed by Screams and Dreams, courtesy of Third Stone.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Dreadnought
Last to Surrender
Release Date:
9 October 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 9 October 1992
Production Date:
began 1 March 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers Productions, Ltd., Regency Enterprises, VOF
Copyright Date:
8 February 1993
Copyright Number:
PA602876
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® Cameras and Lenses
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
112
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
France, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32058
SYNOPSIS

The USS Missouri embarks on its final mission from Honolulu, Hawaii, to San Francisco, California, where its Tomahawk missiles will be removed, and the ship decommissioned. Casey Ryback, the ship’s cook, does not join the crew for a farewell ceremony, and remains working in the kitchen. Commander Krill wonders why Captain Adams tolerates the cook’s behavior, but Adams orders him to leave Ryback alone. At sea, Krill authorizes a helicopter landing without informing Captain Adams. However, the captain learns of the pending arrival. Krill reveals they are planning a surprise birthday party for Adams, and the helicopter is bringing a band, caterers, and a former Playboy centerfold named Jordan Tate. The captain agrees to remain in his cabin to maintain the illusion of surprise. Krill orders kitchen personnel to attend the party. However, Ryback refuses, insisting that only he cooks for the captain. Krill locks Ryback in the meat locker and leaves a young sailor, Private Nash, to stand guard. When the helicopter lands, the caterers and William “Billy” Strannix’s band, “Bad Billy and the Bail Jumpers,” get to work. Jordan Tate is seasick, so Krill gives her motion sickness drugs and leaves her in a private room. The crew assembles in the mess hall, enjoying the band and the food as caterers also move throughout the ship, serving food to crewmen on duty. Instead of bringing Adams to the party, Krill shoots the captain as Strannix and his men take over ... +


The USS Missouri embarks on its final mission from Honolulu, Hawaii, to San Francisco, California, where its Tomahawk missiles will be removed, and the ship decommissioned. Casey Ryback, the ship’s cook, does not join the crew for a farewell ceremony, and remains working in the kitchen. Commander Krill wonders why Captain Adams tolerates the cook’s behavior, but Adams orders him to leave Ryback alone. At sea, Krill authorizes a helicopter landing without informing Captain Adams. However, the captain learns of the pending arrival. Krill reveals they are planning a surprise birthday party for Adams, and the helicopter is bringing a band, caterers, and a former Playboy centerfold named Jordan Tate. The captain agrees to remain in his cabin to maintain the illusion of surprise. Krill orders kitchen personnel to attend the party. However, Ryback refuses, insisting that only he cooks for the captain. Krill locks Ryback in the meat locker and leaves a young sailor, Private Nash, to stand guard. When the helicopter lands, the caterers and William “Billy” Strannix’s band, “Bad Billy and the Bail Jumpers,” get to work. Jordan Tate is seasick, so Krill gives her motion sickness drugs and leaves her in a private room. The crew assembles in the mess hall, enjoying the band and the food as caterers also move throughout the ship, serving food to crewmen on duty. Instead of bringing Adams to the party, Krill shoots the captain as Strannix and his men take over the ship. Strannix joins Krill in the captain’s quarters and obtains the missile launch codes from Adams’s safe. In the ship’s control room, he gives the codes to Pitt, his computer expert. Meanwhile, Strannix’s men force the crew into the front hold, shooting anyone who resists. In the kitchen, Ryback hears gunfire and asks Private Nash to free him from the meat locker. Nash refuses, but calls to ask what is happening. Strannix sends two of his men to the galley and they kill Private Nash. However, when they open the meat locker, Ryback kills them. He places an improvised bomb in the microwave and heads for Adams’ quarters, where he finds the captain’s body. Meanwhile, a fighter plane flies overhead and Strannix shoots it down. Tom Breaker, a CIA chief, arrives at a Pentagon briefing as Strannix declares he will destroy any aircraft or ship that they send. Thirty-two missiles are onboard, eight of which are equipped with special nuclear tips, and Strannnix has the launch codes. Strannix is angry that Tom Breaker canceled his last mission, and sent assassins to murder him. Instead, Strannix killed them, and started his own “revolution.” After Strannix hangs up, Tom Breaker reveals that Strannix was a covert CIA operative, whose last mission involved destroying a North Korean submarine. When Breaker realized Strannix was unstable, the CIA attempted to kill him. However, Breaker is unaware that Strannix did not sink the submarine, and it will rendezvous with the Missouri to offload the nuclear missiles. Admiral Bates deploys a Navy Seal team to recapture the ship. Meanwhile, Ryback sneaks through the vessel, assessing the situation. He discovers Jordan, who fell asleep after taking the motion-sickness drugs. He orders her to hide in a locker, but she insists on staying with him. Upon learning that the men sent to the galley are missing, Strannix and Krill investigate and dive for cover as the microwave bomb explodes. Strannix realizes Ryback is more than a cook, and finds his paperwork among the captain’s personal files. Ryback was a Navy Seal, with specialized skills. However, he struck a superior officer who caused his team to be ambushed. Ryback was demoted, and Captain Adams brought him onboard the Missouri to finish his tour. Strannix orders his men to remain on schedule with the missiles, and sends roving patrols to find Ryback. Meanwhile, Ryback makes a satellite call to the Pentagon. He reveals that Commander Krill is working with Strannix, and learns of the approaching Seal team. Ryback sneaks to Strannix’s helicopter and douses it with paint thinner. He is spotted by a patrol. Ryback eludes them, but their gunfire causes the helicopter to explode. Krill sets off the fire sprinkler in the front hold where the crew is trapped. Krill is certain Ryback will try to save the men from drowning, and plans to kill him then. Ryback and Jordan free six sailors locked inside a room, and the group determines to save the ship. Krill airs footage of the drowning sailors on the ship’s monitors. Ryback and his team kill several of Strannix’s men as they manuever through the ship, shut off the water to the front hold, and shut down the ship’s computer system. Meanwhile, Strannix drops anchor as the submarine arrives, and they transfer the nuclear missiles. When the Seal team approaches, Strannix shoots the plane down. Ryback climbs down the anchor, swims to the far side of the submarine, and attaches a bomb that destroys the submarine’s ability to submerge. Despite the damage, Strannix orders Krill to leave on the submarine, and fix the problem at sea. Strannix remains on the ship and orders his computer expert, Pitt, to get the system back online. Strannix plans to launch missiles toward Honolulu and rendezvous with Krill later. Meanwhile, Ryback realizes the ship still contains shells for the World War II guns still mounted on deck. His team loads the shells and missiles into the old guns and destroys the submarine. Strannix is furious and launches two missiles at Honolulu. Fighter jets destroy one missile, but miss the second, which can only be stopped from the Missouri’s control room. Ryback’s team captures Strannix’s men as Ryback fights and kills Strannix. He gets the codes and destroys the missile before it hits Hawaii. The crew is freed, and Ryback kisses Jordan. Later, the Missouri sails into San Francisco harbor and Ryback, the crew, and Jordan, attend Captain Adams’ military funeral. +

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

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