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Busting (1974)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  13 April 1974 (Norway)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 658 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 20 critic

LA cops Gould and Blake get in over their heads when they don't heed orders from above and go after a big crime boss. While higher ups in the police department want the cop duo to just ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vice Detective Michael Keneely
...
Vice Detective Patrick Farrel
...
Carl Rizzo
...
Stephen
...
Marvin
...
Rizzo's Bouncer
Ivor Francis ...
Judge Fred R. Simpson
...
Mr. Weldman
Logan Ramsey ...
Dr. Berman
Richard X. Slattery ...
Desk Sergeant
Margo Winkler ...
Mrs. Rizzo
John Lawrence ...
Sergeant Kenefick
...
Rizzo's Connection
Cornelia Sharpe ...
Jackie Faraday
Erin O'Reilly ...
Doris
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Storyline

LA cops Gould and Blake get in over their heads when they don't heed orders from above and go after a big crime boss. While higher ups in the police department want the cop duo to just focus on nabbing petty criminals, the team does so while still going after LA kingpin Rizzo. Various fist fights, chases, shootouts and other carnage occur as the two cops go after Rizzo's crime syndicate. Written by Patrick Knightly <pjknight@polsci.umass.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What this film exposes about undercover vice cops can't be seen on your television set. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 April 1974 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Manos sucias sobre la ciudad  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the courtroom scene of Jackie the hooker's preliminary hearing, the Judge's name on his desk nameplate is "Hon. Fred R. Simpson" . This is also the name of the film's First Assistant Director. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, during the ambulance chase, there are already skid marks on the road surface at the school crossing. These appear to be from previous takes on the scene as they match the ambulance's path perfectly. See more »

Quotes

Huge Black Man: [while beating Keneely with brass knuckles] Hello, Keneely. You know what, Keneely? I gotta message for you, from my friend. He says: Shazam! That's all; Shazam. Can you dig it?
See more »

Connections

References Shazam! (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I know, some things stink".
7 May 2011 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Gee… doesn't the 70s have some cracking crime thrillers… some of these even fall in the cracks, which this one undeservedly does and in which case I would put it down as one of the best the decade had to offer. Writer / director Peter Hyams' debut feature "Busting" is an excellently pitched comedy thriller with outstanding performances by Elliott Gould and Robert Blake as two Los Angeles vice squad officers Michael Keneely and Patrick Farrel who rage a war against a well-respected crime kingpin Carl Rizzo (Allen Garfield), but also find themselves fighting corruption inside the force for their constant harassing of Rizzo. There they decide if it means doing things outside the book, well they'll do it to get their man.

The surefooted plot might seem dated and rather routine (frustrated cops battling criminals and the law, in which they feel like they are fighting a lost cause), but the innovative script is constantly witty / stinging in its observations (that especially goes for its downbeat, but ironic conclusion) and the chemistry between Gould and Blake simply ignites. The narrative seems to be strung together by sporadic plot threads, but there's a certain awkwardness to its cynical approach that just makes it so odd. The interchanges between the two cops and also with Garfield are bitingly dry, but enjoyably so. While there's a playful tongue-in-cheek style, it can be exhaustingly aggressive (you know the brutality featuring red paint) and edgy. Hyams skilfully stages the lean action with gritty, but frenetic authenticity as the bombastic score kicks in. Watch how the camera-work always instinctively moves around, like it has a mind of its own by following the action with numerous tracking shots. Just look at the relentlessly thrilling market store shootout / chase. Earl Rath does a hypnotic job behind the camera. Hyams keeps it snappy and makes great use of the grungy urban setting and seedy strips that really do bring the film to life. The cast are fantastic in their roles. Garfield reeks of confidence and the support features the likes of William Sylvester, Logan Ramsey, Michael Learner, Antonio Fargas, Corbelia Sharpe and the dominating Sid Haig as Rizzo's bouncer.

"Gotta stay alive man. Gotta stay alive."


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