Defiance (1980 film)
|Directed by||John Flynn|
William S. Gilmore
Robert J. Wunsch
Thomas Michael Donnelly|
|Edited by||David Finfer|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
The film, an early Jerry Bruckheimer production, follows a suspended young seaman (Jan-Michael Vincent) who takes up temporary housing in a neighborhood overrun by a gang while waiting for his next orders to ship out. The gang is in dominating control, stealing and robbing 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.
The film was unsuccessful upon release, both with critics and the public, though it was shown often on cable movie channels (such as HBO) in the early '80s.
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.
- Harvey Chartand, "Interview with John Flynn", Shock Cinema 2005 accessed 16 February 2015