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Riot is a 1997 American television film starring Luke Perry and Mario Van Peebles. It was written and directed by four writers and directors of four different racial groups prominent in Los Angeles. The title "Riot" refers to the Los Angeles riots of 1992 that were sparked by the beating of Rodney King, and the subsequent acquittal of the four police officers who beat him.

DVD cover of Riot (1997 film).jpg
Directed byGalen Yuen
Alex Munoz
Richard Di Lello
David C. Johnson
Produced byShelly Glasser
Written byGalen Yuen
Joseph B. Vasquez
Richard Di Lello
David C. Johnson
StarringLuke Perry
Mario van Peebles
Douglas Spain
Music byLuke Cresswell
Steve McNicholas
CinematographyPaul Elliott
Edited byNorman Buckley
Release date
  • April 27, 1997 (1997-04-27) (USA)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish, Spanish, Chinese


The film dissects the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict and the ensuing riots through four narratives. A Chinese liquor store owner tries to come to an understanding with his assimilating teenage son who sees his father's old world ways and non-aggressive Buddhism as signs of weakness. A Hispanic teenager tries to live a straight life and do well in school so he will not make the same mistakes his older brother had made, and be able to provide as best he can for his current and future family. A white LAPD officer struggles with obligations from his new girlfriend and not-quite-ex-wife, while confronting a surprisingly gung ho attitude from his fellow officers. An African American middle class man who has recently moved his new family out of "the ghetto", visits the store his father used to own in the old neighborhood and seeks to give some good news to his mother who has vivid memories from living through the Watts riots less than thirty years prior. These four stories are nominally separate vignettes, but interact with each other throughout the film.


Actor Role
Dante Basco Jeffrey Lee (segment "Gold Mountain")
Mako Mr. Lee (segment "Gold Mountain")
Kieu Chinh Mrs. Lee (segment "Gold Mountain")
Derek Basco Lyle (segment "Gold Mountain")
Phil Wong Phil (segment "Gold Mountain")
Douglas Spain Manuel (segment "Caught in the Fever")
Yelba Osorio Iris (segment "Caught in the Fever")
John Ortiz Cisco (segment "Caught in the Fever")
Alexis Cruz Carlos (segment "Caught in the Fever")
Luke Perry Boomer (segment "Empty")
Peter Dobson Chaz (segment "Empty")
Lucy Liu Boomer's girlfriend (segment "Empty")
Mario Van Peebles Turner (segment "Homecoming Day")
Cicely Tyson Maggie (segment "Homecoming Day")
Melvin Van Peebles Vernon (segment "Homecoming Day")

See alsoEdit


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