Midnight Run (1988) Poster

(1988)

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  • A "midnight run" is originally a slang term for a quick, late-night shopping trip to the corner store for beer, cigarettes or snacks. In bounty hunter slang, a midnight run is an easy job. The phrase has been used from time to time on the TV show Dog the Bounty Hunter (2003). In the movie, bond agent Moscone (Joe Pantoliano) promises Walsh (Robert De Niro) that his assignment will be an easy job, ie a "midnight run". In addition, to fulfill the contract, the fugitive has to be brought in by Friday midnight, lending further meaning to the movie title. Edit

  • At the start of the movie, when Jack Walsh brings Monroe Bouchet (John Toles-Bey) to the police station to be booked, a policeman says to Jack, "Hey Jack, the Soda machine's been out for a week and a half." Jack responds to this comment with a contemptuous smirk. It is likely that the policeman means it as a sign of disrespect to Jack. He is saying something like "You must be here to fix the soda machine, because you sure don't work here." It's an acknowledgment that Jack used to be a cop, but has now fallen on hard times, and has no real business in a police station. Edit

  • It is most likely a nickname which originated in his real name—Jonathan Mardukas. His surname is pronounced Mar-Duke-Is, with the stress naturally falling on the second syllable (Duke), hence the nickname of the Duke. Edit

  • Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) finds Mardukas (Charles Grodin) relatively easily by checking his police booking slip, and finding the number Mardukas called immediately after he was arrested. Jack then has his police contact find out where the house is to which the number belongs. Jack then taps the phone line in the house and calls the house pretending to be an FBI agent looking into the Mardukas case. This prompts the woman who lives in the house to immediately call Mardukas himself. However, because Jack has tapped the line, he is then able to discover exactly where Mardukas is staying. As such, Jack is able to find Mardukas easily, in contrast to the FBI and the mob, both of whom are unaware of what city Mardukas is even in. Obviously, in reality, this is preposterous, the FBI would easily have been able to do what Jack did, and the Mob, one would imagine, would have their own contacts with access to police files. However, in the context of the film, the incident is simply a way of presenting Jack as resourceful and determined, whilst the FBI and the mob are shown to be quite inept, always a few steps behind Jack. Edit

  • Marvin Dorfler (John Ashton) is able to cancel Jack's (Robert De Niro) credit card simply by calling the credit card company, giving his name and card number, and saying he has lost his card. In 1988, there were few checks in place to stop such things. Credit card issuers were interested in stopping unauthorized use of cards, not unauthorized cancellations. The question of how could Marvin have known Jack's credit card number in the first place is left open, but some hints are given. Marvin is shown several times during the movie as being thoroughly unscrupulous, it is probable that Marvin simply got Jack's card number at some stage in the past and kept it for just such an incident as is seen in the film. Edit

  • Because, as Mardukas says, it's not a bribe, it's a gift; Jack has already let Mardukas go before Mardukas gives him the money, so taking the money from Mardukas does not violate Jack's moral code in any way. Edit

  • The R1 US DVD, released by Universal Home Entertainment in 2003, contains the following special features:

    An untitled 7-minute behind-the-scenes featurette made in 1988, featuring interviews with Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Richard Foronjy, Robert Miranda, Martin Brest and George Gallo.

    Original Theatrical Trailer

    The R2 UK DVD, released by Universal Home Entertainment (UK) in 2003 has the trailer, but loses the featurette. Edit

  • Yes, it is. The Region B locked UK edition, released in 2015, contains the following special features:

    • "We Got the Duke" - an interview with Charles Grodin

    • "Moscone Bail Bonds" - an interview with Joe Pantoliano

    • "Hey Marvin!" - an interview with John Ashton

    • "Midnight Writer" - an interview with screenwriter George Gallo

    • "I'm Mosely!" - an interview with Yaphet Kotto

    • The original 7-minute "making of" featurette

    • The Region A locked US edition, released by Shout! Factory in 2016, contains all the special features from the UK edition, plus

    • A new 2K resolution scan of the original film elements

    • "Being Jack Walsh" - an interview with Robert De Niro Edit

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