Defiance (1980 film)

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Defiance FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed byJohn Flynn
Written byThomas Michael Donnelly
Mark Tulin
Produced byJerry Bruckheimer
William S. Gilmore
Executive producer
Robert J. Wunsch
StarringJan-Michael Vincent
Theresa Saldana
Art Carney
CinematographyRic Waite
Edited byDavid Finfer
Music byDominic Frontiere
Gerard McMahon
Distributed byAmerican International Pictures
Release date
  • March 14, 1980 (1980-03-14)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States

Defiance is a 1980 American action neo noir crime film starring Jan-Michael Vincent, Art Carney, and Theresa Saldana. The film was an early Jerry Bruckheimer production.

The film was unsuccessful upon release, both with critics and the public, though it was shown often on cable film channels (such as HBO) in the early 1980s.


The film follows a suspended young seaman (Jan-Michael Vincent) who takes up temporary housing in a New York neighborhood while waiting for his next orders to ship out. The neighborhood is controlled by a gang called 'The Souls', led by Angel Cruz (Rudy Ramos), who steal and rob at will. No one will press charges due to fear of retribution, so he takes matters into his own hands to combat the growing violence, spurring his fellow neighbors to join him.



John Flynn later said working with Jan Michael Vincent was difficult:

Jan was a drinker even then. He had Heinekens for breakfast. There was a night scene where we literally had to prop him up. Poor Jan. He latched onto Danny Aiello. Jan loved Danny and tried to give him more of his own lines in the picture. I told Jan he couldn’t mess with the script like that. But Jan was a sweet guy. He never believed that he was an actor, though. He was embarrassed to be an actor. He always thought he was doing an awful job and that people were laughing at him. You had to keep telling him he was wonderful and he would do whatever you wanted him to do. Jan was like a little kid, but he just didn’t believe in himself. Talk about actors’ egos. He was the opposite. This was an actor with a non-ego.[1]


  1. ^ Chartrand, Harvey F. (2005). "Interview with John Flynn". Shock Cinema. pp. 26–29, 46.

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