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Ronin (movie)

Ronin is a 1998 film which tells the story of a group of former intelligence agents who team up to steal a mysterious metal case... but can they keep from trying to keep it for themselves? It stars Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean and Katarina Witt.

The movie was written by J.D. Zeik and David Mamet, and directed by John Frankenheimer. David Mamet served as a script doctor on the screenplay, being billed as "Richard Wiesz". The Writers' Guild refused to allow him to get top billing for the writing credit, so he refused to allow his real name to be used.

The title is derived from the Japanese term ronin, used for samurai who had no master; some of the characters in the movie are unemployed agents set adrift by the end of the Cold War. The movie also makes a lengthy reference to the classic Japanese story, the 47 Ronin.

It is notable for a number of fine car chase scenes, the last being a particularly fantastic lengthy one through the streets and tunnels of Paris; some scenes utilized up to 150 stunt drivers. Excellent car work has been a specialty of Frankenheimer, a former racing driver, ever since his 1966 classic, Grand Prix. Although action sequences are often shot by a second unit director, Frankenheimer did all these himself. While he was aware of the many innovations in digital special effects since then, he elected to film all these sequences live, to obtain the maximum level of authenticity. To further this, many of the high-speed shots have the actual actors in the cars; one (Skipp Sudduth) even did all his own driving.

Ron Jeremy has a bit role, credited as Hiatt.