Out of Bounds (1986 film)

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Out of Bounds
Out of bounds.jpg
Out of Bounds movie poster
Directed byRichard Tuggle
Produced byCharles W. Fries
John Tarnoff
Ray Hartwick
Michael S. Rosenfeld
Written byTony Kayden
Music byStewart Copeland
CinematographyBruce Surtees
Edited byKent Beyda
Delphi V Productions
Fogbound Productions
Fries Entertainment
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 25, 1986 (1986-07-25)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$9 million[1]
Box office$5,099,316 (USA)

Out of Bounds is a 1986 American action crime neo noir thriller film directed by Richard Tuggle and starring Anthony Michael Hall.[2]


Hall portrays Daryl Cage, an Iowa farm boy whose parents send him to live in Los Angeles with his brother. At the airport, Daryl's suitcase full of checkered flannel shirts is switched with one containing a drug kingpin's heroin. The gangster boss has Cage's brother and his live-in girlfriend murdered, but the police suspect Daryl of the crime. Cage becomes the prime suspect of his brother's murder and must clear his own name. He must also rid himself of the heroin by tracking down the kingpin.




The film was the idea of executive producer John Tarnott, who wanted to make a "fish out of water" tale set in the Los Angeles club scene. He hired TV writer Tony Kayden to a script.[1]

"I really wanted to capture the L.A. underground scene-where the runaways come, where the real low-lifes go and where the clubs come and go very fast," said Kayden. "I was always a fan of the punk scene and all the bands, like Suicidal Tendencies, the Gun Club and Tex and the Horseheads. A lot of the kids in the film are loosely based on characters I'd see hanging out around town. There's a very strange, transient sub-culture here made up of kids that come to L.A. for one thing and end up going in a totally different direction."[1]

The film was directed by Richard Tuggle, who was best known for having written two Clint Eastwood films, Escape from Alcatraz and Tightrope. Tuggle worked on the script with Kyaden, changing the hero from a Westchester, N.Y. kid interested in heavy metal to an Iowa farm boy. Tuggle felt that this would give a greater contrast between the hero and the world he fell in to.[3]

"There's no question in my mind that writing is more creative than directing," he says. "A writer is battling himself to make his stuff better. A director is battling the studio, which is trying to spend less; the weather; mechanical problems on the set and other people's creative feelings, not to mention the crazy hours. He ends up spending no more than 20 per cent of his time on artistic decisions. It's exhausting."[3]

Tuggle said the film was "a combination of two genres that I've always been attracted to. One is the fish-out- of-water genre... The other part is basically the innocent person in jeopardy, the Hitchcockian person-on-the-run kind of suspense."[3]


The lead role was given to Anthony Michael Hall; who had recently achieved fame in starring roles as a "geek" character in a number of 1980s teen movies, such as Sixteen Candles and was grouped in with The Brat Pack. Hall said "The so-called Brat Pack is an invention of some journalist and I don't consider those people my peer group. I don't like being lumped in with a group of people... I have my own thing to say."[4]

Hall made the film after Weird Science, and Out of Bounds was his first non comedy. "I hope it [puts an entirely different slant on my career," he said.[4] (At this stage he was also developing a script based on The Basketball Diaries and a biopic of a bantamweight boxer.[4] He had also came close to starring in Full Metal Jacket.[1])

Tuggle said Hall was "kind of grown up now; he's taller and bigger, and he has a vulnerable side to him that will appeal to the audience."[3]


Filming started December. Tuggle said, "My hardest decision on the movie had to do with suspense. A comedy director has to choose between actually showing a man slip on a banana peel or concentrating on the anticipation, the knowledge that he's going to slip on it. The same thing happens in suspense."[3]

The film featured a cameo from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Siouxsie said, "We all appear in this club scene they're busy shooting at the moment, but they flew us over especially to do it, which is nice...We read the script and really liked it and then thought, 'Yeah, why not do it?' It's basically a cops 'n robbers type thriller, and quite upbeat --the good guy gets the bad guy, and we're featured in a club scene playing one of our songs, 'Cities in Dust.' At least they're just letting us be ourselves, which makes quite a change from the usual offers."[5]

Tuggle and Hall clashed during filming. The director says the movie "was the story of an innocent farm boy who unknowingly stumbles into a drug deal. When Michael took the part, I thought he understood the sort of character he was meant to play because the script made it clear. When we started shooting, I was stunned to discover he intended to play it like a Clint Eastwood tough guy."[1]

According to a Los Angeles Times report from the set, Hall "kept his distance from most of the cast, rarely spoke to crew members and treated visitors as if they were carrying the plague. He seemed particularly allergic to cameras, at least any that weren't preserving his performance for posterity," being un co operative during visits to the set by Gov. George Deukmejian and behind the cameras filming. According to the Times, "This attitude didn't endear him to his co-workers, who like most crews, form strong opinions about stars on the set... The crew frequently referred to Hall as either "the Brat" or "Anthony Michael Moron"."[1]

"There's something about Michael that makes you like him and want to hug him," Tuggle said "but for some reason he seems bent on destroying that part of himself. People respond to his innocence, but he wants to be a cool leading man... It was hard to discuss things rationally with him," rec"[1]

"Young actors tend to be more emotional than veteran ones," said Tuggle. "The positive side of that is that they're really giving a lot. The negative is that they often get carried away with their emotions. But when Michael's really cooking, it can be exciting. I almost don't want to calm him down, because you lose a lot of the energy of the performance." [1]


The film's soundtrack featured songs by Stewart Copeland & Adam Ant, Robert Berry, Night Ranger, Belinda Carlisle, The Smiths, The Cult, The Lords of the New Church, Sammy Hagar, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The Night Ranger song "Wild & Innocent Youth" has never appeared on any of the band's albums to date.

According to the DVD accompanying the box set for 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong, the Bon Jovi song "Out of Bounds" was written as the title song from the movie, but it did not make it. Y&T's "Wild If I Wanna" appears in a short sequence in the film, but did not make the soundtrack. It eventually appeared on the band's 2003 release Unearthed, Vol. 1 and made the group's setlists around that time due to popular demand.

In the 1999 reissue of the Girls, Girls, Girls album, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx claimed that the instrumental track "Nona" was originally commissioned for this film.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h DOWN AND UNDERGROUND IN HOLLYWOOD: [Home Edition] Goldstein, Patrick. Los Angeles Times 2 Mar 1986: 3
  2. ^ James, Caryn (July 25, 1986). "SCREEN: 'OUT OF BOUNDS,' A THRILLER". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c d e First he lost his job, then he found directing Yakir, Dan. The Globe and Mail 18 July 1986: D.7.

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