Happy 31st Birthday, Robocop!

Today marks the 31st anniversary of the movie Robocop. This action sci-fi film grossed $53.4 million domestically on a $30M budget, which means it was a box office success. It was the 16th highest-grossing film (U.S. box office) in 1987, and spawned two (completely unnecessary) sequels and an (even more unnecessary) reboot in 2014.

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Officer Anne Lewis (played by Nancy Allen) and officer Alex Murphy, aka Robocop (played by Peter Weller).

All of that said, I think it was a very fun film! It was chock-full of gritty, no-holds-barred violence, almost non-stop action and great dialogue in addition to lots of dark satire peppered throughout. Since it was directed by Paul Verhoeven, it didn’t take a light hand with the sleaze, either (keep in mind he also directed Basic Instinct and Showgirls).  It was nominated for two Oscars – sound editing and best sound. Only TWO Oscars? IKR? Kurtwood Smith was overlooked for best supporting actor? If I had any say in the matter, I would have nominated him solely for his brilliant “Bitches leave” line. [WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD BUT SERIOUSLY IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS MOVIE BY NOW….JUST GO SEE IT ALREADY!]. Ahem! The “Bitches leave” sequence happens at a pivotal time in the film, when young entrepreneur Bob Morton (played by Miguel Ferrar) is partying with a couple of women presumed to be prostitutes. The gold lamé top really screams “hooker” to me! Though they do look like high-class call girls, rather than slovenly trulls. I think the girl in the green might not be a paid sex worker, since she says “Are you gonna call me?” before all of the shit goes down. Don’t think that’s something a hooker would say.  Moving on…

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This film may have been set in the future, but this scene is pure ’80s!

Bob’s feeling really good about himself, not only because he’s been snorting lines of coke off one of the women’s breasts, but he’s advancing in the company for which he works, which is OCP. They make cyborgs and killer robots and things. And he just got the OK to move forward with his “Robocop” project. Let’s just say one of Morton’s bosses, Dick Jones (played by Ronny Cox) isn’t happy with Morton’s successes. Probably because the killer robots he tried to launch wound up….killing people (go figure). So Jones is pissed off, and hires hitman/thug/drug dealer/Tigers fan/all around bad guy Clarence Boddicker, whom is played by the dad on “That ’70s Show.” He forces his way into Bob Morton’s apartment, and sees that he has…company. So he says the line…

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“Bitches leave.”

Sure, on the surface it sounds disrespectful. Calling a woman a “bitch” CAN be an insult in the right context. I personally think it’s kind of complimentary (another blog topic entirely). In this context, however, he is showing an underlying respect, though he does it in kind of a gruff manner. He knows what he’s been paid to do (kill Bob Morton), and he doesn’t want the “bitches” to see it happen. So he tells them to leave.

But that great quote is just one of many, reasons to watch this movie!

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