The hardworking detectives of the 87th Precinct in an unnamed city during a massive heat wave investigate the seemingly random murders of policemen.

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(novel) (as Ed McBain), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Detective Mike Maguire (as Gerald O'Loughlin)
Ellen Parker ...
Shirley Ballard ...
Alice Maguire
Russell Hardie ...
Detective Lt. Byrnes
Hal Riddle ...
Mercer
Bill Neff ...
Rookie Cop - Kling (as William Neff)
Gene Miller ...
Reporter Miller
...
Danny the Gimp (as Vince Gardenia)
John Gerstad ...
Laboratory Technician
Ralph Stantley ...
Detective Hal Willis
Glenn Cannon ...
Gang Leader - Rip (as Glen Gannon)
Alan Manson ...
Newlywed Clark
Sandra Stevens ...
Newlywed Wife
Janet Manson ...
Maggie Reardon (as Jan Kalionzes)
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Storyline

The hardworking detectives of the 87th Precinct in an unnamed city during a massive heat wave investigate the seemingly random murders of policemen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Cop Bait! She winks... she loves... she kills... and it's always a guy with a badge! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

1 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cercados Pela Polícia  »

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Film debut of Steve Franken. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jack Webb It Ain't
25 October 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

The early 50's were the era of Jack Webb, police procedure, and the docu-drama, where law enforcement was portrayed in the best possible professional light. After all, there was an emerging Cold War to fight. On the other hand, this late 50's movie, adapted from an Ed McBain novel, is edging away from that ideal toward a more realistic portrayal of policing in a city precinct. Dragnet, it ain't.

Too bad that the result comes across as something of a trashy, exploitation flick because there's a good story with several interesting passages plus a neat twist ending buried beneath the tacky titillation. Someone's knocking off cops for no apparent reason, a psycho the detectives figure. So the heat at the precinct is really on with no real suspects. Nonetheless, much of what follows is pretty muddled and hard to follow. It's not an A-grade adaptation or narrative, to say the least.

The way the cops are portrayed is interesting for the time. They knock people around, drink a lot (maybe on duty), and seem sex-starved much of the rest of the time. In short, the detectives appear not that different from most young American males. Given today's relaxed standards, colorful episodes like rousting a street gang or ogling a nude woman in a towel may seem tame, but in 1958, such scenes were quite daring.

The trouble is that too much of the drama and suspense is sacrificed to a lot of cheesecake scenes, which may have sold tickets but do little to advance the story. Too bad, because the acting from a New York cast comes across as unforced and natural, plus the main characters don't look like typical Hollywood types. Even the girls, though sexy, aren't tinsel town perfect.

With a better structured, less exploitative script, the film could have risen above the drive-in level. As the results stand, however, there's not much beyond an historical interest in the evolution of the cop film. Besides, guys can get more titillation by just switching over to the Playboy channel.


4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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