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Fighting Back (1982)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 21 May 1982 (USA)
It's a hard crime story about a Philadelphia shop owner who has enough of the criminals' violences and ravages. He organizes a patrol of civil people. It all starts to go wrong because his ... See full summary »

Director:

Lewis Teague

Writers:

Thomas Hedley Jr. (as Tom Hedley), David Zelag Goodman (as David Z. Goodman)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Skerritt ... John D'Angelo
Patti LuPone ... Lisa D'Angelo
Michael Sarrazin ... Vince Morelli
Yaphet Kotto ... Ivanhoe Washington
David Rasche ... Michael Taylor
Donna DeVarona Donna DeVarona ... Sara Rogers
Gina DeAngeles Gina DeAngeles ... Vera D'Angelo
Jonathan Adam Sherman Jonathan Adam Sherman ... Danny D'Angelo
Pat Cooper ... Harry Janelli
Jim Lovelett ... Tom Cassidy
Joseph Ragno ... Mike Pelyk
Sal Richards Sal Richards ... Bill Gallo
Frank Sivero ... Frank Russo
Lewis Van Bergen ... Laz Burkofsky
Jim Moody ... Lester Baldwin
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Storyline

It's a hard crime story about a Philadelphia shop owner who has enough of the criminals' violences and ravages. He organizes a patrol of civil people. It all starts to go wrong because his team's actions are taken as racial discrimination ... Written by Kornel Osvart <kornelo@alphanet.hu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thieves, Pimps, Prostitutes, Muggers and Drug Dealers beware. John D'Angelo's out to make his neighbourhood safe. He's declaring his own personal war on crime and he doesn't want your kind around here any more.

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Striking Back See more »

Filming Locations:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,624,381, 23 May 1982

Gross USA:

$3,355,948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,355,948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of two 1982 theatrical feature films first released that year with the title of "Fighting Back". The movies are the American vigilante action thriller picture "Street Wars" aka "Fighting Back" [See: Street Wars (1991)] and the Australian youth drama feature film Fighting Back (1982). Ironically, both pictures featured a number of prominent "Tom" personnel: The U.S. movie starred actor Tom Skerritt as John D'Angelo and had a character called Tom Cassidy played by Jim Lovelett, whilst the Australian film was based on a novel called "Tom" (1978) by John Embling, had a central character named "Tom" played by Paul Smith, and had Tom Jeffrey being a co-screenwriter and one of the producers on the picture. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Death Wish II (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Meant For You
Written by Roxanne Seeman and David Lasley
Performed by Debra Laws
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More than a Death Wish Rip-off
9 October 2007 | by integralesixteenvalveSee all my reviews

Why this has never been released on DVD I'll never know, especially when so much grade-z rubbish has been given the lavish 'Special Edition' treatment. This is, quite simply, one of the finest 'revenge' genre films made and far more intelligent than most of it's type. I mean, just take a look at the cast: Tom Skerrit, Michael Sarrazin. These a class actors.

What makes Death Vengeance so strong are the well developed characters. You identify with them more than anything. Paul Kersey was someone who appealed to the lowest common denominator, those who liked to cheer violent characters responding in a totally over the top fashion. John D'Angelo seemed to be grounded more in reality, reacting in a way we can understand. While not always sympathetic, Skerrit's performance made him believable.

The film was marketed in a fairly deceptive way. This is more than just another shoot-em-up no-brainer and deserves to be recognised as such. Director Lewis Teague could have taken the easy option, thrown in lots of action set-pieces and had a sky-high bodycount. Instead, he decided to engage our brains instead of our base instincts. He, and the film need to be recognised for this. Shame this doesn't happen more often. See it and you will find an underrated and surprisingly thought provoking film.


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