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 Posted:   Aug 3, 2021 - 12:56 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

ROCKY II picks up where the original ROCKY left off, as “Rocky Balboa” (Sylvester Stallone) struggles in family life after his bout with “Apollo Creed” (Carl Weathers), while the victorious but embarrassed champ insistently goads him to accept a challenge for a rematch. Frank McRae appeared in his third Stallone film, playing a foreman in a meat-packing plant.

Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed this 1979 sequel. Bill Conti’s score was released on a United Artists LP, which was re-issued on CD by EMI Manhattan in 1996. The $7.6 million film was #5 at the American box office, grossing more than $85 million.

 Posted:   Aug 3, 2021 - 11:09 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Frank McRae closed out a busy 1979 (with 3 acting projects) in Steven Spielberg's spectacular comedy 1941. The film found hysterical Californians preparing for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor. McRae (the only black actor in the film) played “Pvt. Ogden Johnson Jones” in the picture.

Frank McRae (center front) in 1941

John Williams’ score was released on an Arista LP, which was re-issued on CD by Bay Cities in 1989, Alhambra in 1990, and Varese Sarabande in 1997. La-La Land released an expanded version of the score in 2011. The $26.5 million production disappointed at the U.S. box office, garnering just $31.8 million. It did much better overseas, pushing its total worldwide gross to $92.5 million.

 Posted:   Aug 5, 2021 - 1:31 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Frank McRae had his first co-starring role and his first poster credit in Robert Zemeckis' 1980 comedy USED CARS. In the film, when the owner of a struggling used car lot (Jack Warden) is killed, it's up to the lot's hot-shot salesman—“Rudy Russo” (Kurt Russell), “Jeff” (Gerrit Graham), and “Jim the Mechanic” (McRae)—to save the property from falling into the hands of the owner's ruthless brother and used-car rival (also Jack Warden).

Gerrit Graham, Kurt Russell, and Frank McRae in USED CARS

Frank McRae's character, Jim the Mechanic, is loosely based on a weird garage mechanic who writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale encountered on a road trip. Ernest Gold's score for the film was rejected and replaced with one by Patrick Williams. Both scores were released on a 2012 La-La Land CD.

Gene Blakely and Frank McRae in USED CARS

Columbia Pictures spent $6 million to produce the film and laid down another $3 million in advertising and promotion. The film was a box office disappointment, with a domestic gross of $11.7 million.

CBS commissioned a pilot for a half-hour sitcom called “Used Cars,” but the show wasn’t picked up by the network. The pilot featured Frank McRae reprising his character of “Jim” from the film. The show also starred Fred McCarren, Clayton Landey, and Deborah Harmon as a young woman who inherits a used car lot and tries to keep it reputable and honest.

 Posted:   Aug 5, 2021 - 1:05 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In Monterey, California’s largely abandoned CANNERY ROW, a marine biologist named “Doc” (Nick Nolte) collects sea animals to sell to local universities. Doc is well-known among the residents of the Row, including a group of vagabonds who live across from his shack. Among them are “Mac” (M. Emmet Walsh), the eldest, and a brutishly large African American man named “Hazel” (Frank McRae), who suffers from a mental disability.

Nick Nolte and Frank McRae in CANNERY ROW

David S. Ward adapted the screenplay for the film from John Steinbeck’s novels Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday. Ward also made his directorial debut on the 1982 film. Jack Nitzsche’s score has not had a release. The $11.3 million production was a flop at the box office, grossing just $5.3 million in the U.S.

 Posted:   Aug 5, 2021 - 11:58 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Frank McRae appeared as “Police Chief Haden” in the 1982 cop buddy action-comedy 48 HRS.. In the film, Sonny Landham played "Billy Bear," a Native American man who helps one of a group of work detail prisoners, "Albert Ganz" (James Remar), escape, shooting two officers in the process. Police officer "Jack Cates" (Nick Nolte) paroles one of Ganz's former gang members, "Reggie Hammond" (Eddie Murphy), for 48 hours to help him track the pair down.

Walter Hill (HARD TIMES) directed the film. James Horner's score for the film was released by Intrada in 2011. The $10 million film was a smash hit, coming in at #7 at the U.S. box office, with a gross of $78.9 million.

 Posted:   Aug 6, 2021 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Harold Ramis directed 1983's NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, but John Hughes receives sole screen credit for writing the film. The movie is based on "Vacation 58," an original short story written by Hughes and published in The National Lampoon magazine in 1978. Hughes wrote the semiautobiographical story from the perspective of a twelve-year-old boy vacationing across the United States with his family in 1958. After Hughes wrote the first draft of the script, Ramis and star Chevy Chase handled the rewrite. Ramis stated that he and Chase revised the story to the “the father’s point of view” so that it would “have a more mature entry.”

The film finds the Griswold family, headed by “Clark” (Chase) and “Ellen Griswold” (Beverly D'Angelo) driving cross-country to the Walley World theme park. The trip proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated. Frank McRae appears near the end of the film as “Grover.”

Ralph Burns’ score had three of the ten tracks on the Warner Bros. Records soundtrack LP. Although that LP has not been re-issued on CD, a “Limited 20th Anniversary Extended Edition” CD was sold in 2003 at the Six Flags – USA theme park. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION was the #12 film at the U.S. box office, with a $61.5 million gross. Warner Bros. made another $16.5 million selling the film to cable and broadcast television.

 Posted:   Aug 6, 2021 - 2:50 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

RED DAWN posits the beginning of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces. Powers Boothe plays "Lieutenant Colonel Andy Tanner," a downed American fighter pilot, who is found by "Erica" (Lea Thompson). He joins the group, which is led by "Jed" (Patrick Swayze). Charlie Sheen had his first major part in the film, as "Matt," Jed's brother. Frank McRae had a co-starring role as “Mr. Teasdale,” a history teacher at Calumet High School in Colorado.

Frank McRae in RED DAWN

John Milius directed the 1984 film. Basil Poledouris' score was the first LP release by Intrada, who issued an expanded CD in 2007. The $16 million film ended up in the top 25 films of the year at the American box office, with a $38.4 million gross.

 Posted:   Aug 6, 2021 - 11:40 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

*BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED is set in New York City’s East Village, where many blocks of a run-down neighborhood are being demolished to build Lacey Plaza, a high-rise office tower and sports complex. However, residents of one four-story apartment building refuse to move out, despite the developer’s offer to pay them to relocate. Elderly couple “Frank” (Hume Cronyn) and “Faye Riley” (Jessica Tandy), who run the diner on the ground floor and live on the second floor, have been in the building fifty years and cannot imagine any place else as home. Other tenants include starving artist “Mason Baylor” (Dennis Boutsikaris), pregnant “Marisa Esteval” (Elizabeth Peña), and retired boxer “Harry Noble” (Frank McRae). But the tenants are about to get some “outside” help in their battle against the ruthless land developer who's out to evict them.

Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Peña, Hume Cronyn, and Dennis Boutsikaris in *BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED

The idea for the film was originally conceived as an episode of the science-fiction, horror, and fantasy television anthology series, “Amazing Stories” (NBC, 29 Sep 1985—10 Apr 1987), which was created by Steven Spielberg and produced by his Amblin Entertainment. Spielberg liked the idea so much, he decided to make it a theatrical release.

Matthew Robbins directed and co-wrote the 1987 film. James Horner’s score was released by MCA Records. Intrada released an expanded edition in 2018. The effects-heavy film cost $25 million to produce and returned a disappointing $33 million at the American box office. Foreign receipts brought the worldwide gross up to $65 million.

 Posted:   Aug 7, 2021 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In FAREWELL TO THE KING, soldier “Captain Nigel Fairbourne” (Nigel Havers), is parachuted into Borneo in early 1945 along with a sergeant, “Tenga” (Frank McRae), who’s African, under assignment to organize the mountain tribes into a guerrilla force to help kick out the Japanese. He finds that many of the tribes have already been united under a king, and more fantastically, the king is a former American Navy sailor named “Learoyd” (Nick Nolte). Shipwrecked on Borneo after fleeing the fall of the Philippines with some other sailors who were then killed by Japanese patrols under a colonel who rides a signature white horse, Learoyd struggled through the jungle and was found near death by villagers. They were fascinated by the totemic dragon tattoo on his chest and spared his life. Eventually, Learoyd grew strong again and learned the local dialect, as prelude to his challenging for supremacy over the tribe that adopted him.

Frank McRae (center-left) and Nick Nolte (center-right) in FAREWELL TO THE KING

John Milius wrote and directed this 1989 adventure film. Basil Poledouris’ score was released by Varese Sarabande. Prometheus released an expanded edition in 2006. The $16 million production was a disaster at the box office, with a $2.4 million U.S. gross.

 Posted:   Aug 8, 2021 - 12:56 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

David Hedison reprised his role of “Felix Leiter” in LICENCE TO KILL, the second of the two Timothy Dalton James Bond films. In the film, Leiter’s friend “Sharkey” (Frank McRae) helps Bond infiltrate the operation of sadistic drug lord “Franz Sanchez” (Robert Davi).


John Glen directed this 1989 Bond outing. Michael Kamen’s score was released by MCA. Producer Michael G. Wilson would not reveal marketing costs for the film, but lamented that the promotional budget nearly equaled the $34.5 million production budget. Still, the money seemed well-spent, since the film’s cumulative worldwide box-office amounted to $156.7 million (even though this fell short of the $191.2 million worldwide gross for the previous Bond film, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS).

 Posted:   Aug 8, 2021 - 2:29 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

With only six months left on his sentence, inmate "Frank Leone" (Sylvester Stallone) is transferred from a minimum security prison to a maximum security LOCK UP by a vindictive warden (Donald Sutherland). Among the other prisoners there is the nasty "Chink" (Sonny Landham), and “Eclipse” (Frank McRae), who runs the prison auto shop.

Sylvester Stallone and Frank McRae in LOCK UP

John Flynn directed this crime drama. Bill Conti's score was most recently released by Varese Sarabande in 2014. The $24 million film had inadequate grosses of just $22.1 million.

 Posted:   Aug 9, 2021 - 12:48 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In THE WIZARD, “Corey” (Fred Savage) and his autistic brother “Jimmy” (Luke Edwards) run away from home and, after meeting a young girl—“Haley” (Jenny Lewis), hitch cross country to Reno, Nevada, to compete in the ultimate video game championship. In Reno, Haley gets “Spanky” (Frank McRae), a trucker friend of her father’s, to bet their last ten dollars at the crap table.

Frank McRae in THE WIZARD

THE WIZARD marked director Todd Holland's theatrical film directorial debut. J. Peter Robinson’s score for the 1989 film has not had a release. The film had a middling gross of $14.3 million.

 Posted:   Aug 9, 2021 - 3:05 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte reprised their roles of con man "Reggie Hammond" and police detective "Jack Cates" in the 1990 sequel ANOTHER 48 HRS. Frank McRae also briefly appeared in his role of “Police Chief Haden” in what turned out to be a cameo appearance in the film.

The original workprint was 145 minutes long. It was cut by either director Walter Hill or Paramount down to 120 minutes, and a week before its summer theatrical release, an additional 25 minutes were cut out by Paramount, making a final theatrical version 95 minutes long. Frank McRae's role was entirely cut except for a brief, uncredited shot of him in the background of one scene in the police station.

Walter Hill directed this follow-up to his 1982 original. James Horner's score claimed four of the nine tracks on the Scotti Bros. CD release of the film's music. The film cost $45 million to produce, up from the $10 million cost of the original, due largely to the stars’ increased salaries. (Eddie Murphy alone was paid $9 million.) But the domestic grosses were about the same--$78.9 million for the original, $80.8 million for this sequel.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2021 - 1:23 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the 1992 film SKETCH ARTIST, LA police sketch artist “Jack Whitfield” (Jeff Fahey) is faced with a dilemma when a bicycle messenger eyewitness to a murder, “Daisy” (Drew Barrymore), describes the suspected killer of the big-shot garment manufacturer as someone who looks like his fashion designer wife “Rayanne” (Sean Young). When he tries to cover for his wife by altering the drawing, things get dicey. Frank McRae plays “Detective Milon” in the film.

Phedon Papamichael directed the film. Although originally produced for theatrical release, except for Canada, Sweden and South Korea, the film went directly to cable or VHS in most countries. It aired in the U.S on Showtime on 27 June 1992. Mark Isham’s score was released by Varese Sarabande. MGM called the film THE SKETCH ARTIST when they released it on a made-on-demand DVD in 2016.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2021 - 11:46 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In National Lampoon’s LOADED WEAPON I, when the ex-partner (Whoopi Goldberg) of “Sgt. Wes Luger” (Samuel L. Jackson) is murdered by “Mr. Jigsaw” (Tim Curry) when she uncovers a drug smuggling ring within the Wilderness Girl Cookie sales, Luger is assigned to “Sgt. Jack Colt” (Emilio Estevez) to help solve the crime. Colt however is a loose cannon after the loss of his beloved dog and isn’t afraid to break protocol to solve a case. After seductive informant “Destiny Demeanor” (Kathy Ireland) falls for Colt, her association with the drug lord “General Mortars” (William Shatner) could lead to Colt and Luger’s deaths! Frank McRae played “Captain Doyle” in the film.

Gene Quintano directed and co-wrote the 1993 film. Robert Folk’s score has not had a release. Although the film grossed $28 million at the U.S. box office, that wasn’t enough to justify production of a LOADED WEAPON II.

 Posted:   Aug 11, 2021 - 12:32 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In LAST ACTION HERO, “Danny Madigan” (Austin O’Brien) is a kid living with his widowed mom (Mercedes Ruehl) in the dingiest, most crime-challenged part of New York City. He escapes by watching “Jack Slater” movies, which star Arnold Schwarzenegger, and gets to see the new one when “Nick” the projectionist (Robert Prosky) gives him a ticket that once belonged to Harry Houdini. This ticket allows Danny to enter the world of Slater, where he meets his talking cat “Whiskers” (Danny Devito) and wonders about his friend “John Practice” (F. Murray Abraham), who Danny instantly doesn’t trust because he was also Salieri, the man who killed Mozart in AMADEUS.

Of course, because this is a movie, Slater’s supervisor “Dekker” (Frank McRae) assigns Danny as the supercop’s new partner and sends them after mobster “Tony Vivaldi” (Anthony Quinn).


John McTiernan directed this 1993 adventure fantasy. The film’s budget and performance at the box office became a subject of heated debate: Columbia released a final production cost of $47.5 million, but various sources speculated figures ranging from $77--$82.5 million. One current estimate runs to $85 million. An article published in the 28 February 1994 issue of the New Yorker claimed the film’s high production and marketing costs left Sony with an “unrecouped balance” of more than $124 million. This figure, taken from an internal profit-and-loss statement from the studio, did not account for home video release or foreign sales, but both Columbia and Sony stated that the sum was “ludicrous and false.” Current estimates of the film’s worldwide gross are in the range of $137 million. Columbia Records released separate albums of the film’s songs and Michael Kamen’s score.

 Posted:   Aug 11, 2021 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

LIGHTNING JACK Kane (Paul Hogan) is an Australian outlaw in the wild west. During a bungled bank robbery, he picks up mute “Ben Doyle” (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) as a hostage. The two become good friends, with Jack teaching Ben how to rob banks, while they plan Jack's last heist. Frank McRae plays Ben’s father in the film.

Simon Wincer directed the 1994 film, which was written by Paul Hogan. Bruce Rowland’s score was released on an Australian CD from Festival Records. The film had a moderate U.S. gross of $16.8 million.

 Posted:   Aug 11, 2021 - 2:20 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

A giant ASTEROID is on a collision course with Earth and threatening global devastation. The fate of the word lands in the hands of plucky Colorado astronomer “Dr. Lily McKee” (Annabella Sciorra) and FEMA Director “Jack Wallach” (Michael Biehn). The government of America formulates a plan to destroy the errant celestial body. Frank McRae appeared as “Lloyd Morgan” in the film.

Bradford May directed this two-part made-for-television film, which aired on NBC on 16 & 17 February 1977. The film was subsequently cut down to two hours for theatrical release overseas and for home video. Shirley Walker’s score has not had a release.

 Posted:   Aug 11, 2021 - 11:38 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Since 2003, the Hallmark Channel has been producing a series of Christian-themed films called the “Love Comes Softly Saga,” based upon a series of books by Janette Oke. The films include “Love Comes Softly” (2003), “Love's Enduring Promise” (2004), “Love’s Long Journey” (2005). “Love's Abiding Joy” (2006), “Love's Unending Legacy” (2007), “Love's Unfolding Dream” (2007), “Love Takes Wing” (2009), “Love Finds a Home” (2009), and “Love's Christmas Journey” (2011), as well as the 2011 prequels, “Love Begins” and “Love's Everlasting Courage.” The films are set on the American prairie of the 19th century.

Frank McRae’s final acting roles were in two of these films—LOVE’S LONG JOURNEY (2005) and LOVE’S ABIDING JOY (2006). McRae played ranch hand “Cookie” in the films.

William Morgan Sheppard and Frank McRae in LOVE’S LONG JOURNEY

Frank McRae and Dale Midkiff in LOVE’S ABIDING JOY

Both films were directed by Michael Landon, Jr., whose father had produced and starred in the television series “Little House on the Prairie.” Kevin Kiner scored the films.

 Posted:   Aug 12, 2021 - 11:51 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

A star athlete in high school, Frank McRae graduated from Tennessee State with a double major in drama and history. That drama degree served him (and us) well. So long, Frank.

in “Hill Street Blues” (1985)

with David Hedison and Timothy Dalton

with Sylvester Stallone

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