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The Onion Field (1979)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  24 April 1980 (Spain)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,098 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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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
...
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

Plot Keywords:

neo noir | trial | police | thief | robbery | See All (70) »

Taglines:

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

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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the way his novel was adapted for its film version _The Choirboys_, novelist Joseph Wambaugh decided to take more control of his literary works, having a much larger influence on the production of this movie and its successor adaptation The Black Marble (1980). Joseph Wambaugh was credited sole screenwriter on both films. See more »

Goofs

When Karl Hettinger is talking into the patrol car microphone, the microphone is turned around and he is actually talking into the back of it. See more »

Quotes

Dist. Atty. Phil Halpin: Campbell's forgotten. He may as well never have lived. Hettinger's a ghost. Only the legal process has meaning. I've got to get away. You know what I was thinking? I was thinking that if it were in my power, I'd release Powell and Smith, drop all the charges. Let 'em walk. If only I could send some lawyers and judges to the gas chamber.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

True Story of Cops, Robbers and the justice system.
18 September 2000 | by (Auburn, Me) – See all my reviews

From the Joseph Wambaugh book of the same name comes a frighteningly true story of two police officers and two robbers whose career paths in life fatally cross one night in 1963 in a bizarre execution murder in Bakersfield Ca and the justice systems handling of it all. The film can't match the book but does hold up well. The casting of the various characters is amazing as they resemble in great detail the actual people they are portraying. The film airs on Television from time to time but be sure if you see it it's on a channel that will not edit it in the slightest. To be on the safe side rent it. James Woods and Franklyn Seales stand out in their performances.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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