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Encyclopedia > Assault on Precinct 13 (1976 film)
Assault on Precinct 13

Original promotional poster for theatrical release.
Directed by John Carpenter
Produced by J.S. Kaplan
Written by John Carpenter
Starring Austin Stoker
Darwin Joston
Music by John Carpenter
Cinematography Douglas Knapp
Distributed by CKK
Release date(s) November 5, 1976
(US release)
Running time 91 min.
Language English
IMDb profile

Assault on Precinct 13 is a 1976 action / thriller movie, directed by John Carpenter. It is an homage to the 1959 film Rio Bravo by Howard Hawks. Image File history File links Assault_on_precinct_thirteen_movie_poster. ... This article is about the director. ... This article is about the director. ... Austin Stoker (b. ... F. Darwin Solomon (December 9, 1937- June 1, 1998) was an American actor known professionally as Darwin Joston (sometimes credited as Darwin Jostin during the early years of his career ). A North Carolina native, Joston was born in Winston-Salem and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel... This article is about the director. ... November 5 is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 56 days remaining. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television that includes numerous, often-overlapping sub-genres. ... Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ... This article is about the director. ... For a description of the medieval homage ceremony see commendation ceremony Homage is generally used in modern English to mean any public show of respect to someone to whom you feel indebted. ... Rio Bravo (1959) is a western movie, directed by Howard Hawks. ... Howard Hawks Howard Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and writer of the classic Hollywood era. ...


Tagline:

  • L.A.'s deadliest street gang just declared war on the cops.

Contents

Plot

Set in Los Angeles, the action takes place in a run down neighborhood known as the 'Anderson ghetto', a decaying area filled with street gangs and thugs. Precinct 9, Division 13 is an old police station about to close and running on a skeleton staff comprised only of officer Chaney and the station's two secretaries, Leigh and Julie. Lieutenant Ethan Bishop, a newly promoted LA police officer, is assigned to run the station for its last few hours of service. Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ...


Meanwhile, a man named Lawson is driving through the Anderson area with his young daughter, Kathy, when he stops to make a call at a public telephone booth. While Lawson is on the phone, members of the violent Street Thunder gang shoot Kathy and an ice-cream vendor, killing the little girl instantly and fatally wounding the man. With his dying breath, the ice-cream vendor tells the father that there is a gun under the ice-cream truck's dashboard. Taking the gun, Lawson pursues the gang and kills the man who shot his daughter, but he is then chased by other street gang members. Seeking shelter, he runs into the almost deserted police station. In shock, Lawson cannot speak or reveal what is happening outside. Street Thunder is the name of the fictional, Los Angeles street gang in the 1976 John Carpenter film Assault on Precinct 13. ...


Around the same time, three prisoners are being transferred by bus from one penitentiary to another facility many hours away, when one prisoner becomes increasingly ill. Starker, the officer in charge of transporting the prisoners, decides to get medical assistance. He tells the bus driver to pull over at the nearest safe location, which happens to be Bishop's station. The prisoners, Napoleon Wilson (a convicted killer on his way to Death Row), Wells, and the sick Caudell are put into the holding cells while Starker attempts to call a doctor. The telephone lines (cut by the gang members) suddenly go dead, and Starker, frustrated by his inability to get help, prepares to put the prisoners back on the bus. Napoleon Wilson is a fictional character created by John Carpenter and played by Darwin Joston in Carpenters 1976 film, Assault on Precinct 13. ... Death Row is a term used in some countries, including the United States, which refers to the section of a prison that houses individuals awaiting execution. ...


To avenge the death of the gangster killed by Lawson, the street gang, armed with heavy weapons such as the Colt M16 and silenced pistols, suddenly open fire on the precinct. In a matter of seconds, they kill Chaney, the bus driver, Caudell, Starker, and the two uniformed officers assigned to support Starker during the prisoner transfer. While the bullets are flying, Bishop rescues Wilson, who is chained to (and trapped under) Starker's body. Bishop then puts Wilson and Wells back into the holding cells. M16 is the U.S. Military designation for a family of rifles derived from the ArmaLite AR-15. ...


The gang members, having already cut the telephone lines, then cut the station's electricity. Three gang members come forward to break a blood-filled "cholo" on the precinct's front steps, formally signifying that a siege is underway. Heavily outnumbered, without other options, and once again under attack as the gang members reprise their gunfire, Bishop sends Leigh down to the holding cells to release Wells and Wilson, who then take up arms. A battle rages as gang members launch a suicidal attack on the station in a crazed attempt to kill all inside. Wilson, Bishop, Wells, and Leigh all capably defend the station, but Julie is gunned down during the ensuing chaos. Cholo is a Spanish term of Latin American origin. ...


After the end of the gun battle, the gang members quickly remove all evidence of the skirmish and appear to momentarily retreat. Wilson, Bishop, Leigh, and Wells then decide that one person should try to sneak out of the station, hot-wire a car outside, and drive away to summon help. Since Leigh has a wounded arm, and Bishop doesn't know how to hot-wire a car, Wilson and Wells play a game of "potatoes" to decide who will go. Wells loses. Although Wells makes a valiant effort to accomplish his task, he is shot and killed by a gang member hiding in the back seat of the car.


As the gang members rally for a third time, Wilson, Leigh, and Bishop go down to the basement, taking the still-catatonic Lawson with them, and they stage a 'last stand'. This culminates in Bishop shooting an acetylene tank, which explodes violently and kills the gangsters inside the station. Police back-up arrives and secures the station, relieving the four survivors of the siege, Bishop, Leigh, Wilson, and Lawson. Acetylene (IUPAC name: ethyne) is the simplest alkyne hydrocarbon, consisting of two hydrogen atoms and two carbon atoms connected by a triple bond. ...


Cast

Actor Role
Austin Stoker Lt. Ethan Bishop
Darwin Joston Napoleon Wilson
Laurie Zimmer Leigh
Tony Burton Wells
Nancy Loomis Julie
Henry Brandon Officer Chaney
Charles Cyphers Starker
Kim Richards Kathy
Martin West Lawson
Peter Frankland Caudell

Austin Stoker (b. ... F. Darwin Solomon (December 9, 1937- June 1, 1998) was an American actor known professionally as Darwin Joston (sometimes credited as Darwin Jostin during the early years of his career ). A North Carolina native, Joston was born in Winston-Salem and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel... Laurie Zimmer (also credited as Laura Fanning) is an American former actress best known for her role as Leigh, the courageous secretary of the besieged police station, Precinct 9, Division 13, in John Carpenters 1976, Howard Hawks-inspired, action film, Assault on Precinct 13. ... Tony Burton is an American actor. ... Nancy Louise Kyes (b. ... Born Heinrich Von Kleinbach on 8 June 1912 in Berlin, Germany, Henry Brandon was a character actor in over 100 American films, famous for playing Indian, Arab, Persian, Turkish, Native American and East Asian roles, usually villians. ... Charles Cyphers (b. ... Kim Richards (born September 19, 1964 in Mineola, New York) was an American child actress of the 1970s. ...

The "Ice Cream Truck" scene

The most infamous scene in the movie is the one in which a gang member deliberately shoots and kills a little girl standing near an ice-cream truck. The MPAA threatened to give the film an X-rating if the scene wasn't cut. Following the advice of his distributor, Carpenter gave the appearance of complying by cutting the scene from the copy he gave to the MPAA, but he distributed the film with the "ice cream truck" scene intact. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is a non-profit trade association formed to advance the interests of movie studios. ... X-rated, X certificate, X classification or similar terms are labels for movies implying strong adult content, typically pornography or violence. ...


Title misnomer

Although the film's title is Assault on Precinct 13, the action mainly takes place in a police station referred to as Precinct 9, Division 13, by Bishop's Staff Seargent over the radio (even though a sign on the station reads Division 14). There have been two movies titled Assault on Precinct 13: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976 movie) Assault on Precinct 13 (2005 movie) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


The film's distributor was responsible for the misnomer. John Carpenter initially intended to call the film The Anderson Alamo, but he changed the title to The Siege before filming commenced. During post-production, however, the distributor decided to abandon Carpenter's title in favor of the film's present name. The moniker "Precinct 13" was used in order to give the new title a more ominous tone.


Critical reception and reassessment

DVD cover for Assault on Precinct 13.
DVD cover for Assault on Precinct 13.

The film was originally released in the United States in 1976 to mixed critical reviews and unimpressive box office earnings. The following year, however, it was screened at the 21st London Film Festival, where it was one of the festival's best-received films and garnered tremendous critical and popular acclaim. The overwhelmingly positive British response to the film led to its critical and commercial success throughout Europe. Subsequently, the film underwent a reassessment by American critics and audiences, and it is now generally considered one of the best action films of the 1970s. John Carpenter has said that the British audiences immediately understood and enjoyed the film's similarities to American westerns, whereas American audiences were too familiar with the western genre to fully appreciate the movie at first. DVD case cover for Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), deemed fair use This is a DVD cover. ... DVD case cover for Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), deemed fair use This is a DVD cover. ... The Times bfi London Film Festival is the UKs largest public film event, screening 300 films from 60 countries. ...


Soundtrack

Assault on Precinct 13
Assault on Precinct 13 cover
Soundtrack by John Carpenter
Released 2003
Recorded 1976
Genre Electronic
Film score
Length 24:36
Label Record Makers

One of the film's stand out features is its influential score, composed and recorded by director John Carpenter. The combination of synthesizer hooks, electronic drones and drum machines set it apart from many other scores of the period and created a distinct style of minimalist electronic soundtrack for which Carpenter, and his films, would become associated. The score consists of two main themes; the main title theme, with its familiar synthesizer melody, and a slower more contemplative theme used in the film's more subdued scenes. Besides these two themes the soundtrack also features a series of ominous drones and primal drum patterns which often represented the anonymous gang gathering in the shadows. Image File history File links Assaultalbumcover. ... Soundtrack refers to the recorded sound accompanying a visual medium such as a motion picture, television show, or video game. ... This article is about the director. ... A music genre is a category (or genre) of pieces of music that share a certain style or basic musical language (van der Merwe 1989, p. ... Electronic music is a term for music created using electronic devices. ... A film score is the music in a film, generally written for the film and often used to heighten emotions provoked by the imagery on the screen or by the dialogue. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is about the director. ...


Beyond its use in the film, the score is often cited as an influence on various electronic and hip hop artists with its main title theme being sampled by artists including Afrika Bambaataa, I-F, Dead Prez and Bomb the Bass, whose song "Megablast" featured a sample of the score and was used in the soundtrack to the video game Xenon 2 Megablast. A new cover of the theme called "Precinct 13" was released by Tape Recording Club in November 2006. Electronic music is a term for music created using electronic devices. ... Hip hop music, also referred to as rap or rap music, is a style of popular music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. ... Afrika Bambaataa (born Kevin Donovan on April 17 or October 4, 1957 or 1960)[1] is a DJ and community leader from the South Bronx, who was instrumental in the early development of hip hop throughout the 1970s. ... I-F (short for Inter-Ference; real name Ferenc E. van der Sluijs) is a band created in 1993 in Den Haag, The Netherlands. ... Dead Prez Dead Prez is the pair of underground alternative rappers, Sticman and M-1. ... Bomb the Bass was the creation of the British musician Tim Simenon. ... Xenon 2 (Atari ST) Xenon 2 Megablast is a computer game for the Amiga, Atari ST and PC computer platforms. ...


Despite this influence, except for a few compilation appearances, the film's score remained available only in bootleg form until 2003 when it was given an official release through the French Record Makers label, owned by electronic band Air who also consider the soundtrack to have had an influence on their music. Air is a French duo, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel. ...


Track listing

  1. "Assault On Precinct 13 (Main Title)"
  2. "Napoleon Wilson"
  3. "Street Thunder"
  4. "Precinct 9 - Division 13"
  5. "Targets / Ice Cream Man On Edge"
  6. "Wrong Flavour"
  7. "Emergy Stop"
  8. "Lawson's Revenge"
  9. "Sanctuary"
  10. "Second Wave"
  11. "The Windows!"
  12. "Julie"
  13. "Well's Flight"
  14. "To The Basement"
  15. "Walking Out"
  16. "Assault On Precinct 13"

Miscellanea

  • In addition to writing, directing, and scoring the film, John Carpenter also edited it, but he used the pseudonym John T. Chance, the name of John Wayne's character in Rio Bravo, for his editing credit.

John Wayne (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), popularly known as The Duke, [1] was an Academy Award winning, American film actor whose career began in silent movies in the 1920s. ...

See also

// Events March 22 - Filming begins on George Lucas Star Wars science fiction film. ... Promotional poster for Assault on Precinct 13 Assault on Precinct 13 is a 2005 action/thriller movie, directed by Jean-François Richet. ... Austin Stoker (b. ... F. Darwin Solomon (December 9, 1937- June 1, 1998) was an American actor known professionally as Darwin Joston (sometimes credited as Darwin Jostin during the early years of his career ). A North Carolina native, Joston was born in Winston-Salem and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel... Napoleon Wilson is a fictional character created by John Carpenter and played by Darwin Joston in Carpenters 1976 film, Assault on Precinct 13. ... This article is about the director. ... Laurie Zimmer (also credited as Laura Fanning) is an American former actress best known for her role as Leigh, the courageous secretary of the besieged police station, Precinct 9, Division 13, in John Carpenters 1976, Howard Hawks-inspired, action film, Assault on Precinct 13. ... Promotional poster for The Nest The Nest (2002), also known as Nid de guêpes, is a French action/thriller movie, directed by Florent Emilio Siri. ...

External links


The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about actors, films, television shows, video games and production crew personnel. ...

The Films of John Carpenter
Feature films
Dark Star | Assault on Precinct 13 | Halloween | The Fog | Escape from New York | The Thing | Christine | Starman | Big Trouble in Little China | Prince of Darkness | They Live | Memoirs of an Invisible Man | In the Mouth of Madness | Village of the Damned | Escape from L.A. | Vampires | Ghosts of Mars | Psychopath
Made for television
Someone's Watching Me | Elvis | Body Bags | John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns
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  Results from FactBites:
 
assault: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from Answers.com (2538 words)
An assault may be both a crime and a tort, for which the party assaulted may sue for damages; the victim's freedom, as to move or remain at peace, must have been impinged on.
As in aggravated assault, the severity of the crime, the extent of violence and harm, and the criminal intent of the defendant are all factors considered in determining the sentence imposed.
Aggravated assault is usually differentiated from simple assault by the offender's intent (i.e., to murder, to rape etc.), the extent of the injury to the victim, or the use of a deadly weapon, although legal definitions vary between jurisdictions.
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976 film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1306 words)
Assault on Precinct 13 is a 1976 action / thriller movie, directed by John Carpenter.
It is an homage to the 1959 film Rio Bravo by Howard Hawks.
Precinct 9, Division 13 is an old police station about to close and running on a skeleton staff comprised only of officer Chaney and the station's two secretaries, Leigh and Julie.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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