Number of Times Seen – 2 (10 Aug 2000 and 6 Feb 2017)
Brief Synopsis – A hard look at the way beat patrol cops live their lives daily on the streets of the Bronx where they are constantly seen by the population as the enemy.
My Take on it – This is the kind of movie that could only have been made the way it was in the late 70’s early 80’s because it gives us a very gritty view of what life must have been like for cops working in difficult areas at that time.
The problem is that the film isn’t as powerful today as it probably was when it originally came out.
This has much to do with the fact that we have seen so many more recent depictions of the way cops in New York deal with crime so most of what happens here is no longer as shocking or innovative as one would hope.
The cast here is great with Paul Newman, Ed Asner, Rachel Ticotin, Ken Wahl and Danny Aiello all giving nice performances.
I liked the way that this film makes reference to old westerns including The famous John Wayne-John Ford western which is where the title of this film comes from.
Newman feels a bit too old for this role, but still makes it work nevertheless.
They do a great job delving into the aspects of police corruption during the time period of this film and we get a true sense of how difficult it was on the “clean” cops who needed to decide what to do when they were put in precarious positions because of the rampant corruption around them.
Bottom Line – Gritty look at the life of cops working in some of the most dangerous areas of the city. Not as powerful today as it probably was at the time. Great cast led by Newman and Asner. Really liked the way that they make reference to some of the best Westerns including the Wayne-Ford film that they get the title from. Th do a great job portraying how difficult it was for “clean” cops to maneuver among the corrupt one trying to continue to do their jobs amidst the rampant corruption around them. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to veteran TV writer and producer Steven Bochco, this film served as one of the inspirations for his ground breaking series Hill Street Blues (1981). (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy
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