For his first directorial project in six years, Robert Towne selected a timeworn romantic-triangle yarn, injecting the material with subtlety and conviction. Tequila Sunrise stars Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell as two lifelong friends who, in true James Cagney-Pat O'Brien fashion, grow up on the opposite sides of the law. One is a retired drug dealer (at least he says he is), the other a "celebrity" cop. Both fall in love with gorgeous restaurateur Michelle Pfeiffer. Veteran movie buffs will enjoy spotting director Budd Boetticher as a judge, and will welcome the presence in the production credits of cinematographer Conrad Hall, who earned an Oscar nomination for his richly textured color camerawork.
by Hal Erickson synopsis