- Beyond the Law
Infobox Film | name = Beyond the Law
caption = "Beyond the Law" Artisan DVD Cover
Richard N. Gladstein Ronna B. Wallace Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr.
Charlie Sheen Linda Fiorentino Michael Madsen Courtney B. Vance Leon Rippy
John D'Andrea Cory Lerios
Robert M. Stevens
Don Brochu Robert C. Jones
HBO, 1992 U.S. release
runtime = 108 min
language = English
imdb_id = 0103805
"Beyond the Law" is a
1992 filmwritten and directed by Larry Ferguson.
Dan Saxon is an undercover cop who infiltrates a biker gang to arrest the men behind a drug-smuggling/arms-dealing operation. In order to maintain the trust of the gang's leader, he must commit ever more dangerous and heinous crimes. Just how far 'beyond the law' will Saxon go?
Charlie Sheen– Daniel 'Dan' Saxon (AKA Sid)
Linda Fiorentino– Renee Jason
Michael Madsen– Blood
Courtney B. Vance– Conroy Price
Leon Rippy– Virgil
Rip Torn– Deputy Prescott
Based on a true storycite video |people=Larry Ferguson (Writer-Director) |date2= |month2= |year2=1992 |title=Beyond the Law |url= |format= |medium=DVD (Insert & Special Features) |publisher=Artisan |location= |accessdate= |accessmonth= |accessyear= |time= |quote= ] , the film centers on Dan Saxon, a cop with a troubled childhood past. He is enlisted by Conroy Price, an agent in Arizona's State Attorney General's office, to go undercover to bust the illegal drugs and
arms trafficking. Saxon is unsuccessful until he meets and befriends Virgil, a mechanic who introduces him to the seedy world of outlaw bikers. Virgil tutors Saxon on bikes and those who ride them. After many lessons and a major change in appearance Saxon develops an alter ego named Sid and ends up infiltrating the outlaw motorcycle brotherhood and earning the trust of Blood, the leader of the local biker gang. At the same time, he begins a relationship with a photojournalist, Renee Jason, who is aware of his dual life. As Saxon falls deeper into this world of crime, he becomes more unbalanced. Can Dan Saxon complete his assignment without losing his life or mind?
Larry Ferguson wrote the screenplay after reading the article "Undercover Angel" by
Lawrence Lindermanin the July, 1981 issue of Playboyon an undercover agent named Dan Black. Black served as a technical advisor on the film and appeared as an extra in the movie. In some foreign markets, the movie is known as "Fixing the Shadow". [cite web |url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103805/ |title=Beyond the Law (1992) |accessdate=2008-02-15 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work=IMDB |publisher=Internet Movie Database |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=Also Known As:Fixing the Shadow (International: English title) ]
This film was an
HBOrelease, but has attracted a cult following. Officers who have worked undercover have said the movie is very accurate in its depiction of undercover operations.cite web |url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103805/usercomments |title=Beyond the Law (1992) - IMDb user comments |accessdate=2008-02-15 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work=IMDB |publisher=Internet Movie Database |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Also, those familiar with the outlaw motorcycle brotherhood have also said the movie is very accurate. This seems reasonable as the film is based on a true story. The fact that the DVD is often available in the "Under $5 DVD Value Bin" of retail chains also adds to the cult following.cite news |first=M. |last=Welling |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Beyond the Bin |url= |format= |work=The Trumpet |publisher=West Liberty State College |location=West Liberty, WV |id= |pages= |page= |date=2004-10-26 |accessdate= |language= |quote= |archiveurl= |archivedate= ] It is not uncommon for fans of the movie to "dumpster dive" the value bin and purchase every copy they find. In addition, some cult fans have adopted a philosophical view of the movie in that all of life's mysteries and answers lie within the film, sometimes hidden, sometimes not, in parables and metaphors. The skillful use of literary archetypes in this film no doubt contributes to this perception.
*Bogus Charlie's story of the Indian brave who loses his shadow foreshadows the movie's plot.
*The setting is the
desertof the Southwest. Deserts often represent a trial of character. Many such examples are included throughout history, stories in the Bibleare of particular note. The Tribes of Israelspent forty years in the desert to gain admission into the Promised Land. Jesusspent forty days in the desert and then faced temptations by the Devil. For a non-Biblical example, in " The Grapes of Wrath", a drought begins the trials for the Joad family. Along these lines, the character of Dan Saxon is tried and purified by his time in a similar setting.
Rainoften symbolizes purification. When it rains at the conclusion of the movie, it signifies Dan Saxon's trial is complete. " The Grapes of Wrath" concludes in a similar way. With the connection to the birthing process (when the water breaks), rain often symbolizes rebirth.
*Dan Saxon removing his shirt, gloves, and necklace at the end of the film symbolizes him shedding his former self.
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