Tequila Sunrise is a 1988 American romantic crime drama film directed by Robert Towne and produced by Thom Mount. The screenplay was written by Robert Towne.
Rated: R (movie contains violence, intense fight scenes and language)
Run Time: 1h 55min
Release Date: December 2, 1988 (USA)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
Director: Robert Towne
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Budget: $23 Million
Box Office: $106 Million
Tequila Sunrise is a story about a former L.A. drug smuggler named Dale ‘Mac’ McKussic (Mel Gibson) who is trying to clean up his act and now runs a legitimate business. Meanwhile, his close friend since high school, Nick Frescia (Kurt Russell) is a Detective Lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who is working on a joint investigation with the DEA and the Mexican Federal police to take down a Mexican drug lord named Carlos.
The Sheriff’s Department is working with the DEA to apprehend the Mexican cartel’s kingpin while DEA Agent Hal Maguire (J.T. Walsh) believes McKussic to be involved in a large rumored cocaine deal with Carlos and has him under constant surveillance to try to pin down the deal with Carlos.
Mac is attracted to stylish restaurant owner Jo Ann Vallenari (Michelle Pfeiffer) and spends a lot of time at her restaurant. Nick becomes acquainted with Jo Ann while attempting to learn more about mac’s activities, particularly his relationship with Carlos whom the DEA agents and Mexican federal police commandante Escalante (Raul Julia) believes is coming to town. Soon Nick’s loyalties are put to the test when he begins an affair with Jo Ann, a love interest of Mac’s who unwittingly leads his friend into a police-orchestrated trap.
“Friendship is the only choice in life you can make that’s yours! You can’t choose your family, God damn it – I’ve had to face that! And no man should be judged for whatever direction his dick goes – that’s like blaming a compass for pointing north, for Christ’s sake! Friendship is all we have! We chose each other.” – Carlos
“You go to a good deal of trouble to explain an inconsequential event, Lieutenant.” – Escalante
“I don’t know what it is about going to high school with someone that makes you feel you’re automatically friends for life. Who says friendship lasts forever? We’d all like it to, maybe. But maybe… it just wears out like everything else. Like tires. There’s just so much mileage in them and then you’re riding around on nothing but air.” – Lindroff
“Let’s see now: you’ve lost half a million dollars, confiscated a ton of useless coke, and been responsible for the murder of a federal informant, and that… that’s just tonight.” – Frescia
Official Movie Trailer
Mel Gibson as Dale ‘Mac’ McKussic
Michelle Pfeiffer as Jo Ann Vallenari
Kurt Russell as Lt. Nick Frescia
Raul Julia as Carlos / Commandante Xavier Escalante
J.T. Walsh as DEA Agent Hal Maguire
Arliss Howard as Gregg Lindroff
Arye Gross as Andy Leonard
Gabriel Damon as Cody McKussic
Daniel Zacapa as Arturo
Ann Magnuson as Shaleen McKussic