6.4/10
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45 user 32 critic

The Border (1982)

A corrupt border Agent decides to clean up his act when an impoverished woman's baby is put up for sale on the black market.

Director:

Tony Richardson

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Nicholson ... Charlie Smith
Harvey Keitel ... Cat
Valerie Perrine ... Marcy
Warren Oates ... Red
Elpidia Carrillo ... Maria
Shannon Wilcox ... Savannah
Manuel Viescas Manuel Viescas ... Juan
Jeff Morris Jeff Morris ... J.J.
Mike Gomez ... Manuel
Dirk Blocker ... Beef
Lonny Chapman ... Andy
Stacey Pickren Stacey Pickren ... Hooker
Floyd Levine ... Lou
James Jeter ... Frank
Alan Fudge ... Hawker
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Storyline

U.S. Border Patrol agent Charlie Smith just wants to do a good job and provide for his wife. But between her demands for a more affluent lifestyle and the importuning of Charlie's partner Cat to take part in illegal activities in exchange for bribes, Charlie gets caught up in helping smuggle illegal immigrants across the Texas border. When one of them, a young Mexican girl named Maria, loses her baby to abductors who plan to sell the child, Charlie decides to take a stand for her and against the corruption he's fallen into. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It divided the land. It divided the man. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

12 February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Border See more »

Filming Locations:

Antigua, Guatemala See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$516,014, 31 January 1982

Gross USA:

$6,118,683

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,118,683
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was released between two of Jack Nicholson's movies, which were Oscar nominated, Reds (1981) and Terms of Endearment (1983). However, this film was not nominated for any Academy Awrads, and was not successful at the box-office. See more »

Goofs

Not so much a mistake, but just some darn good filmmaking. Near the end of the film Charlie Smith(Jack Nicholson) is having a shootout with J.J.(Jeff Morris). J.J. , carrying a loaded shotgun, is trying to escape Charlie's gunfire outside a barn. J.J. runs into a wire or equipment obstruction and falls to the ground accidentally triggering the shotgun and blowing out his own brains. Some good stop-motion photography is employed here and an obvious dummy or mannequin is revealed as J.J. gets the shotgun blast. Nicholson's character Charlie Smith stands aghast as the dead J.J.'s brains ooze out and shotgun smear covers his body. The stop-motion dummy is similar to the scene in "Casino"(1995) where Robert DeNiro gets into his Cadillac, turns the ignition, and the car turns into a fireball revealing an obvious dummy/mannequin. See more »

Quotes

Cat: Listen to me. I'm sure you can appreciate somethin'. We got a business situation here. These independents get too big, that comes out of our end.
Charlie Smith: So, what, you just fuckin' kill 'em?
Cat: We take care of business. That's all we do. We take care of business.
Charlie Smith: You see this fuckin' line? This line right here I don't cross! This fuckin' line right here!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Across the Borderline
Written by Jim Dickinson, John Hiatt, Ry Cooder
Performed by Freddy Fender (as Freddie Fender)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bombed at the Box Office
8 December 2010 | by nyp01See all my reviews

I remember seeing this movie at a seedy downtown LA theater, the second film of a double bill that I almost walked out on before it began. I was glad I stayed. I don't remember what the feature film was, but I have never forgotten this movie.

Jack Nicholson plays a on-the-take border patrol cop trying to go straight, but surrounded by corruption on both sides of the fence. He finally has to choose between fitting in by being a dirt bag, and being true to himself and cutting his ties with his buddies and his family.

The border is not only a fence between two countries, it's a moral line between decency and indecency, between moral compromise and being a truly humane and compassionate person regardless of the consequences.

The acting is superb, and the the plot could not be more timely. So give this box office bomb a go soon! It's a real diamond in the rough.


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