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The Onion Field (1979)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  24 April 1980 (Spain)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,967 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 13 critic

Greg Powell is a disturbed ex-con who recruits Jimmy Smith (aka Jimmy Youngblood), a petty thief, as his partner in crime. Powell panics one night when the two of them are pulled over by a ... See full summary »

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Title: The Onion Field (1979)

The Onion Field (1979) on IMDb 7/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Det. Karl Francis Hettinger
...
Gregory Ulas Powell
Franklyn Seales ...
...
Det. Ian James Campbell
...
Det. Sgt. Pierce R. Brooks
David Huffman ...
Dist. Atty. Phil Halpin
...
Jailhouse lawyer
...
Helen Hettinger (as Diane Hull)
...
Chrissie Campbell
Beege Barkette ...
Greg's woman (as Beege Barkett)
...
Beat Cop
Le Tari ...
Emmanuel McFadden
Richard Venture ...
Det. Glenn Bates
...
Billy
Pat Corley ...
Jimmy's Lawyer #2
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Storyline

Greg Powell is a disturbed ex-con who recruits Jimmy Smith (aka Jimmy Youngblood), a petty thief, as his partner in crime. Powell panics one night when the two of them are pulled over by a pair of cops for broken brake-lights. Powell decides to kidnap the cops and Smith, as always, reluctantly goes along with Powell's crazy scheme. The group drives out to a deserted onion field in Bakersfield, California and one officer is shot while the other escapes. The remainder of the film explores the nature of the American justice system, as well as the devastating psychological effects of this event and the trial on the surviving officer. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What Happened In The Onion Field Is True. But The Real Crime Is What Happened After.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1980 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Anthropokynigi sto Los Angeles  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of two screen adaptations for director Harold Becker from a novel by Joseph Wambaugh. The second was The Black Marble (1980) the next year. See more »

Goofs

Just before Powell's arrest on March 9, 1963, he is shown driving on a road marked with "Botts Dots". The lane markers were not used statewide until September 1966. See more »

Quotes

Gregory Ulas Powell: Don't waste bullets!
See more »

Connections

References The Night of the Hunter (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great movie....
24 January 2003 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

Great true life movie of two L.A. police officers whose lives were changed forever in on onion field on the outskirts of Bakersfield, CA. As always, I will not set here and go over the entire movie. I will say that James Woods did an excellent job portraying Powell, and of course, Ted Danson was his usual best as officer Ian Campbell. This story grips you right from the minute that the two officers are taken hostage. I can only imagine the terror that Campbell and Hettinger went through on the ride from L.A. to Bakersfield. The scene in the onion field and what transpired after the murder of officer Campbell, with Hettinger fleeing the maniac Powell through the fields at night, is breath taking. It is just so sad that in reality, all this really happened, and a good man lost his life at the hands of a crazed-ass lunatic.


11 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Racist, Sexist, Cartoonish. williamschallert
Is this movie any good? fionapeters
Made by an amateur, not an auteur crouss
The Limburg Law ? hawai502003
Greg Powell wilsew
Who fired the other 4 shots? kennyrov1
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