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Cop Hater (1958)

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  1 October 1958 (USA)
6.4
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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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ...
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.

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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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

 
First filming of one of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels
24 May 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Even longtime fans of Ed McBain's evergreen series of police procedurals set in the 87th Precinct may be startled to learn that they started out back in the1950s (and they're still coming). Cop Hater was the first of them to reach the big screen, in a bare-bones production directed by genre-movie veteran William A. Berke.

A heat wave has settled over The City (it's New York, but McBain never identifies it as such), bringing tempers to the flashpoint. An alarm clock wakes a cop for his midnight shift; when he descends into the soupy night, a shot fells him. The entire precinct mobilizes immediately - one of their own has been killed.

We encounter the familiar names of the Precinct's detectives (or some of them), most notably Steve Carella (here, Carelli), played by a young Robert Loggia; he's the bright cop engaged - not yet married - to the beautiful deaf-mute Teddy (Ellen Parker). His partner Maguire (Gerald O'Loughlin) has already tied the knot, but when he tries to keep cool in his undershorts to the whirr of a feeble fan, his wife (Shirley Ballard) brushes him off (`You're wet - oozing wet,' she sniffs).

When a second cop is gunned down in cold blood, attention turns to members of one of the gangs of young punks that were a fixture of post-war New York, but it's a dead end. Next, it's Maguire's turn to meet his very own dead end. Loggia, made indiscreet by too many `splashes' of Scotch to slake his thirst, tells his theories to a callow newspaper reporter and inadvertently puts Teddy in jeopardy....

Cop Hater gets the feel of the grimy streets and cramped apartments of a sweltering urban jungle just right (it also preserves the film debut of Jerry Orbach and very early appearances by Vincent Gardenia and Loggia). The puzzle of the murders may seem a little mechanical (it's a riff on Agatha Christie's The Alphabet Murders), and personalities don't emerge as vividly as we might like. But then this was early in the series, and McBain had only begun to sketch out the quirks of his recurring characters. McBain, of course, is the pseudonym of Evan Hunter (born Salvatore Lombino), who wrote the screenplays for Blackboard Jungle and The Birds. In Cop Hater, his anonymous City takes pride of place.


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