Bad Boys

We always say the best music, movies and TV shows have all been made, we’re here to help you remember them all.
1983’s “Bad Boys” is proof of that.

Filmed over the spring, summer and fall of 1982, Bad Boys stars a very young Sean Penn, Alan Ruck, Esai Morales, Ally Sheedy, Clancy Brown, Jim Moody who you may remember from the movie “Fame” as well as many others who’d go on to massive stardom. Then, there’s ‘lil ‘ol me, Sal Amato – not a bunch of stardom but happy to have been in this movie.

A story of juveniles in Chicago who wind up in jail together. One killed the other’s brother setting up a showdown for the end that was so well attended that even the camera, the camera man and the crew showed up thanks to the hurried up editing job done on the movie to get it out due to its massive budget overruns.

This was the first movie I worked on as a kid. I was cast on my birthday in 1982 and reported to the set the following day. The indoor prison scenes were really a two-story set built inside the Naval Armory on Randolph at Lake Shore Drive. That building was knocked down years ago.

The movie had an original budget of 4 million dollars but wound up at over 5 due to many cost overruns including an almost two-month hiatus when Sean Penn broke his ankle shooting the opening robbery scene. I actually wound up going to shoot scenes in Doctor Detroit for a while when we were down in production on Bad Boys.

There were lots of other little snafus on Bad Boys, it’s almost as if we were cursed for a while there. There were many scenes filmed that were never used (including a huge beating given to Wagner by many of us in the cell block) that took the movie to over 5 million dollars (one million over budget). It would go on to gross just over 9 million but has earned ‘cult’ status since then.

Source: Sal Amato

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