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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the pilot for the television series, following a TV movie made in 1973 starring William Holden. George Kennedy replaces Holden as "Bumper" Morgan, a beat cop wise to the streets and adverse to bureaucratic ways. Morgan takes it upon himself to investigate the death of a cop following a pawn shop robbery. His investigation leads him to Edwin Beall (Glynn Turman), a young black rights activist who might be arming the streets for a war against the cops. Based on Joseph Wambaugh's novel, this is an interesting piece of early 70s cop cinema. Not as tough as THE FRENCH CONNECTION or DIRTY HARRY, it still reinforces the idea that it is alright for cops to break the rules as long as we know they are doing it for the good of common man. Kennedy is his usual affable self, so it is kinda hard to swallow bits where he roughhouses thugs. Alex Rocco plays his closest friend on the force and Verna Bloom is Morgan's love interest. Directed with little flair by vet J. Lee Thompson.
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