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The One Man Jury (1978)

Officer Jim Wade is a loose cannon on the force with a reputation roughing up suspects, informants, witnesses, and just about everybody else who rubs him the wrong way. When women start ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Wade
Sgt. Blake
Pamela Susan Shoop ...
Wendy Sommerset (as Pamela Shoop)
Mike Abatino
Billy Joe Kerman
Alexandra Hay ...
Chuck Bergansky ...
Charlie Nuts (as Anthony Sirico)
Richard Foronjy ...
Patrick Wright ...


Officer Jim Wade is a loose cannon on the force with a reputation roughing up suspects, informants, witnesses, and just about everybody else who rubs him the wrong way. When women start being killed by mysterious serial murderer called The Slasher, Wade vows to put a stop to the killing spree, regardless of whether through legal means or not. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He deals his own brand of justice! See more »


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 September 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead on Arrival  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Retitled "Dead on Arrival" for its US theatrical re-issue. See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Cop Jack Palance is a one man jury
10 September 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The One Man Jury" (1978) is a late 70s crime film in the "Dirty Harry" or "Death Wish" or vigilante justice tradition. It's a rough-hewn movie, not as smoothly done or as well-written as those two predecessors. Jack Palance is effective as he underplays a detective who cannot win in the courtroom, the system being soft on crime and criminals, so that he eventually becomes his own one man judge, jury and executioner. Chris Mitchum appears, but he's not given that much to do. But there is a meaty role for Joe Spinell as a mobster. To find a murderer, Palance does a deal with Spinell. That murderer is a kooky serial killer, a young man with bizarre behavior. That's actor Jack McCracken, and like Spinell, he adds a lot to the movie. The attractive Pamela Shoop gets quite a lot of screen time as Palance's girl friend and budding cop who thinks that criminals can be cured if they're found out early enough in their lives.

My impression is that Jack Palance appeared in a good many lesser movies, even junk, but I haven't seen most of it. Therefore I expected this film to be quite bad. It wasn't. Palance had a fairly meaty role and took it seriously.

I consider this kind of film as a direction that noir took in the 70s as it portrayed police deviance and corruption. That provides a reference point for some of these 70s films like this one. There's a road that travels from "The Big Heat" and "The Racket" to "Dirty Harry" and then beyond to "Deadly Hero" (1975) with Don Murray as a cop gone bad. There are also good cop films that nevertheless depict a solitary cop working within a system that doesn't work.

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