Taglines: It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it!
The film opens with a daring escape of a convict imprisoned for killing an FBI agent, then moves on to two Seattle detectives chasing a suspect who gets away, destroying a forklift in the process, these two detectives are reassigned to a stakeout, watching the girlfriend of the escaped federal prisoner. One falls in love with her, the escaped convict eventually catches up to her, with them actually, and in the midst of their getaway, the escaped convict learns that his woman’s man is a cop, but the two detectives kill him, saving the day.
Stakeout is a 1987 American crime-comedy film directed by John Badham and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez, Madeleine Stowe, Aidan Quinn, and Forest Whitaker. The screenplay was written by Jim Kouf, who won a 1988 Edgar Award for his work. Although the story is set in Seattle, Washington, the movie was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. A sequel, Another Stakeout, followed in 1993. The movie later inspired a Malayalam language Indian movie Vandanam.
About the Story
Detectives Chris Lecce and Bill Reimers are assigned to the night shift on a stakeout of Latina waitress Maria McGuire. Maria’s former boyfriend Richard “Stick” Montgomery has escaped from a prison following a brawl with several guards, with help from his cousin Caylor, who helped him escape in a truck. The FBI asks for their full cooperation in the capture of Montgomery. They also begin to realize that his cousin is helping him get to Seattle. Fellow officers Pismo and Coldshank start playing pranks on Chris and Bill during the day shift.
Montgomery telephones Maria, but the line gets cut off so that Chris and Bill can trace her calls. He has a large amount of money that he secretly hid in an armchair prior to his incarceration. Lecce and Reimers spy on Maria, hoping that Montgomery will turn up at her door so they can arrest him. Lecce is going through a divorce with his wife. He comes home and finds out that she moved out and took his furniture, leaving him in despair. Lecce pretends to be a telephone lineman, in order to get close to Maria. He also helps her brother Ray get a job, that way he’ll stop doing criminal activities, and have a normal life without getting into trouble.
Fate takes a turn for the worse as Lecce falls in love with Maria and the Seattle police suspect him as one of Montgomery’s allies. While asleep in Maria’s bed, Montgomery and Caylor break into her house and with Montgomery killing Lecce by shooting him in the face. Lecce wakes up and finds out it was a nightmare. Not only that, he finds out he slept in, and must leave the house without being seen. Chris runs through Maria’s neighborhood without being captured by the police, until Bill saves him at the last minute. At the police station, Bill scolds him for sleeping with Maria, but Chris promises he will tell her the truth of who he really is. Bill reminds Chris that he’s a good cop that made one mistake.
Directed by: John Badham
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez, Madeleine Stowe, Aidan Quinn, Dan Lauria, Forest Whitaker, Ian Tracey, Beatrice Boepple, Earl Billings, Jackson Davies
Screenplay by: Jim Kouf
Production Design by: Philip Harrison
Cinematography by: John Seale
Film Editing by: Michael Ripps, Tom Rolf
Costume Design by: Mary E. Vogt
Set Decoration by: Rose Marie McSherry
Art Direction by: Richard Hudolin
Music by: Arthur B. Rubinstein
Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: August 5, 1987