It's too stupid to be satirical--and too offensive to be funny
Joseph Wambaugh disowned this film-adaptation of his bestseller about department low-lifes within the Los Angeles police force, but the experience probably shamed him anyway--and anyone who gets through the picture will feel shame for him. Half-assed mixture of smut-minded hijinks and 'sobering' cop drama is so sloppily constructed I am amazed director Robert Aldrich didn't remove his name as well. Aldrich, once a filmmaker of merit, seems to have nothing on his agenda here except earning a paycheck (ditto cinematographer Joseph Biroc, who does some of the gloppiest, ugliest work I have ever seen in a major movie). The mostly-male cast members continually smirk and leer throughout (it's difficult to distinguish the characters' loutish behavior from the actual actors themselves--everyone comes off looking pathetic). The low-point of the movie comes when snarling cop Tim McIntire (in a career-ending turn) is hand-cuffed to a tree without his pants and is spotted by a mincing homosexual. McIntire threatens to tear out the guy's liver and break his spleen if he comes near him. Everyone on screen is doubled over with laughter, but the viewer is the butt of the joke. * from ****
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