Trespass (1992)

R | 104 mins | Drama | 25 December 1992

Director:

Walter Hill

Producer:

Neil Canton

Cinematographer:

Lloyd Ahern

Editor:

Freeman Davies

Production Designer:

Jon Hutman

Production Company:

Universal ®
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HISTORY

In 1977, screenwriters Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis wrote a movie titled The Looters about an urban search for buried treasure. The 28 Dec 1992 LAT reported the pair rewrote the screenplay a number of times, especially once rap music stars Ice T and Ice Cube were cast. Director Walter Hill joined the production when The Fugitive (1993, see entry), which he had been scheduled to direct, was delayed, the 5 Sep 1991 DV reported. Among the actors considered for the lead roles were Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, and Val Kilmer, according to the 18 Oct 1991 Screen International.
       Principal photography for The Looters began on 4 Nov 1991 according to an 11 Nov 1991 DV production chart. The film had a $15 million budget, the 28 Dec 1992 LAT reported. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate that most the film was shot at a one-hundred-year-old brewery on the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis, TN, and at an abandoned 19th century textile factory in the Cabbagetown section of Atlanta, GA.
       A 4 Jul 1992 release was planned, but the opening was postponed following the 29 Apr—4 May 1992 riots in Los Angeles, CA, that erupted following the not-guilty verdict in the trial of four white Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with brutally beating Rodney King, an African-American man. The 5 May 1992 HR announced the film, which was then using the one-word title Looters, was being pulled from summer release and its name would be changed in response to the rioting ... More Less

In 1977, screenwriters Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis wrote a movie titled The Looters about an urban search for buried treasure. The 28 Dec 1992 LAT reported the pair rewrote the screenplay a number of times, especially once rap music stars Ice T and Ice Cube were cast. Director Walter Hill joined the production when The Fugitive (1993, see entry), which he had been scheduled to direct, was delayed, the 5 Sep 1991 DV reported. Among the actors considered for the lead roles were Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, and Val Kilmer, according to the 18 Oct 1991 Screen International.
       Principal photography for The Looters began on 4 Nov 1991 according to an 11 Nov 1991 DV production chart. The film had a $15 million budget, the 28 Dec 1992 LAT reported. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate that most the film was shot at a one-hundred-year-old brewery on the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis, TN, and at an abandoned 19th century textile factory in the Cabbagetown section of Atlanta, GA.
       A 4 Jul 1992 release was planned, but the opening was postponed following the 29 Apr—4 May 1992 riots in Los Angeles, CA, that erupted following the not-guilty verdict in the trial of four white Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with brutally beating Rodney King, an African-American man. The 5 May 1992 HR announced the film, which was then using the one-word title Looters, was being pulled from summer release and its name would be changed in response to the rioting and looting.
       In the 15 May 1992 LA Weekly, Tom Pollock, chairman of distributor Universal Pictures, speculated that the film might never be released, because it contained scenes of black men attacking white men with machine guns. Screenwriter Bob Gale told the Jul 1992 Us magazine that Universal made the right decision in postponing the release, since theaters might be reluctant to play a film titled Looters after the riots. In addition, theaters were nervous that the violence in the movie might prompt violence from moviegoers, as it had at screenings of Eddie Murphy Raw (1987), New Jack City (1991), and Juice (1992, see entries). However, star Ice Cube told Us that assuming African-American audiences would riot after watching the violence reflected a racist attitude.
       When test audiences responded negatively to the ending in which both Ice Cube and Ice T were killed, a new conclusion was shot, the 11 May 1992 Var reported. The 9 Jul 1992 DV noted that the reshoots were filmed prior to the Los Angeles riots and that parts of both the original and the new ending were used in the final version.
       With the name changed to Trespass, the film opened on 1,022 screens on 25 Dec 1992, taking in $5 million in its first opening weekend, according to a 29 Dec 1992 DV box office report.
       The film’s soundtrack includes the song “Trespass,” written specifically for the film by Ice T and Ice Cube, who also performed. It was the first duet between the two rappers.
       During opening credits, two scenes are introduced by the following title cards: “East St. Louis, ILL” and “Fort Smith, ARK.” End credits state: “The Producers wish to thank: Carmel Davies; John Zorn; Seymour Stein; Eric Greenspan; Ira Selsky; The Atlanta, Georgia Film Commission; The Memphis, Tennessee Film Commission.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Sep 1991
p. 1, 6.
Daily Variety
11 Nov 1991.
---
Daily Variety
9 Jul 1992.
---
Daily Variety
21 Dec 1992.
---
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 1992
p. 1, 30.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 1992
p. 9, 48.
LA Weekly
15 May 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Dec 1992
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
28 Dec 1992.
---
New York Times
25 Dec 1992
p. 18.
Screen International
18 Oct 1991.
---
Us
Jul 1992.
---
Variety
11 May 1992.
---
Variety
21 Dec 1992
p. 60.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Universal Pictures presents
A Canton/Zemeckis/Gale production
A Walter Hill film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Video op
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Leadman
Leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst props
Const clerk
Const coord
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Scenic foreman
Standby painter
Plaster foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus
Mus supv
Mus supv
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Scoring musician
Scoring musician
Scoring musician
Mus eng and mixer
Mus coord
Mus coord
Mus coord
Mus coord
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman
Supv sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Spec sd eff des
Re-rec mixer
Addl re-rec
Addl re-rec
Machine op
Machine op
Stage eng
ADR rec
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Foley artist
Foley artist
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title des
Title and opticals
Electronic compositing by
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Electronic compositing by, Sony High Definition Fa
Digital eff coord
MAKEUP
Key make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Unit pub
Asst to Walter Hill
Asst to Walter Hill
Asst to Walter Hill
Asst to Neil Canton
Asst ot Neil Canton
Asst to Bob Gale
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Asst to Ice Cube
Accountant
Asst auditor
2d asst accountant
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Craft service
First aid
Atlanta police coord
Casting assoc
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Trespass,” written and performed by Ice T and Ice Cube, Ice T appears courtesy of Sire Records Company, Ice Cube appears courtesy of Priority Records, Inc.
“Party Lights,” written and performed by Junior Brown
“Depths Of Hell,” written by Ice T and DJ Aladdin, performed by Ice T featuring Daddy Nitro, courtesy of Sire Records Company
+
SONGS
“Trespass,” written and performed by Ice T and Ice Cube, Ice T appears courtesy of Sire Records Company, Ice Cube appears courtesy of Priority Records, Inc.
“Party Lights,” written and performed by Junior Brown
“Depths Of Hell,” written by Ice T and DJ Aladdin, performed by Ice T featuring Daddy Nitro, courtesy of Sire Records Company
“Quick Way Out,” written by W. C. and Coolio, performed by W. C. and The Maad Circle, courtesy of Priority Records, Inc.
“You Know What I’m About,” written and performed by Lord Finesse, courtesy of Giant Records
“Gotta Do What I Gotta Do,” written by C. Ridenhour, G. G.-Wiz, H. Shocklee, and K. Shocklee, performed by Public Enemy, courtesy of Def Jam Recordings, Inc.
“I’m Gonna Smoke Him,” written by Donald Lamont and Bilal Bashir, performed by Donald D, courtesy of Sire Records Company
“Don’t Be A 304,” written by Jason Lewis, performed by AMG, courtesy of Select Records
“I Check My Bank,” written and performed by Sir Mix-A-Lot, courtesy of Def American Recordings/Rhyme Cartel Records
“Gotta Get Over (Talking Loot),” written by Keith Elam and Christopher Martin, performed by Gang Starr, courtesy of Chrysalis Records Inc., a division of EMI Records, N. A.
“On The Wall,” written and performed by Black Sheep, courtesy of Mercury Records.
+
PERFORMERS
+
COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Looters
Looters
Release Date:
25 December 1992
Premiere Information:
New York, Los Angeles opening: 25 December 1992
Production Date:
began 4 November 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 February 1993
Copyright Number:
PA602882
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Sound
THX®
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32177
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Two Fort Smith, Arkansas, fireman, Vince and Don, break into a burning building to rescue an hysterical old man, who gives them an envelope, asks for forgiveness, and steps into the flames. Back at the fire station, Vince opens the envelope to find a map for a hidden treasure, as well as newspaper articles about a Catholic church that was vandalized and looted on 23 February 1940. The thief took an exhibit of gold religious artifacts on loan from Europe. The envelope also contains a large gold cross decorated with jewels. Following the map, Don and Vince drive to East St. Louis, Illinois. At a large abandoned factory complex they hide their truck, and go to an apartment on the fifth floor. Using a metal detector, they try to find the treasure, but find only a metal can with a small amount of cash hidden inside. Bradlee, a homeless black man who has been hiding since their arrival, attacks them, declaring that the apartment is his home and the money belongs to him. Don restrains Bradlee, and they continue their search. A little later, they hear two gang members, “Goose” and “Lucky,” come into the building. Don goes to investigate while Vince stays behind. On the roof of the building, drug kingpin “King James” confronts Goose, accusing him of betrayal, and his men push Goose through a skylight to his death. When Vince rushes out to see what happened, King James’s men capture him, believing the white man is spying on their execution of Goose. Vince assures the gangsters, who are African-American, that he does not want trouble. Meanwhile, Don sneaks up from behind, grabs Lucky, and holds him ... +


Two Fort Smith, Arkansas, fireman, Vince and Don, break into a burning building to rescue an hysterical old man, who gives them an envelope, asks for forgiveness, and steps into the flames. Back at the fire station, Vince opens the envelope to find a map for a hidden treasure, as well as newspaper articles about a Catholic church that was vandalized and looted on 23 February 1940. The thief took an exhibit of gold religious artifacts on loan from Europe. The envelope also contains a large gold cross decorated with jewels. Following the map, Don and Vince drive to East St. Louis, Illinois. At a large abandoned factory complex they hide their truck, and go to an apartment on the fifth floor. Using a metal detector, they try to find the treasure, but find only a metal can with a small amount of cash hidden inside. Bradlee, a homeless black man who has been hiding since their arrival, attacks them, declaring that the apartment is his home and the money belongs to him. Don restrains Bradlee, and they continue their search. A little later, they hear two gang members, “Goose” and “Lucky,” come into the building. Don goes to investigate while Vince stays behind. On the roof of the building, drug kingpin “King James” confronts Goose, accusing him of betrayal, and his men push Goose through a skylight to his death. When Vince rushes out to see what happened, King James’s men capture him, believing the white man is spying on their execution of Goose. Vince assures the gangsters, who are African-American, that he does not want trouble. Meanwhile, Don sneaks up from behind, grabs Lucky, and holds him at gunpoint. Vince and Don drag Lucky, who is King James’ half brother, into the apartment and strap him to the door. They inform King James that Lucky will be killed if they break or shoot down the door. King James appeals for his half-brother’s release, but Don refuses, believing that as long as Lucky is alive they have a chance for survival. King James uses his cellular telephone to call for more men and weapons. When some of his men dress as policemen and pretend to arrest other gang members, Vince and Don come to the window to signal to the policemen. Davis, one of King James’s men, shoots at them. Don returns fire and Davis is killed. As Vince scans the ceiling with the metal detector, it registers the treasure. They tear a hole in the plaster and find many gold items. Don proclaims they are rich, but first they need to get out alive. Untying Bradlee, the firemen offer to split the gold three ways if he helps them escape. With Bradlee’s advice, they break through the wall to a chimney and bag the gold, preparing to climb out of the apartment. Meanwhile, Raymond, another of King James’s men, discovers Don and Vince’s truck, slashes the tires, and breaks into the vehicle. He finds the envelope with the newspaper articles about the stolen gold and realizes why the two white men are there. A few minutes later, a police car arrives, and the officers question Raymond. Watching from the apartment, Vince wants to yell for help, but Don stops him, warning that police will take away the gold. Bradlee adds that the police will kill them and keep the gold for themselves. A moment later, the officers are called away, and King James’s men wonder why Don and Vince did not call for help. Raymond shows them the Arkansas license plate and the article about the treasure. King James goes to the door of the apartment, claiming he wants to negotiate a truce. Don does not trust him, but Vince wants to hear what he has to say. Meanwhile, Bradlee grabs a sack of gold and tries to climb down the fire escape, but King James’ man, Luther, shoots at him. Hearing the gunfire, Vince and Don break off the negotiation and King James sends his man Savon to get explosives to make a bomb. Don, Vince, and Bradlee prepare to climb down the chimney, but fear that Lucky, who is still strapped to the door, will reveal where to find them. Although Vince is unwilling to kill Lucky, they realize he is a drug addict who has needles, syringe, and heroin on him. They decide to inject Lucky with drugs, rendering him too high to identify their whereabouts. Since Don is unsure how to work the syringe, they untie one of Lucky’s hands to let him inject himself, but Lucky stabs Don in the neck with the needle. Lucky unties his other hand and struggles with Vince. When they are in front of the window, Luther fires at Vince from the roof and hits Lucky instead, killing him. Scared to tell King James that he shot his half-brother, Luther runs away, while the other men tell their leader that the white men killed Lucky. Bradlee tends to Don, who is high from the heroin, while Vince climbs up the chimney to the roof. Vince rappels down the side of the building, breaks through a window on a lower floor and escapes down the stairs. However, he finds their truck’s tires have been slashed. Meanwhile, King James and his men set fire to the apartment door and break in. In an exchange of gunfire, Don is wounded and King James is killed. As flames spread through the building, King James’s men allow Bradlee to leave because he is black and they have no issue with him. However, when Bradlee tries to take the sack of gold, Savon snatches ii away. Savon sets off the timer on the bomb they built and tries to leave. However, Raymond confronts him, demanding his share of the gold. They shoot at each other and both collapse. Bradlee grabs the sack and climbs down the chimney. The bomb explodes and flames engulf the building. Bradlee climbs out through the basement as Vince returns, and reports that Don and all the others are dead, but claims the sack of gold is still upstairs. He urges Vince to leave before police arrive and Vince dashes away. Bradlee picks up the sack of gold and walks away from the burning building. +

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

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