McGriff and Albaby are probably doing the worst law enforcement job in the world - they are plain clothes U.S. military policemen on duty in war-time Saigon. However, their job becomes even harder when they start investigating the serial killings of local prostitutes. Their prime suspect is high ranking U.S. Army officer which brings their lives in danger.
Willem Dafoe (Buck McGriff), Gregory Hines (Albaby Perkins), Fred Ward (Dix), Amanda Pays (Nicole), Kay Tong Lim (Lime Green), Scott Glenn (Colonel Dexter Armstrong), David Alan Grier (Rogers), Keith David (Maurice), Raymond O'Connor (Elgin Flowers), Richard Brooks (Preacher), Thuy An Luu (Lanh (as Thuy Ann Luu)), Richard Lee Reed (Colonel Sparks), Woody Brown (Co-Pilot), Ken Siu (Plowboy), Viladda Vanadurongwan (Sister Agnes), Arun Sunantalod (Sapper), Suksanti Cherpat (Sapper), Chumpon Senetara (Sapper), Kim Hoa Nguyen (Sapper's Mother), Norah Elizabeth Cazaux (Mother Superior), Nam Look (Whore #1), Coconut (Dead Whore's Baby), Rungsima Kasikranund (Whore #2), Mayura Srisittdecharak (Bar Girl (as Mayura Srisittidecharak)), Boonchai Jakraworawut (ARVN Interpreter)...
Off Limits (AKA: Saigon) is the missing Vietnam film, a film I feel not many have actually seen since I never see it mentioned on the message boards out there in net land. While I have certainly never heard it spoken about when talk of Vietnam films crops up. The film is in essence a who done it police drama, two cops on the streets of Saigon during the war are searching for a high ranking officer who is, erm, offing prostitutes.
It is the backdrop of the war that gives the film added substance and lifts it way above average, because we see not only the problems a murder investigation brings, but also the horror of war getting in the way as well. Some damn fine and tidy performances flesh out the characters, with both Gregory Hines & Willem Dafoe as our two stoic and battle weary coppers engaging us from the off, whilst the supporting cast of Fred Ward, Keith David (look out for his dance man!) & Scott Glenn are interestingly watchable; the latter of which who leaves the lasting impression with what has to be the best 5 minutes work he ever did during a brilliant interrogation sequence during a mid-air flight.
It's gritty and interesting and deserves to be better known and sought out. It doesn't pull up any trees as regards formula, and it certainly isn't one you will want to go back to time and time again for thrills and spills, but it hits the spot and as the mystery and stifling heat of Vietnam pervades the mood, you will remember watching it long after the credits have rolled.
Director and co-Writer Christopher Crowe helped toss out dummies in the sequence with Scott Glenn in the helicopter. Crowe was supposed to have a safety cord attached to the helicopter to prevent him from falling out, but found out after the sequence was shot that said cord was never attached to the helicopter.
Saigon (Belgium (video title) (English title); UK; Italy; Norway; West Germany) • Сайгон (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)) • Забранена зона (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)) • Saigon: Império da Violência (Brazil) • Saigon: zona prohibida (Colombia) • Saigon - et helvede for strømere (Denmark) • Saigón (Spain) • Saigón, el infierno del silencio (Spain (video title)) • Saigon - kahden poliisin helvetti (Finland) • Saigon, l'enfer pour deux flics (France)
serial killer, vietnam, female nudity, race against time, murder, vietcong, bare breasts, whodunit, detective, jumping from a helicopter, thrown from a helicopter, racism, sexually transmissible disease, sniper, ethnic slur, 1960s, gonorrhea, helicopter, racial slur, social worker, biracial, nun, undercover, prostitution, violence, orphanage, nightclub, mixed race child, riot, surprise ending
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