Jake Speed

Jake Speed is a 1986 American action adventure film comedy film directed and produced by Andrew Lane, with Wayne Crawford, and William Fay. It was written by Lane and Crawford, and starred Crawford in the title role, alongside Dennis Christopher, Karen Kopins and John Hurt.

Jake Speed
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrew Lane
Produced byWayne Crawford
Andrew Lane
William Fay
Written byWayne Crawford
Andrew Lane
Music byMark Snow
CinematographyBryan Loftus
Edited byMichael Ripps
Fred Stafford
Distributed byNew World Pictures
Release date
  • May 30, 1986 (1986-05-30)
Running time
100 minutes
Box office$1,943,751[1]


In Paris, a girl named Maureen Winston (Becca C. Ashley) is abducted by two evil-looking men. While her family prays for her safe return, Maureen's father heaps guilt on her sister Margaret (Karen Kopins), since she convinced her to go see the world. However, Margaret's grandfather (Leon Ames) has an idea: call for Jake Speed (Wayne Crawford) to go and rescue her. One problem exists: Jake Speed is a character in a series of 1940s-style pulp fiction novels.

However, Jake Speed does exist, as Margaret finds out, when he leaves a note for her to meet him and his sidekick, Desmond Floyd (Dennis Christopher), in a tough Paris bar. The novels, as Margaret finds out, are based on Jake and Des's real-life adventures, and they work for nothing, seeing action and excitement (and another novel) as their reward.

Jake reveals that Maureen was kidnapped by white slavers, and is being held in an African country. Jake, Des, and Margaret fly to the nation, which is in the middle of a civil war, to rescue her. Many twists and turns later, Jake's archenemy, the evil, perverted, murderous Englishman Sid (John Hurt), is revealed to be behind the ring, and soon, Margaret becomes a part of it. Jake and Des must now rescue both Maureen and Margaret, stop Sid, and help the girls get out in one piece, while dealing with warring factions, pits of lions, and machine gun-firing helicopters.



Filming took place in Sherman Oaks, California; Paris, France; and in Zimbabwe.[2] The film was produced by Balcor Film Investors and Force 10 Productions.[3]


A soundtrack of composer Mark Snow's music was released on LP record only by Varèse Sarabande in 1986. It was reissued on compact disc by Buysoundtrax in 2009 in a limited edition pressing of 1000 copies.

A track listing is as follows:[4]

  1. Main Title
  2. Friendly Skies
  3. Big Finish
  4. Explosive Situation - Café Girls
  5. Singles' Bar
  6. Play-A-Lick
  7. Dangerous Streets
  8. Lion Around
  9. Maggie Leaves
  10. Sid's Demise
  11. Tender Time
  12. H.A.R.V. - Sid's Resurrection
  13. Voice Over
  14. End Title


A novelization, written under the pseudonym Reno Melon, Jake and Des' writing nom de plume, was published on June 1, 1986, by Gold Eagle/Harlequin (ISBN 0-373-62102-7).[5]

Critical response

The film holds a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[6]


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