Stakeout is a 1987 American crime-comedy film directed by John Badham and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez, Madeleine Stowe, Aidan Quinn, and Forest Whitaker. The screenplay was written by Jim Kouf, who won a 1988 Edgar Award for his work. Although the story is set in Seattle, Washington, the film was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. A sequel, Another Stakeout, followed in 1993. The movie later inspired a Malayalam language Indian movie Vandanam.
Detectives Chris Lecce and Bill Reimers are assigned to the night shift on a stakeout of Latina waitress Maria McGuire. Maria's former boyfriend Richard "Stick" Montgomery has escaped from a prison following a brawl with several guards, with help from his cousin Caylor, who helped him escape in a truck. The FBI asks for their full cooperation in the capture of Montgomery. They also begin to realize that his cousin is helping him get to Seattle. Fellow officers Pismo and Coldshank start playing pranks on Chris and Bill during the day shift.
Montgomery telephones Maria, but the line gets cut off so that Chris and Bill can trace her calls. He has a large amount of money that he secretly hid in an armchair prior to his incarceration. Lecce and Reimers spy on Maria, hoping that Montgomery will turn up at her door so they can arrest him. Lecce is going through a divorce with his wife. He comes home and finds out that she moved out and took his furniture, leaving him in despair. Lecce pretends to be a telephone lineman, in order to get close to Maria. He also helps her brother Ray get a job, that way he'll stop doing criminal activities, and have a normal life without getting into trouble.
Fate takes a turn for the worse as Lecce falls in love with Maria and the Seattle police suspect him as one of Montgomery's allies. While asleep in Maria's bed, Montgomery and Caylor break into her house and with Montgomery killing Lecce by shooting him in the face. Lecce wakes up and finds out it was a nightmare. Not only that, he finds out he slept in, and must leave the house without being seen. Chris runs through Maria's neighborhood without being captured by the police, until Bill saves him at the last minute. At the police station, Bill scolds him for sleeping with Maria, but Chris promises he will tell her the truth of who he really is. Bill reminds Chris that he's a good cop that made one mistake.
After killing a cashier in a gas station, Montgomery and Caylor, have a run-in with several officers waiting for them outside Seattle, causing a shootout and having their car to crash into the river. Montgomery escapes from the vehicle before it sinks, with Caylor having been wounded and dying in the sunken car. Lecce tells his secret to Maria, but she starts to get upset, only to run into Montgomery, who survived. Montgomery tells Chris and Maria that he stashed half-million dollars in a couch that he bought for her years prior. He was hoping that he and Maria would have a great life together in Canada, but Lecce ruined it for them. After capturing Reimers, Montgomery plans executing both him and Lecce. The climax of the film takes place at a paper mill, where Lecce and Montgomery have a shootout, resulting in Montgomery being shot in the chest. Chris thanks Maria for saving his life, just when Montgomery was going to kill him. Maria and Lecce begin to have a relationship.Richard Dreyfuss as Det. Chris Lecce
Emilio Estevez as Det. Bill Reimers
Aidan Quinn as Richard "Stick" Montgomery
Madeleine Stowe as Maria McGuire
Forest Whitaker as Det. Jack Pismo
Dan Lauria as Det. Phil Coldshank
Earl Billings as Capt. Giles
Ian Tracey as Caylor Reese
Jackson Davies as FBI Agent Lusk
Stakeout earned mostly positive reception from critics. As of June 2014, it holds an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 23 reviews.
The film debuted at number one at the box office. It went on to gross $65.6 million domestically, ranking as the eighth highest-grossing film of the year.