A Dangerous Life
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|A Dangerous Life|
|Directed by||Robert Markowitz|
|Produced by||Hal McElroy|
|Written by||David Williamson|
(See Cast below)
|Music by||Brian May|
|Edited by||Michael Honey and Tony Kavanagh|
|27 November 1988|
|6 hours (HBO cable tv); 162 minutes (television)|
A Dangerous Life is a 1988 English-language Australian film about the final years of the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos' rule, from the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983 to the People Power EDSA Revolution in 1986 that ousted Marcos.
The film focuses on American TV journalist Tony O'Neil (Gary Busey), who finds himself in the middle of key events that lead to the downfall of the Marcos regime. Originally airing on television as a mini-series that ran for a total of six hours, the film was edited to 162 minutes for the home video release.
- Gary Busey - Tony O'Neil, an American television journalist and news correspondent who is sent to Manila to cover Ninoy Aquino's return and chooses to stay longer after finding himself in the midst of a revolution against Marcos and decides to cover it for the news.
- Rebecca Gilling - Angie Fox, the estranged wife of Tony O'Neill. Prior to the ending, during the Malacañang Palace riot scene, she and Tony reconcile and later return to the United States.
- James Handy - Mike Heseltine
- Roy Alvarez - Col. "Tiger" Tecson, a fictional colonel who is the colleague of Lt. Col. Kapunan and Col. Honasan. In real life, Alvarez has a physical resemblance to Col. Gringo Honasan and due to this, he was supposed to play Honasan in the film but the producers felt he was better suited as Angie's love interest.
- Guy Stone - Peter
- Alexander Cortez - Raoul
- Jaime Fabregas - Ben Balamo, a Manila newspaper company owner who makes articles on what is going on after the Aquino assassination. He befriends Tony in the film after their meeting during a press conference with Marcos on Aquino's assassination in Malacanang.
- Dina Bonnevie - Celie Balamo, the niece of Ben Balamo whom Tony becomes attracted to and falls in love with. She later joins the New People's Army but later leaves. She is then abducted from Tony's home and killed by one of Marcos' henchmen; her corpse is then dumped in Tondo's Smokey Mountain site. After Tony finds her body, he works to find ways to reconcile with his wife Rebecca. Though uncredited in the film, her performance was highly praised by Philippine media.
- Spanky Manikan - Ramon, Tony's Filipino cameraman, assistant, and friend
- Grace Parr - New York Times secretary
- Arthur Sherman - Alex, the president and chief broadcaster of the news company Tony works for.
- Betty Mae Piccio as a computer operator
- Ruben Rustia - President Ferdinand Marcos, the sitting Philippine president in the film's setting. Though his attitudes in the film are similar to his real-life counterpart, his healthy living is the only inaccuracy in his portrayal than he has deteriorating health in real life although he is shown in his early stages of ailing health.
- Laurice Guillen - Corazon Aquino, the widow of Benigno Aquino Jr. who later becomes the president in the film's few minutes to ending. Despite Guillen's portrayal of Aquino being praised by Philippine media, it was also heavily criticized due to the inaccurate design of her prosthetic nose makeup.
- Tessie Tomas - First Lady Imelda Marcos
- Cris Vertido - Salvador "Doy" Laurel
- Robert Talabis - Joker Arroyo
- Mervyn Samson - Gen. Fabian Ver, AFP Chief of Staff
- Joonee Gamboa - Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile
- Ray Ventura - Gen. Fidel "Eddie" Ramos, AFP Vice Chief of Staff
- Johnny Delgado - Lt. Col. Eduardo "Red" Kapunan
- Rez Cortez - Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan
- Rolando Tinio - Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin
- Noel Trinidad - Jimmy Ongpin
- Tony Carreon - Ramon Mitra, Jr.
- Vic Diaz - Maj. Gen. Prospero Olivas, Chief of the Metropolitan Command (METROCOM)
- Amiel Leonardia - Peping Cojuangco, the younger brother of the Cory Aquino
- Lea Cabusi - Kris Aquino, the youngest of the Aquino's
- Freddie Santos - Butz Aquino, Ninoy's younger brother
- Michael Pate - Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth, US ambassador to the Philippines
- Pen Medina - Maj. Eduardo Doromal
- Felindo Obach - Brig. Gen. Artemio Tadiar
- Junix Inocian - Evelio Javier
- Odette Khan - June Keithley
- Mona Lisa - Francisca Monzon
- Joe Gruta - Col. Antonio Sotelo,
- Benigno Aquino, Jr. as himself (interviewed before his assassination). An uncredited actor plays him during the assassination scene
Although the film was shot on location in the Philippines, some scenes were shot in Sri Lanka, mostly due to political and legal pressures from Juan Ponce Enrile who also appreciated the film but did not like the way he was represented (albeit as a fictional version as portrayed by Joonee Gamboa). Other reasons were that the producers had experienced similar conflicts when filming a similar film, The Year of Living Dangerously in 1981 in Manila.
- Australia - ABC, one of the companies who helped in producing the film, broadcast the film in 1989 under the title, The Four-Day Revolution. The film was released on home video in the country though CIC-Taft Home Video.
- Canada - the movie was released on home video in Canada in 1989 through Nova Home Video.
- Finland - the film was once shown in Finland under the title, Vaarallista elämää.
- Philippines - GMA Network (then known as GMA Radio Television Arts) broadcast the film in 1989. The movie was the first major Australian production to air in the network. ABS-CBN broadcast the film on the 25th and 30th death anniversaries of Ninoy Aquino and also during the 25th and 30th anniversaries of EDSA 1986. GMA did the same on those occasions.
- United States - HBO broadcast the film on November 27, 1988. The film was released on home video in the country via J2 Communications.
- West Germany - the film was once shown in Germany under the title, Ein gefährliches Leben.
- The New York Times - A Dangerous Life
- Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p186