5.4/10
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10 user 7 critic

The Gladiator (1986)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 3 February 1986
A road warrior vigilante avenges his brother's death at the hands of a crazy motorist by using his souped-up pickup to apprehend drunken drivers and others who abuse their driving privileges.

Director:

Abel Ferrara

Writers:

William Bleich (television story and teleplay), Tom Schulman (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Wahl ... Rick Benton
Nancy Allen ... Susan Neville
Robert Culp ... Lieutenant Frank Mason
Stan Shaw ... Joe Barker
Rosemary Forsyth ... Loretta Simpson
Bart Braverman ... Dan
Brian Robbins ... Jeff Benton
Rick Dees ... Garth Masters
Michael Young ... Reporter
Harry Beer ... Franklin
Garry Goodrow Garry Goodrow ... Cadillac Drunk
Robert Phalen Robert Phalen ... Dr. Maxwell
Linda Thorson ... Woman in Class
Mary Baldwin Mary Baldwin ... Mary
Thom Bierdz ... Kid
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Storyline

A homicidal maniac is on the loose, killing motorists at random in his "death car" - after losing his brother to the twisted assassin "Skull", Rick Benton becomes a vigilante, and takes it upon himself to hunt down the reckless drivers that fill the streets at night. Being a master mechanic, Rick spends his time converting his pickup truck into an armed and dangerous vehicle - with speed to take on the fastest car, and strength to make sure in a one-on-one situation, he will be the only survivor. The cops soon find out about the vigilante known only as the "Gladiator" and do all they can to catch him before his citizen's arrests go one step too far - but will they find the Gladiator before the Gladiator finds Skull? When the two finally meet, it's a duel to the death and maybe an end to Rick's career as the vigilante. Written by T Battye

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Heavy Metal Vigilante on a Vendetta! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gladiator See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although originally intended for theatrical release, the film was purchased by Showtime Networks and aired on ABC Television as an original film. See more »

Goofs

(at around 41 mins) Rick is driving through and there is a flashing red light for the crosswalk. He's looking for bad drivers but he runs straight through the crosswalk while a person is walking in front of him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Phil: [finishes a pint of beer] Nick - one more. Come on Nick, just one more?
Nick: You've had enough Phil, it's time to go home.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Abel Ferrara had to cut approximately 11 minutes of footage from the final cut due to the restrictions imposed by New World Television on the running length. A scene where Rick (Ken Wahl) and Susan (Nancy Allen) go out for a meal and debate the motives behind the gladiator made up the majority of the cut footage; it is unknown whether future DVD releases will contain missing scenes to this date (May, 2007). See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Tarantino's DEATH PROOF.....
24 May 2006 | by bennozoid1See all my reviews

I love Abel Ferrara, but I'm guessing he was slightly high when he accepted this gig and had some bills to pay?? No that's cruel. Although the film stock and general production values of this are shoddy and televisual, Ferrara's gritty aesthetic just about peers through the sanitised veneer of this one. His mechanic best buddy is a nice character, and there are a few unintentional laughs to be had. Overall though, if this was your first insight into abel ferrara, then it would be a bad one to pick...Choose Ms.45, King of New York, Bad Lieutenant or Fear City instead....

I believe Tarantino's segment of the forthcoming film GRINDHOUSE is about a killer, hit-and-run car.....I'm sure he's seen this one then! I also had the (mis)fortune of watching BLACK MOON RISING on the same day!? Also about cars/car chases/the fetishisation of driving souped up cars in the US. Is this the direction that Tarantino is travelling???.....


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