Private War

Screenplay by Terry Borst and Frank De Palma

Private War


Private War is what’s known in the trade as a “bodycount movie,” something particularly popular in the Eighties, post-Rambo and the Chuck Norris POW flicks. A lot of independent companies put these out primarily for the foreign market.

Private War was produced by Smart Egg Pictures and released in 1989. The original screenplay (not ours) made absolutely no sense, but De Palma was slated to direct, so we set out to do what we could with it while they were putting film in the camera….

Variety called it an “above-average action drama” with a “thematically resonant” payoff and “colorful, unexpurgated dialog.” It’s amazing what you can do in a production rewrite…

Private War played theatrically in a few U.S. cities. Overseas, it invaded theaters as Operation Paratrooper. The movie’s available on video from Republic, and I used to see it on cable channels occasionally.

It’s not a movie I ever showed my parents, however, due to its gleeful violence…

The movie stars Joe Dallesandro* (!) and Martin Hewitt (Endless Love). (My writing career will only achieve complete closure when I write a movie starring Mary Woronov…)