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An Eye for an Eye (1981)

Sean Kane is forced to resign from the San Francisco Police Department's Narcotics Division when he goes berserk after his partner is murdered. He decides to fight alone and follows a trail... See full summary »


Steve Carver


James Bruner (screenplay), James Bruner (story) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Norris ... Sean Kane
Christopher Lee ... Morgan Canfield
Richard Roundtree ... Capt. Stevens
Matt Clark ... Tom McCoy
Mako ... James Chan
Maggie Cooper Maggie Cooper ... Heather Sullivan
Rosalind Chao ... Linda Chan
Professor Toru Tanaka ... The Professor
Stuart Pankin ... Nicky LaBelle
Terry Kiser ... Dave Pierce
Mel Novak ... Tony Montoya
Dorothy Dells Dorothy Dells ... Cab Driver
Dov Gottesfeld Dov Gottesfeld ... Doctor
Rick Prieto Rick Prieto ... Stark
Sam Hiona Sam Hiona ... Ambler


Sean Kane is forced to resign from the San Francisco Police Department's Narcotics Division when he goes berserk after his partner is murdered. He decides to fight alone and follows a trail of drug traffickers into unexpected high places. Written by Scott Lane <rslane@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What makes an ex-cop take the law in his own hands? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:






Release Date:

14 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ojo por ojo See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The producers originally wanted to cast André the Giant in the role of The Professor (Professor Toru Tanaka) because they felt Tanaka wasn't tall enough. They were eventually convinced that Tanaka would be more believable (as demonstrated in the James Bond movie Goldfinger (1964), as well as cheaper, and with less scheduling conflicts, so they agreed to cast him. In order to overcome his height "disadvantage", they had him wear platform shoes to make him appear taller than his 5'11" frame. See more »


When Kane carries Heather's tapes in the TV studio, the order of the tapes changes from shot to another. See more »


James Chan: [knocking a bad guy out with a handy desk telephone] The warrior uses whatever is closest to hand.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Most European versions of the film omit the shower scene between Norris and Maggie Cooper and cut straight to the boat fight sequence. See more »


Referenced in The Soldier (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

AN EYE FOR AN EYE (Steve Carver, 1981) **1/2
1 September 2015 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Back when I had watched THE EXPENDABLES 2 (2012), I acquired about a score of vintage Chuck Norris vehicles; I was familiar with only a few of them, and this was the first opportunity I have had to check one of the others out – albeit in tribute to Sir Christopher Lee.

The film is very typical action fare of its era – comparable, for instance, to the contemporaneous flicks Charles Bronson was starring in – but obviously incorporating Norris' brand of martial arts to complement the expected gunplay. The plot, too, is pretty routine: the star, along with his cop partner, gets ambushed (due to a snitch within the Police force) during a raid on some drug dealers – with the latter losing his life in gruesome fashion. Receiving no support from his superior (Richard Roundtree), he gives up his gun and badge – but, needless to say, continues the investigation on his own. This becomes even more personal when his partner's Asian TV reporter wife (engaged in her own expose' of drug trafficking) first contacts Norris that she may have acquired a lead on the villains and then winds up dead herself before she can divulge the information to the hero. Soon, however, he acquires a couple of associates: the dead woman's father (Mako), himself a martial arts expert and who often comments wryly on Norris' own skills; and her co-worker, who just happens to live in the same building, and who eventually goes to live with our protagonist and his dog after her own place is ransacked (at one point even comforting a perspiring Norris in the wake of a nightmare).

Lee plays the TV station head, but his mere casting gives away his identity as the head of the smugglers, while Matt Clark is the crooked cop who gets to die violently for his double face. The film, then, is not bad as these things go (aided by a rather good score)…but there were a few instances of unintentional humour (Lee's chief goon is a club-footed giant – played by wrester "Professor" Toru Tanaka – so that his pursuit of the female journalist in a train station, which havoc apparently goes completely unnoticed by the authorities, emerges as awkward, to say the least), misjudged direction (when she calls Norris and is bluntly interrupted, the latter keeps asking her what is going on rather than precipitating to her rescue!; likewise, Roundtree keeps antagonizing Norris when their goals are clearly the same) and outright silliness (Lee, realizing that his operation is jeopardized, exclaims Norris's character name upon seeing him at his mansion, as if he had not been sufficiently set-up as his nemesis all through the picture).

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