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Under Siege

Under Siege movie poster
Directed by Andrew Davis
Produced by Arnon Milchan
Steven Seagal
Steven Reuther
Written by J. F. Lawton
Starring Steven Seagal
Tommy Lee Jones
Gary Busey
Erika Eleniak
Music by Gary Chang
Cinematography Frank Tidy
Editing by Robert A. Ferretti
Studio Regency Enterprises
Le Studio Canal +
Alcor Films
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) October 9, 1992
Running time 103 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35,000,000
Gross revenue $156,563,139
Followed by Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

Under Siege is a 1992 action film. Directed by Andrew Davis, it stars Steven Seagal as a former Navy SEAL who must stop a group of mercenaries, led by Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey, on a U.S. Navy battleship. It is Seagal's most successful film in critical and financial terms.

Under Siege was followed by a 1995 sequel, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.



A band of mercenaries, led by ex-CIA agent William "Bad Billy" Strannix (Tommy Lee Jones), board the American battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) during her final voyage in order to steal its arsenal of nuclear Tomahawk cruise missiles. They arrive disguised as a musical band called "The Bail Jumpers" and caterers hired for a surprise birthday party for the captain. They seize control of the ship with the help of the Executive Officer, Commander Krill (Gary Busey). They plan to sell the nuclear weapons on the black market by unloading them onto a submarine Strannix had stolen from North Korea while on a previous CIA mission. Several of the officers are killed during the takeover, including Captain Adams (Patrick O'Neal). The rest of the ship's company are imprisoned below decks in the forecastle, except for several stragglers in secured areas. Strannix and his men take over the ship's weapon systems for defense, shooting down an F/A-18 Hornet sent to investigate, and plan on covering their escape by launching a missile strike into Honolulu that will obliterate tracking systems in Pearl Harbor.

The only thing in their way is the ship's cook Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal), who is really a Chief Petty Officer and former Navy SEAL with extensive special-weapons and counter-terrorism training. He was relegated to his current posting for striking an officer who had been responsible for his men being killed in a botched commando mission during the United States invasion of Panama. As a result he had lost his security clearance and was only able to serve as a yeoman or a cook.

Prior to the invasion, Krill provokes a brawl in the galley with Ryback. Ryback assaults Krill and unable to imprison him in the brig without clearance or attracting attention, Krill detains Ryback in a freezer. After the ship is captured, Krill finally recalls Ryback and Strannix offhandedly sends two mercenaries to eliminate him. Instead, Ryback kills the mercenaries and proceeds to cause havoc amongst the boarders with the limited help of Playboy Playmate "Miss July '89" Jordan Tate (Erika Eleniak), an innocent civilian and stripper hired as a cover for the festivities. Krill responds by attempting to drown his own crew in the forecastle using the fire extinguisher system. Ryback locates a group of sailors in hiding and along with them engages a successful counter-strike, saving the crew and eliminating a considerable number of Strannix's forces. As Strannix's men regroup, Ryback shuts down the Missouri's weapon systems, leaving the craft vulnerable to an incoming Navy SEAL team.

As the battle for the ship continues, the submarine crew shoots down both the Navy SEAL troop transport and its AH-64 Apache escort with shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. The Pentagon responds by ordering an air strike that will destroy the Missouri and all aboard. Strannix regains control of the ship's weapon systems, and the Tomahawks are loaded onto the North Korean submarine, departing with Krill on board. With the aid of Jordan and his fellow sailors, Ryback uses the battleship's guns, which were not yet decommissioned, to sink the submarine with Krill still inside.

Strannix, standing on the deck, suffers a major concussion from being in the proximity of the Missouri's guns as they are fired. He orders the remaining mercenaries out of the control room as he launches two nuclear-tipped Tomahawks towards Honolulu. One of the two missiles is destroyed by a fighter jet but the other continues on its course. As the sailors recapture the ship, Ryback finds his way into the control room, where he is caught off-guard and captured by Strannix. Strannix lets his guard down long enough for Ryback to kill him and take the launch codes needed to destroy the remaining missile.

At the end, the remaining crew members are freed from their below-deck prison as the ship sails towards harbor. As he is checked by a doctor, Ryback kisses Jordan Tate as the crew looks on and cheers. The film ends with a ceremony for Captain Adams being held on the decks of the Missouri, showing the Captain's casket with flag draped and Ryback saluting in his full dress uniform.


USS Missouri

Production and distribution

Based on an original screenplay by J. F. Lawton, Under Siege was rated 'R' ('Restricted') by the MPAA. The UK release was edited for violence to get a more commercial 15 certificate. Ten seconds were removed from the film, chiefly from the workshop fight and a shot of Seagal ripping out a man's throat. It was followed by a sequel, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.

The film makes extensive use of the IntroVision process, a variation of front projection that allows realistic three-dimensional interaction of foreground characters with projected backgrounds without the heavy cost of traditional bluescreen effects. The technique was also used in the films Outland, Megaforce, Army of Darkness and Andrew Davis' The Fugitive.

Critical and box office reception

On its opening weekend, Under Siege made $15,760,003 from 2,042 theaters, with a $7,717 average. From there, it went on to make $83,563,139. Worldwide, it made $156,563,139.

The movie was also a critical success, with many hailing Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey as the villains. Rotten currently has a 74% fresh rating on the film.

Also, the film was nominated for two Academy Awards (one for Best Sound Effects Editing, and one for Best Sound).

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Under Siege is a film starring Steven Seagal, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, and Erika Eleniak. It is about a former Navy SEAL, Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal) must stop a group of terrorists led ex-CIA agent William Stranix (Tommy Lee Jones) and executive officer Commander Krill (Gary Busey) from using the ship to hijack its weapons.


Casey Ryback

  • I'm just a cook.
  • Yeah, well, I also cook.
  • Next thing I know, you'll be dating musicians.
  • All your ridiculous, pitiful antics won't change a thing. You and I, we're puppets in the same sick play. We serve the same master and he's an ungrateful lunatic. There's nothing we can do about it. You and I are the same.
  • Keep the faith, Stranix.

William Stranix

  • Don't worry about a thing, baby. You can play this with your eyes shut.
  • (singing) And there she is. Miss July 1989. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. No, no, no. That's not Miss July.
  • Let this be a learning experience. If you resist, we will kill you and the man next to you. Now move out of here in an orderly fashion. Now!
  • Doumer, Doumer, Doumer. Why didn't you hire this person? I don't know what his price would have been, but it would have been WORTH it.
  • Daffy... Porky Pig... Little red fucker with a mustache... (Yosemite Sam)
  • All of my life. Saturday morning cartoons. The best. For example, remember those two little shrimps coming in, riding seahorses, little chaps, little pistols? Bang! Bang! Bang! Shooting over their shoulders. Rescue that lobster from the Swedish cook. Funniest thing I ever saw in my life! Splendid work, by the way.
  • (pressing the buttons) This little piggy goes to the market. This little piggy stay at home. This little piggy... Oh, mama. Oh, mama. We... We... We... WEEEEEEEE!! All the way home! (air guitars the Star-Spangled Banner)

Commander Krill

  • [spitting at Ryback's soup] Add a little flavor.
  • Then you don't know about Ryback? He is an extreme psychopath. He hates officers. He hates America. This is the captain's birthday. I don't want him ruining it. No one speaks to him or lets him out. If he tries to escape, shoot him right here. I'm counting on you.
  • (dressed as a woman) I'm your date tonight, Captain.
  • Commander Krill has become increasingly hostile to the crew possibly due to anger over reviews of his performance. I recommend that he'll be given a psychological evaluation before taking over HIS NEXT ASSIGNMENT!! Do I look like I need a psychological evaluation?


Commander Krill (Krill is wearing women's clothing, makeup, fake breasts, and a wig): Listen to the shit I have to put up with: "In the past few weeks, Commander Krill has become increasingly hostile to the crew, possibly due to anger over reviews of his performance. I recommend that he'll be given a psychological evaluation before taking over his next assignment!" Do I look like I need a psychological evaluation?
William Stranix: Not at all.
Commander Krill: I got to change.

William Stranix: The disk, Mr. Pitt. Guard it with your life.
Mr. Pitt: Of course.

William Stranix: Anything else you forgot to tell us about? Any other little memory losses or oversights, perhaps?
Commander Krill: No other little memory losses or oversights perhaps. There's two men, one of them's locked up. And I'll take care of him...
William Stranix: No, no, no. We'll handle it. Secure the galley. Send Cates, send Ziggs.
Shadow: You got it.
Commander Krill: This Marine's armed, Bill. I think we should send more, I'll go...
William Stranix: Don't worry about it. These guys are professionals. They can handle 20 Marines, and a 100 cooks.

William Stranix: Gentlemen, if any ships or aircraft approach within 100 miles, we will kill the crew and retaliate using the ship's arsenal.
Tom Breaker: Bill, this is Tom. What's going on?
William Stranix: I have 32 Tomahawks under my thumb, and all you can do is alert the media.
Tom Breaker: You don't have the launch codes.
William Stranix: I'll take a guess. 5-6-6-0-4-9-9-7-8-0.
Tom Breaker: This is insane.
William Stranix: Be careful with that word, Tom.

Tweety Bird: Any sign of Wile E. Coyote?
William Stranix: No. Meet at the bird cage as planned, Roadrunner, out!
Commander Krill: You're the roadrunner?
William Stranix: Yeah, never been caught. Mee-meep.

William Stranix: The man that did this is a professional. Who is he, and what's he doing running around on my battleship, Mr. Krill?
Commander Krill: Your battleship? You wouldn't be on this battleship if it wasn't for me. He's a cook, plain and simple...
William Stranix: This is not the work of a cook.
Commander Krill: He came on board with the captain. I know his routine, front and back. He's good with cooking knives...
(Stranix rips the throwing knife out of Cates's jugular and holds it up to Krill's face)
William Stranix: Cooking knives?
Commander Krill: He got lucky. In my professional opinion, he is a military reject in command of a GALLEY!

Jordan Tate: You're not a cook.
Casey Ryback: Yeah, well, I also cook.
Jordan Tate: (Answering call on SEAL MX 20-20) Who in the hell is this?!
Admiral Bates:This is Admiral Bates speaking. I'm trying to get a hold of Chief Ryback, is he about?
Jordan Tate: He's in a gunfight right now, I'll have to take a message.
Jordan Tate: (running after Ryback during gunfight) The safest place on this ship is right behind you!

Mr. Pitt: Whatever they did, they're smarter than I am. Everything's dead. It's hopeless.
William Stranix: Nothing is hopeless. (points gun to Mr. Pitt) Take heart.
Mr. Pitt: Give me time, I'll figure it out.
William Stranix: I like your attitude.

William Stranix: All of my life. Saturday morning cartoons. The best. For example, remember those two little shrimps coming in, riding seahorses, little chaps, little pistols? Bang! Bang! Bang! Shooting over their shoulders. Rescue that lobster from the Swedish cook. Funniest thing I ever saw in my life! Splendid work, by the way.
Shadow: Stranix...
William Stranix: Splendid work. My, my, my, how hell doth quicken the spirit. Tomahawks!
Mr. Pitt: They're up and ready.
William Stranix: Where?
Mr. Pitt: The fire control.
William Stranix: Of course, the fire control. Chips and dips on the weather deck. Don't be late. Motor launch is waiting! All hands! Clear out of here!
Mr. Pitt: Let's go.
Shadow: Stranix, four minutes.
Mr. Pitt: Meet us at the motor launch.

William Stranix: I'll take that weapon. Quietly. Now!
(William Stranix grabs Casey Ryback's gun and tosses it.)
Casey Ryback: You look familiar. I know you, don't I?
William Stranix: I think you do. Been a long time.
Casey Ryback: Yes, sir. It has.
William Stranix: Turn around. We'll have a tour. Step forward. Here we have our Tomahawks speeding their way to the sunny Aloha State. Turn around. As you can see, there will be no return. I got the key. The lock is broken. Step forward. Have a sit over there. You'll watch the end of the world on TV, my man. Put your feet up. Relax. You know, you're good. You are really good. It's a shame to kill you. Behold my finest work.
Casey Ryback: Do me a favor. Tell me something. You really think blowing up a bunch of innocent people will change anything? What made you flip like this?
William Stranix: I got tired of coming up with last-minute desperate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.
Casey Ryback: All your ridiculous, pitiful antics won't change a thing. You and I, we're puppets in the same sick play. We serve the same master and he's an ungrateful lunatic. There's nothing we can do about it. You and I are the same.
William Stranix: Oh, no. No. No. No. There's a difference, my man. You have faith. I don't!


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