Full page view
HISTORY

A 15 May 1985 Var item stated that New Zealand director Geoff Murphy was attached to direct the film, then titled Hunter. The following year, a 16 May 1986 HR item reported that Predator was part of a six-film, $60-million slate at the newly formed Davis Entertainment, with John Davis producing and John McTiernan directing.
       According to an article in the 12 Jun 1987 Morning Call of Allentown, PA, Arnold Schwarzenegger was initially reluctant to star in Predator and suggested that his character, “Dutch,” work not as one man against an enemy, as he had in past films, but as part of a team, like The Magnificent Seven (1960, see entry) or The Wild Bunch (1969, see entry). After several rewrites, Schwarzenegger approved of the script.
       Location scouting began in early 1986, according to production notes in AMPAS library files. Jungle territory within an hour’s drive of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was selected as the primary location. With filming set to take place during the dry season, greensmen were brought in to water location sites daily and “increase the scale of the jungle” by adding thirty-foot artificial trees, artificial rocks, and vines. Principal cast members spent one and a half months training in Los Angeles, CA, gyms, before traveling to Puerto Vallarta for a week of intensive “boot camp” that entailed running, tree climbing, rappelling, weapon handling, and weight lifting. As noted in the 27 May 1986 HR production chart, principal photography began 14 Apr 1986 in Puerto Vallarta, where locations included the El Eden restaurant. In late Apr, Schwarzenegger ... More Less

A 15 May 1985 Var item stated that New Zealand director Geoff Murphy was attached to direct the film, then titled Hunter. The following year, a 16 May 1986 HR item reported that Predator was part of a six-film, $60-million slate at the newly formed Davis Entertainment, with John Davis producing and John McTiernan directing.
       According to an article in the 12 Jun 1987 Morning Call of Allentown, PA, Arnold Schwarzenegger was initially reluctant to star in Predator and suggested that his character, “Dutch,” work not as one man against an enemy, as he had in past films, but as part of a team, like The Magnificent Seven (1960, see entry) or The Wild Bunch (1969, see entry). After several rewrites, Schwarzenegger approved of the script.
       Location scouting began in early 1986, according to production notes in AMPAS library files. Jungle territory within an hour’s drive of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was selected as the primary location. With filming set to take place during the dry season, greensmen were brought in to water location sites daily and “increase the scale of the jungle” by adding thirty-foot artificial trees, artificial rocks, and vines. Principal cast members spent one and a half months training in Los Angeles, CA, gyms, before traveling to Puerto Vallarta for a week of intensive “boot camp” that entailed running, tree climbing, rappelling, weapon handling, and weight lifting. As noted in the 27 May 1986 HR production chart, principal photography began 14 Apr 1986 in Puerto Vallarta, where locations included the El Eden restaurant. In late Apr, Schwarzenegger took leave to marry Maria Shriver in Hyannis Port, MA. The newlyweds took a three-day honeymoon and returned to the set together, as noted in a 15 Jun 1987 Philadelphia Daily News article.
       Production came to a halt after six weeks, according to the 5 Jun 1986 LAHExam, due to “kinks in the film’s extraterrestrial monster,” aka “The Predator.” In an Aug 1987 AmCin article, director of photography Donald McAlpine was quoted as saying, “That’s when [the studio] re-grouped and decided first, whether they had a movie and second, what they needed to complete it.” The hiatus lasted eight months, during which time Schwarzenegger shot The Running Man (1987, see entry). In Feb 1987, filming resumed at a new location in the historic site of Palenque, in southern Mexico, where Schwarzenegger’s standoff with the Predator was filmed. Some additional pickup shots expanded on scenes that had already been filmed, but the bulk of the Feb 1987 shoot entailed the climactic battle between Dutch and the Predator.
       Production notes list the following firearms used in the film: a seventy-five-pound Gatling gun that shot 6,000 rounds per minute, wielded by Jesse Ventura’s character, “Blain,” and remotely operated via two cables that ran up Ventura’s pant legs; an M-16A2 rifle with an M-203 grenade launcher, carried by Dutch; an M-60E3 machine gun used by “Mac”; a Heckler & Koch MP-5; .45 automatics; and Desert Eagle .357 automatics.
       The Dec 1987 issue of AmCin described the “Fresnel lens” effect used to depict the Predator’s “cloak of invisibility.” Kevin Peter Hall, who plays the monster, wore a bright red Spandex suit, meant to stand out against the greens of the jungle and blue sky. Hall’s movements were filmed, then an identical shot was taken without the actor. A third take was shot with a 30% wider lens, and the three negatives were optically combined to produce a composite revealing “a vague outline of the creature moving through the greenery.” While the Dec 1987 AmCin credited R/Greenberg Associates with creating the “camouflage effect,” the Aug 1987 AmCin noted that Richard Edlund’s Boss Film Corporation initially handled special effects in spring 1986, and Stan Winston’s company took over make-up effects in Feb 1987.
       John McTiernan broke his wrist during the shoot, when he fell from a tree and rolled down a hill. A stuntman also endured a “minor facial burn,” as noted in the 12 Jun 1987 Morning Call.
       According to a 27 Feb 1987 HR “Hollywood Report” column, the film was initially slated to open on 1,200-1,500 screens on 5 Jun 1987. However, the release was delayed one week. Despite tepid critical reaction, Predator was a commercial success, and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. The 30 Dec 1987 Newsday listed it as the ninth highest-grossing film of the year, with a cumulative domestic gross of $56.9 million.
       A 5 Jul 1996 The Times (London) brief reported that Ian McPhail, a fourteen-year-old British student, claimed he was inspired by Predator when he tried to cut off the head of Margaret Dennison using a bread knife. McPhail was on the hallucinogenic drug LSD during the attempted murder and robbery of Dennison, carried out with the help of McPhail’s girl friend and her mother. McPhail later told authorities that the effects of LSD had made him feel as if he was in a scene from the film. He was found guilty and sentenced to twelve years in jail.
       A 29 Feb 1996 DV brief reported that the head of the original Predator, created by Stan Winston, was stolen from producer Joel Silver’s office.
       End credits include the statements: “Special thanks to: Restaurant El Eden De Mismaloya De Puerto Vallarta; Datotek, Inc.; Brad Naples – New England Digital; Group IV Recorders”; “This film was shot entirely in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, and Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico”; and, “This picture is dedicated to the memories of Agustin Ytuarte and Federico Ysunza.” One week before filming began, art director Ytuarte and assistant location manager Ysunza were killed in a Mexicana Airlines plane crash on a flight from Mexico City, Mexico, to Los Angeles.
       Special sound effects editor John Pospisil is credited onscreen as "John P."
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Aug 1987
p. 29.
American Cinematographer
Dec 1987
p. 101.
Daily Variety
10 Jun 1987
p. 2, 11.
Daily Variety
29 Feb 1996.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 1986
p. 1, 36.
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 1987
p. 3, 6.
LAHExam
5 Jun 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Jun 1987
Calendar, p. 6.
Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
12 Jun 1987
Section D, p. 1.
New York Times
12 Jun 1987
Section C, p. 6.
Newsday
30 Dec 1987
p. 9.
Philadelphia Daily News
15 Jun 1987
p. 57.
The Times (London)
5 Jul 1996.
---
Variety
15 May 1985.
---
Variety
9 Apr 1986.
---
Variety
18 Jun 1986.
---
Variety
17 Jun 1987
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Gordon-Silver-Davis Production
Produced in association with Amercent Films and American Entertainment Partners L.P.
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir, Mexico
Dir, 2d unit
Asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, Mexico
1st cam asst/Steadicam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Key grip
Key grip
2d grip
Asst dolly grip
Gaffer
Gaffer
Best boy
Best boy
Best boy
Still photog
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Thermal cam, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Gaffer, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir, Mexico
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Prod illustrator
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Prop master
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Prop gun master
Const coord
Const coord
Greensman
Greensman
Greensman
Asst greensman
Asst greensman
Asst greensman
Asst greensman
COSTUMES
Men's cost supv
Men's cost supv
Men's costumer
Men's costumer
Asst costumer
Asst costumer
Asst costumer
MUSIC
Mus scoring mixer
Scoring crew
Scoring crew
Scoring crew
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom man
Cableman
Supv sd eff ed
Supv sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Spec sd eff by
Vocal eff supv
Supv dial ed
Dial ed
Dial asst
ADR ed
Vocal eff ed
Vocalizations by
ADR mixer
ADR rec
Foley ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Audio programming by
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec
Rerec
Asst rerec
Maintenance eng
Dubbing projectionist
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff by
Creature created by
Spec eff supv
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Visual eff ed
Concept artist, Creature eff unit
Concept artist, Creature eff unit
Art dept coord, Creature eff unit
Art dept coord, Creature eff unit
Art dept coord, Creature eff unit
Mechanical dept, Creature eff unit
Mechanical dept, Creature eff unit
Mechanical dept, Creature eff unit
Mechanical dept, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Creature eff crew, Creature eff unit
Visual eff supv
Visual eff prod, Spec visual eff unit
Visual consultant, Spec visual eff unit
Thermal vision eff supv, Spec visual eff unit
Camouflage co-development, Spec visual eff unit
Opt line-up, Spec visual eff unit
Opt line-up, Spec visual eff unit
Opt line-up, Spec visual eff unit
Opt cam, Spec visual eff unit
Opt cam, Spec visual eff unit
Opt cam, Spec visual eff unit
Opt cam, Spec visual eff unit
Anim supv, Spec visual eff unit
Anim and rotoscope, Spec visual eff unit
Anim and rotoscope, Spec visual eff unit
Anim and rotoscope, Spec visual eff unit
Anim cam, Spec visual eff unit
Inker, Spec visual eff unit
Infrared cam equip, Spec visual eff unit
Infrared consultant, Spec visual eff unit
Infrared cam op, Spec visual eff unit
Infrared cam op, Spec visual eff unit
Loc video, Spec visual eff unit
Loc video, Spec visual eff unit
SMA Video
Loc motion control, Spec visual eff unit
Motion control asst, Spec visual eff unit
Motion control asst
Spec equip, Spec visual eff unit
Addl visual eff by
Visual eff supv, Dream Quest Images
Des consultant, Dream Quest Images
Des consultant, Dream Quest Images
Matte artist, Dream Quest Images
Motion control tech, Dream Quest Images
Motion control tech, Dream Quest Images
Opt supv, Dream Quest Images
Prod mgr, Dream Quest Images
Cool suit for Predator developed and provided by
Thermal vision post prod by
Addl opticals by
Addl photog, photog eff and eff anim by
Computer graphics by
Main and end titles des by
MAKEUP
Makeup des and created by
Addl makeup artist
Addl makeup artist
Addl makeup artist
Mud makeup by
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod assoc
Unit mgr
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Scr supv
Scr supv
Tech adv
Casting asst
Extra casting
Extras casting
Pub coord
Union head of prod
Prod coord, Mexico
Prod coord, U.S.
Prod coord, U.S.
Prod auditor
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Asst to Mr. Gordon
Asst to Mr. Gordon
Asst to Mr. Silver
Asst to Mr. Silver
Asst to Mr. Davis
Asst to Mr. McTiernan
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Transportation secy
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Knives des and built by
Weatherford, Texas
Weapons supplied by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord, 2d unit
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Addl stunt personnel
Addl stunt personnel
Addl stunt personnel
Addl stunt personnel
Addl stunt personnel
Addl stunt personnel
Addl stunt personnel
Addl stunt personnel
Addl stunt personnel
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Long Tall Sally," performed by Little Richard, written by R. Penniman, E. Johnson and R. Blackwell, courtesy of Specialty Records.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Hunter
Release Date:
12 June 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 June 1987
Production Date:
14 April--early June 1986
February 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
2 July 1987
Copyright Number:
PA329509
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® Cameras by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28190
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Somewhere in South America, U.S. Army General Phillips hires a mercenary team led by “Dutch” to rescue a cabinet member and his aide, who were shot down over guerrilla territory. Arriving at Phillips’s army post, Dutch is happy to see Dillon, an old colleague who now works for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Dillon congratulates Dutch on a recent mission in Berlin, Germany, and asks him why he turned down a job in Libya. Dutch explains that he and his team specialize in rescuing people, not assassinating them. Although Dutch and his five-man team prefer to work alone, Gen. Phillips insists that Dillon join them on their mission. Two helicopters deliver Dillon, Dutch, and his teammates, Billy, Blain, Hawkins, “Poncho” Ramirez, and “Mac,” to guerrilla territory in the jungle, where they begin their search for the cabinet member and his aide. Dutch and his team find a downed helicopter stuck in a tree. Nearby, three skinned corpses hang from a branch. A set of dog tags identifies one of the victims as Jim Hopper, a Green Beret once trained by Dutch. Elsewhere, Billy discovers the tracks of six men wearing U.S.-issued army boots, and it becomes apparent that a secret mission was being carried out, unknown to Dillon, and that the men died at the hands of a well-equipped enemy. Dutch leads the way to a guerrilla encampment. He spies a hostage being shot dead, and assumes he was the cabinet minister. Dutch and his team infiltrate the encampment, and kill all the guerrillas except a woman named Anna, whom they take hostage. A Russian military officer is among the casualties. Dutch realizes that the man he mistook for ... +


Somewhere in South America, U.S. Army General Phillips hires a mercenary team led by “Dutch” to rescue a cabinet member and his aide, who were shot down over guerrilla territory. Arriving at Phillips’s army post, Dutch is happy to see Dillon, an old colleague who now works for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Dillon congratulates Dutch on a recent mission in Berlin, Germany, and asks him why he turned down a job in Libya. Dutch explains that he and his team specialize in rescuing people, not assassinating them. Although Dutch and his five-man team prefer to work alone, Gen. Phillips insists that Dillon join them on their mission. Two helicopters deliver Dillon, Dutch, and his teammates, Billy, Blain, Hawkins, “Poncho” Ramirez, and “Mac,” to guerrilla territory in the jungle, where they begin their search for the cabinet member and his aide. Dutch and his team find a downed helicopter stuck in a tree. Nearby, three skinned corpses hang from a branch. A set of dog tags identifies one of the victims as Jim Hopper, a Green Beret once trained by Dutch. Elsewhere, Billy discovers the tracks of six men wearing U.S.-issued army boots, and it becomes apparent that a secret mission was being carried out, unknown to Dillon, and that the men died at the hands of a well-equipped enemy. Dutch leads the way to a guerrilla encampment. He spies a hostage being shot dead, and assumes he was the cabinet minister. Dutch and his team infiltrate the encampment, and kill all the guerrillas except a woman named Anna, whom they take hostage. A Russian military officer is among the casualties. Dutch realizes that the man he mistook for the cabinet minister was actually a CIA operative, and suspects Dillon of lying. Dillon announces that they just thwarted a planned invasion of a neighboring country. He admits there was no rescue mission, and Dutch accuses his friend of being corrupt. Meanwhile, an unseen alien predator uses a heat sensor to track the men through the jungle. Billy leads the way to an area where helicopters await them, but he senses the predator’s presence and stops short. Anna, the guerrilla hostage, tries to run away. Hawkins chases after her and is killed by the predator’s laser weapon. Anna sees the outline of the predator’s body, which is camouflaged to blend in with the background. The rest of the men find her and ask what happened. She answers that “the jungle came alive” and took Hawkins. The men are befuddled. However, as they continue trekking through the jungle, Mac witnesses Blain being shot by the predator. Dutch organizes the men to establish a defensive position. They set traps, and wait for the predator to return. Meanwhile, Anna recalls that the creature was wounded and dripping green blood when she saw it. Encouraged, Dutch tells her that if the predator bleeds, they can kill it. Anna remembers finding bloodied corpses as a child, and old women blaming the murders on a “demon who makes trophies of man.” The demon was said to operate during the hottest years, and she notes that this year has been particularly hot. Poncho is injured when the predator is caught in one of the traps, but quickly escapes. Hoping to avenge Blain’s death, Mac runs after it. Dillon tells Dutch to take Billy, Poncho, and Anna to the helicopters, then goes after Mac. The predator kills Mac and Dillon. Soon after, it kills Billy and Poncho, and wounds Dutch, who directs Anna to the helicopter and runs for cover. As the predator pursues him, Dutch jumps over a cliff and lands in water. He washes ashore, covered in mud. The predator’s invisibility cloak fails as it emerges from the water, and Dutch sees it in its suit of armor. The creature’s heat sensor cannot detect Dutch when he is covered in mud. Realizing this, Dutch continues to cake mud on his body as he sets more traps. The predator finally locates him and removes its helmet, causing Dutch to cringe at the sight of its ghastly face. The two engage in hand-to-hand combat. The predator easily overpowers Dutch. However, he lures the creature into one of his traps, and sends a heavy log crashing down on top of it. Before dying, the predator presses buttons on a device around its wrist. Dutch runs for cover as the predator explodes. The helicopter carrying Anna notices the blast and comes to Dutch’s rescue. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.