I found this movie for 50p in a second-hand shop, and it's taken me a few months to get round and watch it, but i'm glad i did!
DON MURRAY is excellent in this movie, and i can feel for his character (untill maybe the final 10 minutes, or so) as a cop with 18 years clean service, a glittering side career ahead of him (championing a would-be mayor) and a loving wife and daughter. When this (seemingly, by-the-numbers) cop guns down an un-armed kidnapper (JAMES EARL JONES) during the act, the kidnapped lady (DIAHN WILLIAMS) feels a little uneasy about her saviors methods, and decides to change her statement to the D.A. The disgraced cop, finds his world crumbling around him (his mayor friend wants nothing to do with him, and his police precinct suspend him) so he decides to 'pursuade' the women, to re-think her statement. Unfortunately his methods border on psychotic.
To give away anything else, would be a crime (though i will say, it has a great ending!) as i watched the movie knowing nothing about it, whatsoever (the video i bought was such an old pre-certificate copy, it consisted of a front inlay card in a VHS cover. I'd say circa 1980, on the 'MAGNETIC' video label) and for a movie made in 1975, it is certainly gritty enough (the language and violence are quite coarse at times) but is a must for fans of 'bad-cop' cinema.
With not one bad performance throughout, this also marks TREAT WILLIAMS debut (plus a completely un-noticed one by a credited DANNY DE VITO) The movie can be seen as an early blueprint for 1992's UNLAWFUL ENTRY (with RAY LIOTTA, KURT RUSSEL) in that, we witness a gradual breakdown of a respected cop. But plot wise, this is a very daring movie for it's time (and would still be deemed too controversial today!) lacking the total sleaze and religious subtext as BAD LIEUTENANT, it is more of a rarely seen curio, on lines with ORDER OF DEATH (with HARVEY KIETEL and JOHN LYDON) But is also a stunning (yet little-seen) classic, which poses the question of police rights and police wrongs. A great movie, made all the more meaningful for it's apparent obscurity.
10 out of 10, seek it out now (a DVD release would also be welcomed!)
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