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Nighthawks (1981)

Trailer
1:46 | Trailer
Conservative street cop DaSilva reluctantly agrees to terminate an international terrorist who has demanded media attention. But DaSilva's "at-home" tactics are very much put to the challenge.

Directors:

Bruce Malmuth, Gary Nelson (uncredited)

Writers:

David Shaber (screenplay), David Shaber (story) | 1 more credit »
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4,553 ( 960)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Stallone ... Deke DaSilva
Billy Dee Williams ... Sgt. Matthew Fox
Lindsay Wagner ... Irene
Persis Khambatta ... Shakka Holland
Nigel Davenport ... Peter Hartman
Rutger Hauer ... Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt
Hilarie Thompson ... Pam
Joe Spinell ... Lt. Munafo
Walter Mathews ... Commissioner
E. Brian Dean E. Brian Dean ... Sergeant
Caesar Cordova Caesar Cordova ... Puerto Rican Proprietor
Charles Duval Charles Duval ... Dr. Ghiselin
Tony Munafo Tony Munafo ... Big Mike
Howard Stein Howard Stein ... Disco Manager
Tawn Christian Tawn Christian ... Disco Hostess
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Storyline

Deke DaSilva and Matthew Fox are two New York City cops who get transferred to an elite anti-terrorism squad. About this same time, an infamous international terrorist shows up in New York City looking to cause some chaos. It's up to DaSilva and Fox to stop him, but will they be in time...? Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One man can bring the world to its knees and only one man can stop him. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French | Swedish

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Hawks See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,525,360, 12 April 1981

Gross USA:

$14,905,359

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,905,359
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie premiered three years after another film which had the same title. Nighthawks (1978) was a very different film, a drama about a gay male schoolteacher. See more »

Goofs

When Deke is firing a revolver at the police target range, the paper target's holes face towards him as if a small explosion went off behind them (squibs). Also the wires that held and were used to detonate the squibs are seen hanging out of the holes. Real police bullets leave small holes in paper targets. See more »

Quotes

Heymar 'Wulfgar' Reinhardt: There is no security.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2016 Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory restores the use of both Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones and I'm a Man by Keith Emerson. See more »


Soundtracks

Opportunity
Written by Billy Powell (uncredited), Dale Krantz (uncredited) and Barry Lee Harwood (uncredited)
Performed by The Rossington Collins Band (as Rossington Collins)
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Long Before Terrorism Was On Our Minds...
3 September 2007 | by ReelCheeseSee all my reviews

Long before terrorism was on the minds of most Americans, NIGHTHAWKS tackled the thorny topic. Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams are decoy cops -- that is, they venture into rough neighborhoods to bait muggers and other forms of scum -- assigned to track down the cold and calculating Rutger Hauer. It seems the devious mastermind has landed in the media capital of the world, New York City, to try and regain his place among the terrorist elite.

Although it's a fairly decent action/suspense effort, NIGHTHAWKS is difficult to recommend unconditionally. The performances are certainly solid; in fact, it's hard to remember Stallone, here sporting a thin beard, being so effective outside of boxing trunks. The action is crisp and exhilarating, with one pursuit through subterranean New York deserving of a place in the Chase Hall of Fame. The story is original and much of the plot intriguing. And Hauer, in his American film debut, is a suitably hateful villain, with his motives all to familiar to contemporary audiences.

Yet NIGHTHAWKS is not quite as good as the sum of its parts. Even though the film starts out with a bang -- literally -- there's somehow too much build-up and not enough execution. The movie has not aged particularly well, and despite its 1981 release date has the feel of a '70s period piece. And as good as Hauer is, his character is a little too incredible to believe as he pulls off massive acts of terror with little or no sponsorship; what should take a team of experts is accomplished by one man wanted by countless law enforcement agencies.

In the end, NIGHTHAWKS is a movie you're bound to like -- either a little bit or a lot. Considering the high ratio of garbage that has and will continue to spew out of Hollywood, I guess that's not such a bad thing.


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