Falling Down

Falling Down

4.2 8
Director: Joel Schumacher

Cast: Joel Schumacher, Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey


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It's just not William Foster's (Michael Douglas) day. Laid off from his defense job, Foster gets stuck in the middle of the mother of all traffic jams. Desirous of attending his daughter's birthday party at the home of his ex-wife (Barbara Hershey), Foster abandons his car and begins walking, encountering one urban humiliation after another (the Korean shopkeeper who…  See more details below


It's just not William Foster's (Michael Douglas) day. Laid off from his defense job, Foster gets stuck in the middle of the mother of all traffic jams. Desirous of attending his daughter's birthday party at the home of his ex-wife (Barbara Hershey), Foster abandons his car and begins walking, encountering one urban humiliation after another (the Korean shopkeeper who obstinately refuses to give change is the worst of the batch). He also slowly unravels mentally, finally snapping at a fast-food restaurant that refuses to serve him breakfast because it's "too late." Running amok with an arsenal of weapons at the ready, Foster -- also known as "D-FENS" because of his vanity license plate -- rapidly becomes a source of terror to some, a folk hero to others. It's up to reluctant cop Prendergast (Robert Duvall), on the eve of his retirement, to bring D-FENS down.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Joel Schumacher's social commentary features an exceptional performance from Michael Douglas as D-Fens, a man who unravels under the weight of the nerve-wracking oppression of the Establishment. Balancing precariously on the edge of convention, D-Fens' sense of the "American way" is increasingly undermined as one frustration after another materializes during his mission through the urban jungle of Los Angeles. In the course of his plunge into a profound, sociopathic disillusionment, D-Fens strips away society's constructs to reveal internally flawed social and economic mechanisms. The host of caricatures he encounters, from a stingy Korean store owner to uncompromising fast-food employees, turf-conscious gangbangers and a neo-Nazi army-surplus store owner (played with gleeful ickiness by Frederic Forrest), are products of a dehumanizing social and economic system, and are used to symbolize capitalism's darker side. Schumacher does well to pinpoint the flaws of the system, but unfortunately he offers nothing in the way of solutions. Meanwhile, both Douglas and the peerless Robert Duvall nail their respective roles and find their grooves within a well-written script. This street-smart film is as entertaining as it is biting, but ultimately suffers from a denouement not nearly as spectacular as its build-up; what could have been a modern masterpiece is downgraded to exceedingly above-average cinema.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary by Michael Douglas and director Joel Schumacher; A Conversation with Michael Douglas; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Douglas D-Fens/William Foster
Robert Duvall Prendergast
Barbara Hershey Beth
Rachel Ticotin Sandra
Tuesday Weld Mrs. Prendergast
Frederic Forrest Surplus Store Owner
Lois Smith D-Fens' Mother
Carol Androsky Woman who Throws Up "Whammyburger"
Marion Dougherty Actor
Mary Ella Ross Featured
Ebbe Roe Smith Guy on Freeway
Michael Paul Chan Mr. Lee
Raymond J. Barry Captain Yardley
D.W. Moffett Detective Lydecker
Stephen Park Detective Brian
Kimberly Scott Detective Jones
James Keane Detective Keene
Macon McCalman Detective Graham
Richard Montoya Detective Sanchez
Bruce Beatty Police Clerk
Mathew Saks Officer At Station
Agustin Rodriguez Gang Member 1
Eddie Frias Gang Member 2
Pat Romano Gang Member 3
Fabio Urena Gang Member 4
Karina Arroyave Angie
Irene Olga Lopez Angie's Mother
Benjamin Mouton Uniformed Officer at Beth's
Dean Hallo Uniformed Officer's Partner
James Morrison Construction Sign Man by Bus Stop
John Fleck Seedy Guy in Park
Brent Hinkley Rich "Whammyburger"
DeDee Pfeiffer Sheila "Whammyburger"
Vondie Curtis-Hall Not Economically Viable Man
Mark Frank Annoying Man at Phone Booth
Spencer Rochfort 2nd Gay Man
Carole Ita White 2nd Officer at Beth's
Russell Curry 2nd Officer's Partner
John Fink Guy Behind Woman Driver
Jack Kehoe Street Worker
Jack Betts Frank (Golfer)
Al Mancini Jim (Golfer)
John Diehl Dad "Back Yard Party"
Amy Morton Mom "Back Yard Party"
Wayne Duvall Paramedic
Peter Radon 1st Gay Man
Jordan Foster Bob

Technical Credits
Joel Schumacher Director
Andrzej Bartkowiak Cinematographer
William S. Beasley Associate Producer,Production Designer
Stephen Brown Co-producer
Marion Dougherty Casting
Jann K. Engel Set Decoration/Design
Larry Fulton Art Director
Nana Greenwald Co-producer
Timothy Harris Producer
Paul Hirsch Editor
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Mike Jackman Producer
Dan Kolsrud Co-producer
Arnold Kopelson Producer
Barbara Ling Production Designer
Arnon Milchan Executive Producer
Brad Ricker Set Decoration/Design
Cricket Rowland Set Decoration/Design
Michael Runyard Stunts
Ebbe Roe Smith Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Marlene Stewart Costumes/Costume Designer
Herschel Weingrod Producer

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Falling Down 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
While it's fun to watch the main character in his battles with every day American cultures, the movie offers this and only that. Even though some of these encounters seem unrealistic. The story circles more around a soon retired cop, rather than the exciting main character himself. With that aside, it's very entertaining to see what the main character encounters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this man was mad as hell and he didn't take it any longer. most people dont realize that what he went through (all the rude people and terrible aspects of society) is what some people have to endure every day. he really wasn't such a bad guy and any one who disagrees is probally a plastic surgeon, a overpaid cop, or a violent gang member.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great movie. A 'must-see' movie. I enjoyed it so much! Some people might not agree with me, but according to me it's a black comedy slash drama pointing on many aspects of american culture and the so much celebrated 'american way of life'. It certainly is not a movie only about a 'mad bad guy' having a mad bad day...that certainly is not the case. Are you also 'not economically viable'? It is a movie to think about.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the films I have seen with Michael Douglas this has to be the most bizarre. It starts off in dead silence in a freeway gridlock then comes to life with a haunting soundtrack by James Newton Howard. The photography too by Andrzej Bartkowiak is stunning particularly the close up shots of Douglas getting agitated in the traffic jam and trying to swat a fly. Then he has those series of gruesome encounters with the overcharging Korean shopkeeper, the gang members who want his briefcase for trespassing on their stamping ground, the hold up in the fast food cafe over reluctance at serving him breakfast and the close shave he had in the Neo-Nazi's footwear shop. Things turned a little sticky after Douglas tackled the selfish golf course owner when he was sympathised with by the caretaker and his family. But the climax at the pier on Venice beach between him and Robert Duvall showing him getting shot and falling backward into the sea was brilliantly captured. I would recommend this for those who are not faint hearted and appreciate fine film making.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this film and its expository scenes on social and cultural alienation. Michael Douglas plays a conservative defense industry employee: a flashback to the conservatism of the 50s and early 60s. The Cold War's over and he's obsolete: out of place in the multi-ethnic communities of L.A. and without a job, the character's disillusionment turns to rage. Each scene reflects a different clash between Douglas' all-american character and the counter-cultural icons of modern times: non-european immigrants, corporate greed and sterility, gangs, divorce, child custody, etc. Robert Duvall is also similar to Douglas' character. As a cop, he's on the brink of retirement and out of tune with the times. His neurotic and traditional wife frustrated at his unwillingness to return home. Duvall's character pursuing Douglas' is almost as if he were chasing himself. Altogether a great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The last reviewer hit this movie right on the head, where Michael Douglas playing the unfortunate and very unstable Foster has become obselete in a world he dosen't recognize. One in which he used to dominate but now the tables have shifted and the minorities like the Koreans and Mexicans are getting jobs while European males working honestly (in his mind) are getting the shaft. A paranoid conservative at heart, Douglas does his best job acting with being authentic as the character and hating the world as he prepares to die, though according to him all he wants to do is see his daughter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago