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Looking back at Dennis Hopper's Colors

In 1988, Dennis Hopper directed the controversial cop drama Colors, now reissued on Blu-ray. Ryan takes a look back at a gripping film...

By the spring of 1988, several high-profile cases had brought the gang violence in Los Angeles to national attention. The fatal shootings of an 18-year-old college student and her 12-year-old neighbour were, according to a newspaper report, the 113th and 114th gang-related murders to have occurred in La County since the start of the beginning of 1988. The previous year saw 387 people killed in gang-related incidents.

Against this backdrop came Colors, Dennis Hopper’s unflinching and disturbingly authentic crime drama starring Robert Duvall and Sean Penn. Some of the film’s harshest critics called it exploitative and voyeuristic - a calculated attempt to cash in on the real violence that was regularly making headlines. Colors’ detractors were given further fuel when reports began to circulate of violent incidents occurring in

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