Eraser (film): Wikis


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Directed by Chuck Russell
Produced by Anne Kopelson
Arnold Kopelson
Written by Tony Puryear
Walon Green
Michael S. Chernuchin
Tony Puryear
Walon Green
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
James Caan
Vanessa Williams
James Coburn
Robert Pastorelli
James Cromwell
Danny Nucci
Andy Romano
Nick Chinlund
Gerry Becker
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Adam Greenberg
Editing by Michael Tronick
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) June 21, 1996
Running time 115 min.
Language English
Budget $100,000,000 US (est.)
Gross revenue $242,295,562 (Worldwide)

Eraser is a 1996 action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan and Vanessa Williams. It was directed by Chuck Russell. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Sound Effects Editing in 1996.



John "Eraser" Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a U.S. Marshal who works for the Federal Witness Security Protection Program (WITSEC). John is assigned to protect Dr. Lee Cullen (Vanessa L. Williams), a scientist who works for Cyrez Corporation, a company that creates and manufactures weapons for the military. Lee has come across plans in which Cyrez plans to sell a top secret electronic pulse rifle to terrorist Sergei Ivanovich Petrofsky (Olek Krupa). With its unparalleled firepower, the sale of such weapons to the wrong hands would tip the balance of power.

The man behind the scheme, William Donahue (James Cromwell) wants Lee dead, because without Lee's testimony, there is no case against Cyrez. After Donahue commits suicide to escape punishment, John takes Lee to New York City to hide her, then John and his mentor, fellow marshal Robert Deguerin (James Caan), try to locate a witness. But Deguerin kills the witness they are looking for, indicating that Deguerin is Donahue's psychopathic and ruthless U.S. Marshal mole and replacement as leader in the scam. Even Undersecretary of Defense Daniel Harper (Andy Romano) is in on it.

Deguerin kidnaps Lee, and with the help of Johnny Casteleone (Robert Pastorelli), a man whose life John once saved, John rescues Lee and prevents the railgun shipment. After a hearing for Deguerin and his fellow conspirators a few weeks later, and with the implication that under civil law jurisdiction a conviction and sentence of the culprits will not be possible, John eliminates Deguerin and the conspirators, "erasing" them thoroughly in an arranged train accident.

Box office and reaction

Eraser had an opening weekend of $24,566,446 in the US during the summer season of 1996.[1] Final US gross would be $101,228,120 and final UK gross was £4,700,340.[1] Following its cinematic run, worldwide box office came to $234,400,000, earning a further $46,032,666 in US video rentals alone, overall the film was a box office success.[1] The film achieved a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[2]

Production history

Background and casting

Director Chuck Russell and star Arnold Schwarzenegger were originally working on another project together when Eraser was brought to their attention.[3] Russell was excited about the possibilities the film could bring between actor and the character: "I see Arnold the way a lot of people do -- as a mythic, bigger-than-life character -- and that's who Kruger is. The character and the scenario are based firmly in reality, but I liked the mythic proportions of this man with a strong sense of duty, a strong sense of honor, who will literally do anything to protect a noble witness. I was excited about doing a film that had heroic proportions." [3] Producer Arnold Kopelson was also keen to cast Schwarzenegger in the role of "Eraser", having talked with the actor about working on projects before.[3] Vanessa Williams would be cast as the lead female character, Lee Cullen, the key witness Eraser must protect. Williams came to the attention of the Kopelsons when Maria Shriver, the wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger, suggested her for the role.[3] To play the character of Deguerin (Kruger's mentor), the filmmakers wanted an actor who could "convey intelligence, skill and magnetism - a more mature version of the Kruger character", they would cast Academy Award-nominee James Caan (The Godfather) in this role.[3] The screenplay was initially the work of Tony Puryear, who had a background in advertising, rap videos. Another writer, Walon Green, also received credit as well. [4]

Stunts and "hardware"

One of the most demanding action sequences in the film, featured the character of Kruger, forced to flee from a jet speeding through the skies at 250 miles per hour. Speaking about this scene, director Russell says: "These things are jigsaw puzzle pieces not only within shooting sequence but within each shot. You had elements that were live action, elements that were miniature, sometimes computer-generated, and they're all married together in the final processing." [3] Some of the physical stunts were performed by Schwarzenegger himself. For the "aerial" stunt Arnold was required to fall 65 feet in vertical descent and perform a back flip in mid-flight. The shot took seven takes to get - in the final film, Kruger appears to drop along the length of the fuselage and past the flaming engine of the Jet thanks to inventive camera angles and special effects. The "Rail-gun" featured in the film as a key plot device, Schwarzenegger talks on the subject: "We paid a lot of attention to making the audience feel the danger of this weapon, that anyone can be outside of your house, looking right through the walls. It really leaves you nowhere to hide," he explains. "But, on top of that, we show the sophistication of the weapon in a lot of fun ways: you not only see through a building, you see a person's skeleton and even their heart beating inside. There are some great visual effects there."[3]

Shooting locations

Eraser began principal photography in New York City, locations would include The Harlem Rail Yard in the South Bronx, Central Park's Sheep Meadow and Chinatown.[3] Following shooting in New York production moved to Washington D.C..[3] For the action sequence which takes place in the Reptile House of New York City Zoo, interiors were built on the soundstages of the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.[3]



  • The lead role of Kruger was originally intended for Robert De Niro, with Deguerin intended for a younger actor.
  • The company name "Cyrez" was originally scripted and filmed as "Cyrex", but the real-life computer chip manufacturer Cyrix objected. Since the movie had already been shot, the relevant dialogue was dubbed over and company logos were digitally altered during post-production.
  • Unlike Schwarzenegger's previous five films, Eraser was given a prohibitive 18 certificate on its UK release in the summer of 1996 after 27 seconds of violence was cut. For its video and DVD release, distributor Warner Bros. opted for a 15 certificate and the BBFC ordered a further 3 minutes and 22 seconds of cuts. Most notably, the demise of the villains at the end has been removed; the viewer sees the car abandoned, but has to guess what happened next.
  • The Laserdisc version of this release is considered to have the worst case of LaserRot.
  • Portions of Alan Silvestri's score uses material he had previously written for his unused score to Mission: Impossible.
  • The Magnetic Pulse Rifle is said to fire projectiles at almost the speed of light, but the CAD drawings labeled it only as a hypervelocity rifle.


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Eraser is a 1996 film directed by Chuck Russell. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as U.S. Marshal John Kruger.

Written by Tony Puryear and Walon Green. Directed by Chuck Russell.
He will erase your past to protect your future.


Nurse: Oh my God! Terrorists!
Johnny C: Terror? I'll show you some freakin' terror! Get your ass up here, I'll jump-start it!

Morehart: This is James Haggerty, our chief of security.
Robert Deguerin: Hey, you ever done any wetwork?
James Haggerty: Only on three different continents.
Robert Deguerin: Wow, really? Listen, you wanna impress me, slick? Do your fucking job!

Father Rodriguez: The police have returned to the safety of their doughnut shops.

Robert Deguerin: I want this town locked up so tight, it'll make his balls ache.

[the phone rings]
Daniel Harper: It's for you.
Robert Deguerin: [takes the phone] Yeah?
John Kruger: [over the phone] You've just been erased.

John Kruger: [to dead alligator] You're luggage!

[John Kruger parachutes into a junkyard]
John Kruger: Where is this?
Camille: Earth. Welcome.

Robert Deguerin: Listen, have I given you an evaluation yet.
Deputy Monroe: Evaluation?
Robert Deguerin: Yeah.
[shoots Monroe]
Robert Deguerin: A-plus, kid.
[his hands are now bloody]
Robert Deguerin: Ah man, can somebody get me a wet-nap or something?

John Kruger: Drop your gun.
Robert Deguerin: What?
John Kruger: If you drop your gun now, I promise I won't kill you.

[John Kruger knocks down a door and shoots a guy]
Lee Cullen: You're late!
John Kruger: Traffic.

[John wakes up from a drug-induced sleep]
Robert Deguerin: Confused, pal? New York.
John Kruger: You're off course.
Robert Deguerin: No, no we're not. You're gonna take us to her, John.
[John reaches for his gun. Robert holds up his gun in a plastic bag]
Robert Deguerin: You did a very, very bad thing, John. You killed Monroe. Now that makes you the mole.
John Kruger: No, and that makes you the murderer.

[the limousine that Daniel Harper, Robert Deguerin, and Morehart were trapped in was just hit by a train]
Lee Cullen: What happened?
John Kruger: They caught a train.

[Johnny C is working as a bartender in a drag club. John Kruger comes to see him]
Johnny C: I got one question. Was it your idea to hook me up with the Village People here?
John Kruger: Well, you're safe, aren't you?
Johnny C: Well, from the mob, yeah. I mean no self-respecting wiseguy would ever be caught dead in a joint like this.

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