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The New Centurions (1972)

An idealistic rookie cop joins the LAPD to make ends meet while finishing law school, and is indoctrinated by a seasoned veteran. As time goes on, he loses his ambitions and family as police work becomes his entire life.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard E. Kalk ...
Milton (as Richard Kalk)
Sgt. Anders
Beverly Hope Atkinson ...
Mittie Lawrence ...
Tracee Lyles ...


A group of new police recruits takes to patrolling the streets of Los Angeles. Roy Fehler is a law student with a family and has joined the LAPD until he can complete his degree. He's partnered with veteran patrolman Kilvinski and they soon develop a good rapport. On the street the policemen are exposed to the seedier side of life but Kilvinski is a fair cop and a good teacher. Over time however, Fehler comes to love the work and both his family and his studies fall by the wayside. Kilvinsky retires and Fehler loses his way, drinking heavily. Fehler's wife leaves him and he soon hits bottom. Just as he begins to get his life in order, fate intervenes. Written by garykmcd

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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 November 1972 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Los nuevos centuriones  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


George C. Scott wears the old eight-point hat that the LAPD stopped wearing in the late-'60s/early-'70s, while other officers wear the current round "wheel" hat. Scott wore it because his character was an "old-line" police officer. See more »


Spoofed in Movie Madness (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

The NEW CENTURIONS—An Unheralded Epic First in Cinema History!
1 August 2016 | by See all my reviews

.............................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL

This film, aside from its very special status mentioned above, is quite worthwhile and entertaining. It is an excellent George C. Scott vehicle, well-directed, well-scripted and well edited! Like other quality police dramas, it has several intertwined seamlessly integrated story lines, none of which is left unresolved, or most of which are left unresolved, when the end credits begin to roll…depending on your point of view! At times, on screen events resonant with such realism that it lends a dimension of docudrama to the overall production.

CENTURIONS clearly transmits the boring nature of most of the daily, moment to moment activities that permeates police work, while, at the same time, emphasizing that this aspect of the job must be tempered by a heightened awareness intrinsic to survival owing to the ever-present possible reality of life-threatening scenarios on a one second event horizon! These "Men In Black" would, undoubtedly, prefer to live in a world where all their on-the- job decision options were delineated by a simple Black or White distinction. The reality of the New Centurions is that they clearly come in every imaginable shade of gray!

Scott's cynical, scarred, veteran, Kilvinski, nearing retirement, has constructed a reality where his quasi-legal technique of locking up street- walkers in his paddy wagon and driving them around all night to keep the streets "clean and decent" is a necessary evil with which he feels, at least, reasonably comfortable!

Keach's enthusiastic and idealistic rookie, Fehler, oozes frustration from every pore, as he perceives the lifeblood of his initial optimism being drained, drop by drop, by the cold, hard cement indifference of L.A.'s Mean Streets! Viewing, impotently, as both his marriage and his upbeat rookie positivism flounder in an ocean of problems, he finds consolation and support in the arms of a sensitive and empathetic nurse, played by Rosalind Cash.…

Here is where I will reference the "Unheralded Epic First in Cinema History": I suppose that today, in 2015, in a perfect world, we are not supposed to notice or mention a good number of things because we must be "P.C.", right? But CENTURIONS wasn't made in 2015…It was released in 1972! To the best of my recollection, in the early 70's, whenever we saw a bi- racial on screen couple, which was really not all that frequently to begin with, their racial difference was always a focal point of the relationship. Usually because of the problems they encountered because of this difference from friends, from relatives or parents, from those in authority or simply from others in society!

How briskly refreshing that in CENTURIONS they were just a police officer and a nurse who cared very dearly for one another… Absolutely no mention whatsoever of their racial difference! Isn't that exactly the way it should be? The way it is now…??? (Well, almost, anyway!).

Hope to get some feedback from someone, anyone on this aspect of the movie…


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