Taglines: Two of Chicago’s Finest?
Danny and Ray are two street wise cops in Chicago. When they are almost killed on a case, they are forced to take a vacation by their captain. Key West offers a substantial change over frozen Chicago. They decide to quit and open a bar in Key West. Upon returning, they find that Julio, the drug dealer who nearly killed them has made bail and is trying to complete a giant drug deal. They decide to complete their case against Julio before quitting, but then begin being careful. Their effectiveness drops as they find they can’t operate the way they did before if they don’t have the edge of a long time commitment.
Running Scared is a 1986 action-comedy film directed by Peter Hyams, written by Gary Devore and Jimmy Huston, and starring Gregory Hines, Billy Crystal, with Steven Bauer, Jimmy Smits, and Dan Hedaya in supporting roles. Hines and Crystal play Chicago police officers who, after nearly being killed on the job, decide to retire and open a bar in Key West, only to get caught up in making one last arrest before they go. The film was produced and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
About the Story
Ray Hughes (Hines) and Danny Costanzo (Crystal) are two detectives working Chicago’s North Side, known for their wisecracking demeanors and unorthodox police methods, which get results in their various cases. One such case involves trying to bust up-and-coming drug dealer Julio Gonzales (Jimmy Smits). After arresting Snake (Joe Pantoliano), one of Julio’s associates, they convince him to wear a wire in order to get the necessary evidence to put Julio away.
When they approach the meeting place (a cargo ship) they find that Gonzales has acquired a large store of Israeli Uzi submachine guns. Snake is setting the detectives up, however, prompting the detectives to rush in by acting as though Gonzales was preparing to kill him. Gonzales reveals his ambition to be the next “godfather” of Chicago, but chastises Snake for letting the detectives get close, and Snake is shot dead by a subordinate. The pair look as though they will be killed for sure, but two undercover detectives in Julio’s gang step in to make the arrest. In the ensuing gun battle, most of Julio’s gang escape, but Ray and Danny capture Gonzales.
Back at the station Ray and Danny expect to be praised, but instead their captain (Dan Hedaya) chastises them for their sloppy work (as revealed by Snake’s wire) and orders them to take a vacation. On vacation in Key West, Florida, the pair begin to question their career choice after the experience and decide to retire and open a bar.
When they return to Chicago and inform the captain of their intentions, they find out that Gonzales has been released and is free on bail. Incensed, they vow to capture Gonzales before retiring, but by being a little more careful in the process. To add insult to injury, Captain Logan assigns them the additional task of training their replacements before they go: detectives Anthony Montoya (Jon Gries) and Frank Sigliano (Steven Bauer), none other than the two undercover officers that saved them from being killed in the Gonzales bust. Logan wants the replacements to be “the best of the worst” and orders them never to let him catch them doing anything Ray and Danny teaches them.
During one of the attempts to capture Gonzales, Ray and Danny confiscate a large shipment of cocaine coming from Colombia. In order to get them back, Gonzales kidnaps Danny’s ex-wife Anna (Darlanne Fluegel), whom he still loves and has been trying to reconcile with, and says he will trade her for his drugs, otherwise he will kill her.
Danny agrees, leading to the final confrontation inside the high-rise atrium of the James R. Thompson Center. During the ensuing firefight, Danny and Ray ironically rescue their would-be protégés in a way similar to their own rescuing, and Gonzales is killed. Anna and Danny reconcile and he and Ray decide not to retire after all.
Running Scared (1986)
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Starring: Gregory Hines, Billy Crystal, Steven Bauer, Darlanne Fluegel, Joe Pantoliano, Dan Hedaya, Tracy Reed, Jon Gries, Jimmy Smits
Screenplay by: Gary DeVore
Production Design by: Albert Brenner
Cinematography by: Peter Hyams
Film Editing by: James Mitchell
Set Decoration by: George Gaines
Art Direction by: David M. Haber
Music by: Rod Temperton, Udi Harpaz
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release Date: June 27, 1986