Streets of Fire

June 1st, 1984


Streets of Fire

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A mercenary goes after his ex-girlfriend, a singer who has been kidnapped by a gang.

Release Year: 1984

Rating: 6.4/10 (6,958 voted)

Director: Walter Hill

Stars: Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis

Rock and Roll singer is taken captive by a motorcycle gang in a strange world that seems to be a cross of the 1950's and the present or future. Her ex-boyfriend returns to town and to find her missing and goes to her rescue.

Writers: Walter Hill, Larry Gross

Michael Paré - Tom Cody
Diane Lane - Ellen Aim
Rick Moranis - Billy Fish
Amy Madigan - McCoy
Willem Dafoe - Raven Shaddock
Deborah Van Valkenburgh - Reva Cody
Richard Lawson - Officer Ed Price
Rick Rossovich - Officer Cooley
Bill Paxton - Clyde the Bartender
Lee Ving - Greer - Bomber
Stoney Jackson - Bird - The Sorels
Grand L. Bush - Reggie - The Sorels
Robert Townsend - Lester - The Sorels
Mykelti Williamson - B.J. - The Sorels (as Mykel T. Williamson)
Elizabeth Daily - Baby Doll

Taglines: A Rock & Roll Fable.

Release Date: 1 June 1984

Filming Locations: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $14,500,000 (estimated)

Gross: $5,600,000 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Argentina:

Did You Know?

Because many of the actors were young enough to be subjected to child labor laws, most of the night scenes were shot during the day, with the set under a tarp.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: In Torchie's bar, the stripper's leather mini-skirt briefly "disappears" and then re-appears again before she actually takes it off. The disappearance is actually her lifting the skirt to the audience in the middle of dancing, not taking it off.

Tom Cody: There's no point in stealing a car if you're not going to wring it out.

User Review

Extraordinary kinetic work

Rating: 8/10

Walter Hill, whose fine directorial achievements include "Hard Times", "The Warriors", "Southern Comfort", "Crossroads", "Johnny Handsome" and "Extreme Prejudice", scored another creative bullseye with this self-proclaimed "rock and roll fable". Though it is simplistic in the extreme, it is an extraordinarily kinetic work with great music, stunning cinematography, cutting edge editing (from Hill regular Freeman Davies) and fantastic production design.

From a purely visual perspective, it was way ahead of its time, and like most things that were ahead of their time, it flopped badly (at the box office). So much of the film is worthy of praise -- the opening credit sequence employs a bravura graphic technique that has been much imitated; the kidnapping of Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) is a stunningly staged sequence, as is Lane's mimed rendition of Jim Steinman's fabulous "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young". The climactic fight sequence between Michael Pare and Willem Dafoe (in one of his first screen roles) is magical, as are all the film's scenes of physical combat.

Hill makes mean, lean, muscular movies and populates them with both fresh faces and screen vets. Michael Pare, who had a limited career, is just fine as the mythical Tom Cody, the film's reluctant hero (is there any other?). Dafoe shines as Raven Shaddock, the lead of the kidnappers, and the MIA Amy Madigan is just terrific as the tough-talking McCoy, Pare's feisty sidekick.

Andrew Laszlo, who worked with Hill on "Southern Comfort" and even shot Tobe Hooper's "The Funhouse", does a knockout job with the cinematography and, working with ace production designer John Vallone (another Hill reg) creates a magnificent retro universe on the Universal backlot.

Not to be missed!


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