Bad Boys (1983)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller

Bad Boys (1983) Poster

Chicago crime kid Mick O'Brien is sent to reform school after accidentally killing a rival's kid brother.



  • Sean Penn in Bad Boys (1983)
  • Sean Penn and Ally Sheedy in Bad Boys (1983)
  • Clancy Brown and Robert Lee Rush in Bad Boys (1983)
  • Sean Penn and Reni Santoni in Bad Boys (1983)
  • Sean Penn and Eric Gurry in Bad Boys (1983)
  • Clancy Brown in Bad Boys (1983)

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Reviews & Commentary

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12 December 2008 | bkoganbing
| Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do
Bad Boys and The Falcon And The Snowman are the first film that Sean Penn was taken seriously as an actor and not just a James Dean wannabe. A lot of people with that rebel persona have come and gone, but Penn's proved to have staying power in his adult roles.

But it was a part like Mick O'Brien, kid from the mean streets of Chicago that first attracted the movie going public to Sean Penn. Bad Boys is not your usual teen dream Brat Pack film. Penn's representative of some of the baddest of the bad from the Eighties.

Penn's a high school kid from Chicago, but the kind who only goes to school on occasion, maybe to get messages from his hoodlum friends. A heist he plans goes horribly wrong and the little brother of another tough kid, Esai Morales, is accidentally killed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That last crime finally puts him in reform school and of course Morales winds up there as well. That's after raping Ally Sheedy who is Penn's girl friend. That sets up the final confrontation between them.

Bad Boys is one of a long line of films going back to Wild Boys Of The Road dealing with the juvenile delinquent problem and the incarceration thereof. It's interesting how rape is used as a weapon in two instances here and how it's thought of that way. Morales rapes Sheedy as a way of getting back at Penn and in the reformatory the two who run the cell block where Penn and later Morales is put, Robert Lee Rush and Clancy Brown, use it as a way of establishing their authority.

Brown who will tell you this is a method of enforcement belies his own gay nature with those muscle pictures in his cell. And O'Brien's cellmate, Eric Gurry is also a latent case, maybe more. His performance in many ways is the most interesting in the film. He's a nerdy kid who happens to be one unusual inmate for the place. He's been picked on and in retaliation bombed a bowling alley where his tormentors were hanging out. Not too many kids his age have the scientific knowledge to pull off that and what we see him do here.

Still the film builds up to the climax between Penn and Morales and Bad Boys does not disappoint in the end. Bad Boys might have some charter Brat Pack members in the cast, but John Hughes wouldn't be doing a project like this.

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Did You Know?


To prepare for his lead role as Mick O'Brien, actor Sean Penn let his hair grow long, had a tattoo inked on his arm, dressed in street gang garb, went on night patrol with the Chicago Police Gang Crimes Unit and almost got himself arrested at one point whilst doing all this.


Ramon Herrera: The only reason you're here is because there is no room for you anywhere else.
Paco Moreno: Well, why don't you get me a room at the Holiday Inn?
Ramon Herrera: Why don't you wise up?


When Tweety is leaving jail in a van he's waving at the other inmates exercising. You can see him right beside Viking waving back at himself.

Alternate Versions

The differences between the full 123 min. version and the 104 min. one are:

  • Mick playing his guitar in his bedroom
  • Paco talking to his father
  • Mick entering the correctional center and walking in
  • A jogging scene where the new kid says Viking and Tweety are going to get him
  • J.C. walking out of Walgreen's Supermarket
  • Another scene where Viking and Tweety harass the new kid
  • Longer scene of J. C. walking before she gets raped
  • After the rape, there is a line-up where she identifies Paco
  • Tweety getting released from the correctional center
  • A scene where Mick hands out the work assignments
  • A scene where Paco talks to Paretti about going 50/50
  • Paco and Viking harass Horowitz and Mick while they're watching "Kiss Of Death" (1947)
  • Another scene of Horowitz working on the fertilizer bomb


Get Dressed
Written by
George Clinton (uncredited) and Bootsy Collins (uncredited)
Performed by George Clinton
Courtesy Capitol Records, Inc.


Plot Summary


Crime | Drama | Thriller

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