5.9/10
9,596
115 user 88 critic

Alligator (1980)

A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.

Director:

Lewis Teague

Writers:

John Sayles (screenplay), John Sayles (story) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Forster ... David
Robin Riker ... Marisa
Michael V. Gazzo ... Chief Clark (as Michael Gazzo)
Dean Jagger ... Slade
Sydney Lassick ... Gutchel (as Sidney Lassick)
Jack Carter ... Mayor
Perry Lang ... Kelly
Henry Silva ... Brock
Bart Braverman ... Kemp
John Lisbon Wood John Lisbon Wood ... Mad Bomber
James Ingersoll James Ingersoll ... Helms
Robert Doyle Robert Doyle ... Bill
Patti Jerome Patti Jerome ... Madeline
Angel Tompkins ... Newswoman
Sue Lyon ... ABC Newswoman
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Storyline

Ramon the alligator is flushed down the toilet as a baby and grows into a gargantuan monster by eating the corpses of laboratory animals who have undergone dubious hormone experiments, thus providing all the ecological and social subtext that one could possibly wish for, even if one doesn't normally go for films about giant alligators eating people left, right, and center--which is the inevitable and tragic result of Ramon's decision that the outside world looks rather more interesting than the sewers.... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It lives 50 feet beneath the city. It's 36 feet long. It weighs 2,000 pounds...And it's about to break out! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cocodrilo mortal See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alligator See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Robert Forster improvised the jokes in regard to his receding hairline, which a delighted John Sayles wrote into the script during shooting for the other characters. See more »

Goofs

When the alligator grabs Henry Silva, his body is horizontal, with the jaws on his midsection and his body hanging out of the sides of the jaws. A moment later, he is spun around lengthwise and sliding down the monster's throat feet first. The alligator would have needed to spit the body out and then begin devouring it feet first for that to happen. See more »

Quotes

Callan: [David, Marisa and Callan are walking through the sewer system] What the hell we looking for?
David: Anything that looks like it doesn't belong here.
Marisa: Uh, evidence of alligator nesting.
Callan: I see, like shoes, handbags, luggage...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Catalina version not only cuts the blood in the pool scene and all the profanity, it also cuts a second in the the scene where Brock is exploring the alley with the Cheif. See more »

Connections

Followed by Alligator II: The Mutation (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

A fun, entertaining film!
20 October 2001 | by youroldpaljimSee all my reviews

When this film turned up on T.V. I was prepared for the worst. Much to my surprise this was a good thrilling monster movie with just the right amount of tongue and cheek to make the far fetched premise acceptable; ie the idea that an alligator this big could slip in and out of the sewers with out being detected. Robert Forster as the detective out to track down the killer gator gives a good performance. ,real stand out is Henry Silva as the military man sent to destroy the monster gator. He plays him like a broad stereotype of a general from some Latin American dictatorship.

FYI: If you think the idea of a 36 foot plus alligator is impossible, there is a fossil skull on display in the American Museum of Natural History in New York of an extinct crocodile. The skull is over five feet long. Image that such monsters once did roam the earth!


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