Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

RoboCop (1987)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

RoboCop (1987)

In Dutch director Paul Verhoeven's gory and ultra-violent sci-fi, cyber-cop action-thriller film, a sleeper hit, it told about the Frankenstein-like transformation of a police officer after his death at the hands of drug dealers - into a heavily-armed law-enforcement robot - the film's tragic hero seeking redemption. The title character was allegedly inspired by Blade Runner (1982) - with a modification of the plot about a cop hunting robots, Judge Dredd - a British comic-book hero first appearing in the 2nd issue of the weekly anthology comic 2000 AD (1977), and the Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man first appearing in the mid-to-late 1960s.

The action-crime film from Orion Pictures presented a violent, crime-ridden, financially-distressed and dystopic world, represented by Detroit in the year 1991. [Note: The year 1991 was stated in a 1997 TV advertisement for the film at the time of its release.] To combat the rampant crime and create a new "Detroit (Delta) City", an evil mega-corporation and its tyrannical Senior President developed a crime-fighting cyborg known as ED-209. He was in a competitive rivalry with another executive who was able to produce a more advanced, state-of-the-art cop known as RoboCop ("The future of law enforcement") - a hybrid part human-part robot, as the tagline described: "PART MAN. PART MACHINE. ALL COP."

RoboCop was Verhoeven's first major Hollywood production (following his first English-language theatrical US film Flesh+Blood (1985) that was mostly filmed in Europe). It was originally threatened with an X-rating for its graphic violence, but then with some cuts, was released with an R-rating. The film garnered audiences by sneak-preview screenings, and advertisements using costumed RoboCops in shopping malls and at public events. On a budget of $13 million, the film took in $53.4 million - making it a substantial hit. There were two sequels, RoboCop 2 (1990) and RoboCop 3 (1993), and two TV series in 1994 (in Canada) and 2001, plus a remake RoboCop (2014) directed by José Padilha, and starring Joel Kinnaman as the title character.

  • the film opened with a troubling report about world events from Mediabreak, a Detroit-area news program on Channel 9, with newscasters Casey Wong (Mario Machado) and Jesse Perkins (Leeza Gibbons): "The threat of nuclear confrontation in South Africa escalated today when the military government of that besieged city-state unveiled a French-made neutron bomb and affirmed that it would use it as the city's last line of defense. The president's first press conference from the Star Wars Peace Platform got off to a shaky start when power failed causing a period of weightlessness for the president and his staff..."
  • meanwhile, in the city of Detroit, the mega-corporation OCP (Omni Consumer Products), Security Concepts' mother company, had been contracted to privatize the police force ("run local law enforcement") - to fund and take over the Detroit Metro Police Department (that was threatening to strike) that had become depleted and under-staffed and was unable to control crime; OCP ("a bunch of morons") wasn't an improvement - it was blamed for the recent deaths of three police officers, and an additional officer was in critical condition; Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) was identified as the unofficial "crime boss" of Old Detroit responsible for the uptick in violence
  • good-guy veteran Detroit Officer Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller) with "12 years on the force and 21 commendations" was transferred into the hellish, crime-ridden, Metro West "Old Detroit" precinct from Metro South (suburban Detroit); he was partnered with fierce veteran Officer Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen), often seen blowing chewing gum bubbles; family man Murphy, with a young son and wife, was optimistic about his new assignment

Detroit Police Officer Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller)

Detroit Police Officer Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen)
  • in the corporation's executive boardroom, OCP Senior President Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) announced plans for his company to not rebuild the dystopic, slum-ridden Old Detroit (suffering from the "cancer" of crime), but to replace it with a utopian "Delta City"; now that "Delta City" had been green-lighted with construction to begin in six months, he gave a stirring preview to an audience about the future of law-enforcement; he proposed robotic police officers to replace the human ones: "We need a 24-hour-a-day police officer. A cop who doesn't need to eat or sleep. A cop with superior firepower and the reflexes to use it"
  • during his product demonstration sequence, Jones spoke about a new robotic ED (Enforcement Droid) for "urban pacification" - a Series 209 prototype; it was heralded as "a self-sufficient, law-enforcement robot" and "the hot military product for the next decade"; he introduced the giant, 7-foot tall, awkward, top-heavy robot to show a simulated arrest and disarming procedure of an "arrest subject" - an innocent opponent and junior executive selected from the audience named Kinney (Kevin/Ken Page)
  • when the demo began, ED-209 gave a stern warning when Kinney's Desert Eagle pistol was threateningly pointed at it: "Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply"; but the incompetent, poorly-performing ED-209 malfunctioned, stepped forward, growled in a deep voice, and warned: "You now have 15 seconds to comply," even when the gun was surrendered and thrown down on the floor; after a countdown, it mercilessly killed Kinney with a violent volley of shots, claiming it was now authorized to use "physical force" according to Penal Code 1.13, Section 9; Kinney died after falling backwards onto a model of Delta City
  • after the murderous assault by ED-209, middle-ranking executive Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) shouted for assistance to the hapless volunteer: "Somebody want to call a god-damn paramedic?"
  • the OCP's chairman and head of the board, the Old Man (Dan O'Herlihy), was upset by the failed robot, and spoke harshly to Senior President Dick Jones: "Dick, I'm very disappointed", and Jones responded - with a classic line: "I'm sure it's only a glitch, a temporary setback"; the Old Man was aghast: "You call this a glitch!! (pause) We're scheduled to begin construction in 6 months. Your 'temporary setback' could cost us 50 million dollars in interest payments alone!"
  • the Old Man's contingency plan (after the failure of Jones' ED-209) was the RoboCop program recommended by middle-ranking executive Bob Morton of OCP, to create experimental cyborg cops; Morton's selection angered Jones whose ED program was passed over
  • before going out on his first patrol with female Officer Lewis, Detroit Officer Murphy demonstrated how he could twirl and holster his gun ("pretty fancy moves"), and expressed how he wanted to provide a role model of a "good cop" for his young son; during their investigation of an armed robbery at a pharmaceutical company, the criminals were traced to an abandoned steel mill; while Lewis was thought to have been killed, there was a prolonged, horrifying torture-killing sequence of the death of Officer Murphy - in the line of duty; his murder was delivered by the sadistic drug gang of punks led by "crime boss of Old Detroit" and cop killer - Clarence Boddicker; when Murphy insulted Boddicker: "Buddy, I think you're slime," his gang laughed in unison; Boddicker responded: "See, I got this problem. Cops don't like me, so I don't like cops"
  • as Boddicker made the sound of a tracking device, he aimed his shotgun at Murphy's right arm that was held down by Boddicker's foot; his right hand was mercilessly blown off with the shotgun - as the villain joked about the mutilation: "Well, give the man a hand"; the sadistic gang leader then told his thugs: "He's all yours"; then Murphy's entire right arm was blasted away - followed by a non-stop volley of gunshots into his body by the sadistic group functioning as a firing-squad; miraculously still alive, Boddicker executed Murphy with another blast to the head
Cop Murphy vs. Boddicker - Murphy's Brutal, Sadistic and Merciless Murder
  • after Murphy's recent death, his terminally-wounded body was rushed to a hospital in order to transform him into a half-human, half-robotic crime-fighting super-cop cyborg, known as RoboCop ("The Future of Law Enforcement") by Bob Morton's OCP RoboCop unit
  • Murphy was operated upon in the trauma unit transformed and converted into RoboCop with a prosthetic body; Murphy's fleshly head and chest were the only parts remaining from his bullet-riddled human body; his outer skin was composed of "titanium, laminated with Kevlar," and he had mechanical hands with 400 ft./lbs. of force; from Murphy's POV, executive Bob Morton boasted and gloated to his new RoboCop - in close-up: "You're gonna be a bad motherf--ker!"
  • Morton's RoboCop prototype was unveiled as he strode into the police station precinct, where his abilities (tracking system, voice stress, etc.) were promoted: "The fastest reflexes technology has to offer, on-board computer-assisted memory, and a lifetime of on-the-street law-enforcement programming"; the cyborg was continually being fed a brownish paste (tasting like "baby food") to replenish his organic systems; Murphy's human memory was thought to have been erased entirely, and replaced with three Prime Directives: "Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law"; Morton tested and questioned what RoboCop's three Prime Directives were - and the RoboCop dutifully recited them; Directive 4 was considered "CLASSIFIED"
  • RoboCop was regarded as a "SuperCop" - "He's not a guy, he's a machine!"
  • during RoboCop's first night on patrol, he entered a convenience grocery-liquor store run by a Mom and Pop (Marjorie Rynearson and Jo Livingston) that was in the midst of being robbed by a threatening trench-coated armed thief; bullets ineffectively bounced off RoboCop's bulletproof coverings; the cyborg law enforcer bent the shotgun's barrel, and punched the robber with a terrific blow, sending him unconscious into a refrigerator
  • his second encounter was against two criminals (in the credits, a Bleach Blonde Thug and a Creep) who were assaulting and raping a blonde victim (Donna Keegan); with precise aim, RoboCop shot the Creep perpetrator in the groin (the bullet tracked through the female's dress and between her legs); he then threatened the assailant: "Your move, Creep!" and the thugs immediately surrendered; RoboCop coldly told the grateful female that he would follow through: "Madam, you have suffered an emotional shock. I will notify a rape crisis center"
  • in a third incident (a hostage stand-off) in City Hall, crazed and desperate ex-city councilman Ron Miller (Mark Carlton) held Mayor Gibson and his staff hostage as he negotiated with a SWAT team, and demanded a vote recount and his old job back; the RoboCop calmly made his way to the 2nd floor; during the tense scene, Miller bargained with a negotiator who promised Miller "a bigger office...a new with reclining leather seats that goes really fast and gets really s--tty gas mileage...with cruise control"; the negotiator also added: "Let the mayor go, we'll even throw in a Blaupunkt"; using his thermal vision imaging, RoboCop located Miller, grabbed him through an adjoining solid wall, and punched him through a window to his death
  • RoboCop was rapidly becoming a hero in the eyes of Detroit's residents; during a PR visit with children at an elementary school, the RoboCop was advertised as "OCP's newest soldier in their revolutionary crime management program. OCP spokesmen claim the fearless machine has crooks on the run in Old Detroit"; interviewed and asked by a reporter: "Any special message for all the kids watching at home!?" and the RoboCop answered with a four-word reply: "Stay out of trouble"
  • the film's presented satirical comments on American consumer culture, via humorous commercial advertisements during Media Breaks news broadcasts -- e.g., the video home game Nukem from Butler Brothers: (with the catchphrase: "Get them before they get you"); during the councilman's hostage crisis, a car commercial advertised the gigantic, over-sized 6000 SUX sedan: ("Big is back. Because bigger is better. SUX, an American tradition")

Nukem - Family Board Game

6000 SUX
  • the Detroit City Council and labor leaders approved the construction of OCP's Delta City to create one million new jobs; Bob Morton was promoted to vice president of OCP and promised that in 40 days, RoboCop would put an end to crime in Old Detroit ("There's a new guy in town. His name's Robocop")
  • consequently, Morton's success with RoboCop thoroughly enraged Dick Jones, who reportedly was "pretty pissed" by Morton's promotion; Jones approached Morton in a men's room urinal, and angrily and confrontationally threatened him for upstaging him with his RoboCop creation: ("You've insulted me. And you've insulted this company with your bastard creation"); Jones believed that his ED-209 robot would have secured a better, more long-term and profitable military contract; he also asserted his authority as the "number two" man in the company behind the Old Man, and was hoping that the CEO might soon die ("He's not gonna live forever"); Jones grabbed Morton's hair and warned: "You just f--ked with the wrong guy....You better pray that that unholy monster of yours doesn't screw up"
  • the RoboCop spoke to Murphy's former partner Officer Lewis, who recognized him due to his unique trick way of twirling his gun and holstering it; she called him "Murphy - it's you!" but she was surprised that he didn't remember her: "You really don't remember me?"; the OCP technicians didn't realize that some of Murphy's memories weren't purged during his transformation; Murphy began to relive and envision past events from his life (and would continue to do so), even though his memory had been blanked
  • at a SHELL gas station during a robbery in progress, RoboCop recognized Emil Antonowsky (Paul McCrane), a Boddicker gang member who had shot off his right arm; he approached and ordered: "Drop it! Dead or alive, you're coming with me!"; Emil panicked and yelled out: "I know you. You're dead. We killed you!", and before zooming away, he set the station on fire; however, his bike was shot out from under him and RoboCop took the seriously-injured Emil into custody
  • while perusing the police's mainframe computer and its police records on Emil, RoboCop realized that Emil's crime boss Boddicker was responsible for killing Officer Murphy; he also learned of Officer Murphy's previous home address
  • the RoboCop dreamily experienced a few intermittent, hallucinatory, ghost-like POV flash-backs of his former family life as Police Officer Alex Murphy, with glimpses of his wife and son in their now-abandoned home (now up for sale) at 548 Primrose Lane; he discovered a family photo in the kitchen, and he observed his son Jimmy (Jason Levine) watching a cop show on TV titled TJ Lazer, while his pink-robed wife Ellen (Angie Bolling) was in the bedroom intimately telling him: ("I really have to tell you something...I love you!"); as RoboCop left the property, he punched the TV with a video-realtor imploring: ("Hey, have you thought it all over? Why not make me an offer?")

RoboCop - Learning His Previous Identity and Home Address From Police Computer Records

RoboCop's Flashbacks to Old Life as Murphy

Murphy's Visit to His Former Home - A Murphy Family Picture

Murphy's Son Jimmy Watching TV Show (TJ Lazer)

Murphy's Wife: "I Love You"

RoboCop Destroying the Realtor's Video Monitor
  • at his home, as Bob Morton was snorting cocaine with two call-girl models, Clarence Boddicker entered with a firearm, commanded that the "Bitches, leave!" crippled Morton by shooting him four times in the legs, and then played a CD video message from his boss, Dick Jones; he criticized the ambitious Morton's non-compliance with OCP protocols, necessitating his elimination: ("I guess you're on your knees about now...begging for your life. Pathetic. You don't feel so cocky now, do you?...You know what the tragedy is here, Bob? We could have been friends. But you wouldn't go through proper channels. You went over my head. That hurt. But life goes on. It's an old story, the fight for love and glory. It helps if you think of it as a game, Bob. Every game has a winner and a loser. I'm cashing you out, Bob"); Boddicker pulled the pin on a hand grenade and set it on a coffee table before leaving; the weapon detonated and destroyed the house and Morton

Boddicker with Jones' Videotaped Message For Morton

Wounded Morton Struggling to Reach a Detonated Hand Grenade on the Coffee Table

At a Drug Factory, RoboCop Assaulted Boddicker - Forcing Him to Confess He Worked for Jones
  • Boddicker proceeded on to a competitor's illegal cocaine processing factory, where he threatened his criminal rival Sal (Lee de Broux) ("I don't think I want to pay that, Sal"), to give him a volume discount for a large quantity of cocaine, and/or join his distribution network and organization, or else Sal would be killed and his factory would be eliminated; RoboCop interrupted and broke down the door, and a massive shootout commenced
  • after all of the drug lord's gang members were shot dead, RoboCop brutally beat Boddicker, and forced him to confess that he was associated with OCP's Senior President, and how he felt that he was protected from being arrested: ("I'm protected, man. I've got protection... I work for Dick Jones!...He's the number two guy at OCP! OCP runs the cops! You're a cop! Cop!"); RoboCop admitted that he was a cop: "Yes, I am a cop," but was unable to vengefully kill Boddicker because of Prime Directive 3 ("Uphold the law"); Boddicker was placed under arrest and transported to the police station, where RoboCop ordered: "Book him" - on charges of being a "cop killer," although shortly later, Jones paid the bail and freed him
  • meanwhile, the city had entered into chaos and was tearing itself apart when the police union launched its long-threatened strike, due to their upset over OCP's ineffective policies and underfunding, and criminals took advantage of the lack of law-enforcement by robbing and looting
  • RoboCop entered Jones' office in the modernistic OCP Tower, played a video recording of Boddicker's confession about being aligned with him, charged Jones with "aiding and abetting a known felon" - and threatened to arrest Jones; however, Jones activated the 'Classified' Directive 4 - his system's safeguard (or "insurance policy") to shut down and disable RoboCop; the directive issued a "product violation" - and prevented RoboCop, as an OCP "product," from harming an OCP official: (Jones: "Any attempt to arrest a senior officer of OCP results in shutdown...You're our product and we can't very well have our products turning against us, can we?"); Jones then openly and boastfully admitted that he had ordered Morton's death: ("I had to kill Bob Morton because he made a mistake. Now it's time to erase that mistake")
  • Jones ordered the heavily-armed and massive ED-209 to attack, pursue and eliminate the RoboCop; the ED was unable to follow RoboCop down flights of stairs to the garage (due to his oversized, clumsy feet), and on his backside after falling, he had a childish temper tantrum - one of the film's highlights; however, RoboCop was ambushed in the underground parking garage by a police SWAT team led by Lt. Hedgecock (Michael Gregory) (ordered by OCP to fire on him), but with Officer Lewis' help, he was able to escape with her to the abandoned steel mill
  • after releasing Boddicker and his gang members from jail, Jones adamantly told Boddicker that the RoboCop had to be eliminated, because the cyborg had recorded his guilt: ("He's a cyborg, you idiot. He recorded every word you said. His memory's admissible as evidence! You involved me! You'll have to kill it"); he offered crime lord Boddicker and his thugs an enticing promise - full control of drugs, gambling, and prostitution during and after the construction of the newly-planned community of Delta City scheduled to begin in two months, utilizing millions of workers: ("Virgin territory for the man who knows how to open up new markets"); in exchange, Boddicker had to pursue and destroy RoboCop; Jones supplied Boddicker and his men with a tracking system and "major firepower" - heavy military .50 caliber weapons and assault cannons that could penetrate RoboCop's exterior armor
  • with Lewis in the steel mill, RoboCop was still recovering from serious damages and injuries; he removed his helmet and visor and viewed his reflection, while telling Lewis: "You may not like what you're going to see"; Lewis told RoboCop that his former wife and son had moved away after the funeral to start their lives over ("She thought you were dead. She started over again"); the RoboCop reacted: "I can feel them, but I can't remember them," and then became withdrawn from Lewis: ("Leave me alone")
  • during the two cops' shootout at the steel mill against an assault by Boddicker and his men, the gang was quickly eliminated one by one, although Officer Lewis was wounded; a special death was reserved for bad guy Emil - known as the Melting Man death scene; during the conflict, Emil drove a large truck-van directly at RoboCop: ("OK, now, I've got ya"), but was tricked when the RoboCop enforcer shot his windshield, spun away, and caused Emil to crash into a gigantic tank ominously labeled 'TOXIC WASTE'; from its back doors, the van spilled out gallons of toxic waste along with the quickly melting and liquifying driver; he gasped for breath as he crawled to his feet, noting his clawed hands and disintegrating flesh; he staggered around, moaning piteously: "Help me!"; his gory death occurred a few moments later when he stepped in front of Boddicker's speeding vehicle -- his body splattered explosively across the hood and windshield, obscuring the driver's view and causing Boddicker to crash his car and turn upside-down
The Gruesome Death of Emil Antonowsky - After He Drove His Truck at the RoboCop and Hit a TOXIC WASTE Tank, He Was Dowsed With an Acid Bath and Then His Body Was Splattered by Boddicker's Speeding Vehicle
  • during a standoff between RoboCop and Boddicker, as RoboCop was pinned under scrap metal debris and steel girders dropped onto him, Boddicker approached to finish him off with a large rail bar: ("Sayonara, RoboCop!"), but RoboCop was able to maneuver himself to violently stab him in the throat with a computer data spike concealed in his fist; he then rescued wounded Officer Lewis who was seriously hurt ("Murphy, I'm a mess") - he assured her: "They'll fix you. They fix everything"
  • in the film's climactic showdown, RoboCop returned to the OCP Tower, where he confronted and triumphed over ED-209 guarding the front entrance, by blasting its entire mid-section with Boddicker's giant high-powered weapon; RoboCop then turned his attention toward finding Jones who was leading a board meeting in the building; Jones was attempting to use the police union's strike to his own advantage by again pushing for his ED-209 law-enforcement product to be placed throughout the city
  • the RoboCop approached Jones with the statement: "Dick Jones is wanted for murder"; Jones again rejected the RoboCop's arrest: "This is absurd! That thing is a violent mechanical psychopath!"; RoboCop then played the recording of Jones' confession of Morton's murder to the board members; the desperate Jones grabbed a gun and took the OCP's Old Man (the corporate President) as his hostage, with demands for a chopper to flee from the rooftop; his plan failed when the "old geezer" summarily fired Jones - thereby nullifying Directive 4; RoboCop fired at and killed Jones who was propelled backwards, smashed a window, and fell to his death 95 stories down below; RoboCop then re-holstered his gun

The Old Man ("Old Geezer") Was Taken Hostage by a Desperate Jones

Jones' Death - Shot To Death and Propelled Through A Window to His Death Below
  • to end the film, there was a memorable closing exchange between the very thankful and impressed Old Man and RoboCop after the villainous Dick Jones had been dispatched: (Old Man: "Nice shootin', son. What's your name?", RoboCop: (pausing and then smiling) "Murphy" - revealing he had regained and accepted his humanity)

The Old Man: "Nice shootin', son. What's your name?"

RoboCop: "Murphy"

OCP Senior President Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) - Speaking About Future Law Enforcement for Detroit

Demo of the Fire-Power of the ED-209 Robot

Junior Executive Kinney's Death Due to the Malfunctioning ED-209

OCP Senior President Dick Jones to the Old Man: "I'm sure it's only a glitch, a temporary setback"

Murphy Operated Upon and Transformed into RoboCop

Executive Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) to His RoboCop - in Close-Up: "You're gonna be a bad motherf--ker!"

Robocop's Unveiling and Introduction - in the Police Station

RoboCop's Recitation of The Three Prime Directives

RoboCop Halting a Convenience Store Robbery

RoboCop Ending an Assault and Rape Attempt

The RoboCop's Handling of a Hostage Situation in City Hall - Grabbing Ex-City Councilman Ron Miller Through a Wall

Advice to Children During a PR event at an Elementary School: "Stay out of trouble!"

Enraged Dick Jones' Threat Toward Bob Morton in a Men's Room - Grabbing His Hair

At a Gas Station - RoboCop To Emil: "Drop it! Dead or alive, you're coming with me!"

Jones' Activation of Directive 4 Against the RoboCop - Declaring His Arrest Attempt an OCP "Product Violation"

Jones Ordering ED-209 to Attack RoboCop

ED-209's Battle Against RoboCop

ED-209 Clumsily Tumbling Down Stairs

RoboCop's Self-Reflection With Officer Lewis - The Removal of His Helmet

Final Standoff: Boddicker vs. RoboCop, Ending with Boddicker's Stabbing Death in the Neck

ED-209 Guarding the OCP Tower - and Blasted by RoboCop

RoboCop Entering the OCP Boardroom to Confront Jones for the Murder of Morton With an Audio Recording


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