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Tequila Sunrise

Mel Gibson , Michelle Pfeiffer , Robert Towne    VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Robert Towne is one of Hollywood's most celebrated screenwriters, but because his directorial efforts have been few and far between, anticipation was high when this star-powered crime story was released in 1988. Critical reaction was decidedly mixed, but there's plenty to admire in this silky, visually seductive film about a drug dealer (Mel Gibson) whose best friend from high-school (Kurt Russell) is now working for the Los Angeles sheriff's drug detail. Their personal and professional conflicts are intensified by their love for the same woman, a waitress (Michelle Pfeiffer) at the Italian restaurant they both frequent. There's a big deal going down with a drug lord (the late Raul Julia), but as it twists and turns, Towne's story is really more about personal loyalties and individual honor. And even if it doesn't quite hold together, the movie's got a fantastic look to it (courtesy of the great cinematographer Conrad Hall), and the three stars bring depth and dimension to their well-written roles. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Mel Gibson -vs- Kurt Russell May 28 2002
Format:DVD
This is a unique movie that somehow manges to work, Mel Gibson who at the time had just come off the 1st "Lethal Weapon" tried to do somthing different & did, In tis he is Dale McKussic, a drug dealer in what appears to be Malibu or Santa Monica, that just can't seem to get out of the business, Kurt Russell is his old High School pal who is now the head of Narcotics for L.A. county, that for personal reasons doesn't want to bust McKussic, but is pressured by the DEA led by J.T. Walsh, it is apparent that Walsh & Russell can't stand each other, Michelle Pfreiffer only complicates things by being a resturaunt owner that Gibson has a thing for, sensing that she might know somthing Russell attempts to get to know her better, they begin a courtship & what follows is a love-triangle, with Gibson winning out in the end, Carlos (Raul Julia) is Gibson's supplier that is coming to town, unbeknownst to Russell & Walsh, he is a also a DEA special agent, Robert Towne wrote & directed this complicated story, but somehow he makes it work, especially with his three leads, as Russell & Gibson face-off, with Russell in a constant battle of loyalty to his job or friend, Prfeffer in a constant battle over who she like more, Gibson or Russell, & Gibson's constant struggle with loyalty to Carlos or Russell, just your typical Santa Monica beach story, that somehow mangages to work, one of the best movies from the 80's.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Noir-ish Fun under the SoCal Sun Sept. 12 2001
Format:DVD
...is how I view this film by writer Robert Towne (Chinatown, Personal Best, etc.), who also directs here. Tequila Sunrise is a wonderful, layered neo-noir set in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Others have criticized this film for being confusing, but at its core, it is a solid character based melodrama laced with a little ambiguity and ever-moving boundaries. Just about everyone in this film is not quite what you'd assume. If you like films that need close watching, with intricate character motives--regardless of clear moral distinctions--this is it.
Set in the 1980's, T.S. is a story of deceit, and betrayal, but primarily friendships. Mel Gibson plays Dale (Mac) McKussic, a retired South Bay cocaine smuggler of legendary proportions. Gibson is one actor who plays many hero types on-screen, but who is not afraid to convey the darker aspects of a character. Many other big names in Hollywood wouldn't take on this type of role. Here Mac wants to stay out of the drug business for a more normal life. But, as he puts it, "nobody wants me to quit."
Not so much opposing him, but being the flip side of a morally dubious coin, is Lt. Nick Frescia, who heads up L.A. Sheriff's drug enforcement unit. The vastly underrated Kurt Russell plays this character as a smart, slick operator capable of breaking the law when it helps him enforce it. Like Mel, Kurt is quite capable of playing the ambiguous lead (and make you like/hate him at the same time).
To really begin to understand these the two leads, though, southern Cal native Robert Towne gets to sprinkle some marvelous, sharp dialogue to their history. Friends since youth (and probably long time rivals), these two veered to opposite, but parallel paths by an incident alluded to in early character conversations.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Big boost for hot tub sales, I'd reckon. June 8 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This slick, modern neo-noir from "Chinatown" screenwriter Robert Towne makes up for its shortcomings with a charismatic cast. Using the well-worn "noir love triangle" formula, "Tequila Sunrise" is sort of a modern take on "Out Of The Past" or "Strange Love Of Martha Ivers". Kurt Russell and Mel Gibson are convincing as old pals who end up on opposite sides of the law, and Michelle Pfeiffer is a perfect choice for a "love interest" (duh!). One sticking point...Gibson as a coke dealer. He just doesn't seem "oily" enough. It is Russell who actually exudes the properly shady "noirish" vibe, even though he's the "law". On the plus side, this IS Robert Towne, so there is some very well written, mature dialogue for the actors to chew on. However, some unexplained jumps in the narrative raises speculation about a "director's cut" someday. Excellent support from J.T. Walsh and particularly from Raul Julia, who absolutely nails his character, projecting more depth in much less screen time than fellow cast members. By the way, the much discussed "hot tub" sequence screams "body doubles!" to this viewer--watch it closely (like you need encouragement!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great movie from the 80's April 25 2000
By amie
Format:DVD
Mac McKussic (Mel Gibson) is an ex drug-dealer wants to go straight. Maguire (JT. Walsh) is an agent determined to put Mac in jail. He got the chance when he heard about Carlos (Raul Julia) an old friend of Mac, who also a drug-dealer himself, is coming to California...and Mac is the only one who know him. Nick Frescia (Kurt Russell) in the other hand, is the police who is responsible for the case. He is reluctant to pursue Mac since he is Mac's best friend. He believed in Mac but if Mac screw up he might have to put him in jail. Mac is attracted to Jo Ann (Michelle Pfeiffer) an owner of a restaurant and their relationship becomes a little complicated when Nick also trying to get close to Jo Ann.
I guess this is one of the best 80's movie I've seen. Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer's chemistry was awesome. Raul Julia gave one the finest performance. And I never really like Kurt Russell with his action movies...but it's an exception in this one.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars movie wouldnt play in any of my machines :(
Sadly this movie would not play at all for us. None of my machines would read it :( very disappointed
Published 5 months ago by J. S. Goodwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie
If you looking for a movie with talented actors at acting this is the movie you got to see. If you want to watch a movie with some comody mixed with crime and action with a touch... Read more
Published on March 10 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST MOVIE EVER
I EXTREMELY HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS MOVIE!! It has everything in it to interest both guys and girls. Mel of course and action. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars waste of talent, time, and money
I had the unfortunate experience of spending money at Blockbuster and renting this dud. With such big name stars, I expected at least a mildly entertaining movie. Read more
Published on July 2 2002 by Bryan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Look At The Early Melvin Gibson
I saw this movie when it was originally released in the early 1980s, and thought it GREAT, simply superb. Read more
Published on May 23 2002 by J. Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Surrender to Me
Saw this movie at the theatre,beleive it or not,
fell in love with this movie from the get go, what more can
this movie offer you, California,Sun,Beaches,Good... Read more
Published on March 15 2002 by Jim Mellanis
5.0 out of 5 stars An old-fashioned story with new generation stars
I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! I saw Tequila Sunrise in the theater and was blown away by how stylish and beautiful this film is. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Thriller Mel Gibson looks tooclean cut for drug dealing
A Well done film with a somewhat twisted storyline about a a reformed drug dealer Mac,(Gibson)who is trying to get away from the drug life but his longlife best friend Nick... Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2000 by Gus Mauro
3.0 out of 5 stars A DVD review
An average film and slightly below average DVD. Another film that's on Amazon's essential list but doesn't make mine. The plot is tricky to follow. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2000 by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully Ecstatic
Whomever you are after (Mel, Pfeiffer, Russell, or so forth), this movie would make you crave to hug that person. Read more
Published on May 31 2000 by Akiko Thai
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