MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 793 this week

The Onion Field (1979)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  24 April 1980 (Spain)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,939 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 14 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 27 May 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Jan 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 16 Jul 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Onion Field" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Onion Field (1979)

The Onion Field (1979) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Onion Field.
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Choirboys (1977)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A group of Los Angeles cops decide to take off some of the pressures of their jobs by engaging in various forms of after-hours debauchery.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Charles Durning, Louis Gossett Jr., Perry King
The Boost (1988)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to ... See full summary »

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: James Woods, Sean Young, John Kapelos
Fast-Walking (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A corrupt prison guard becomes involved in a plot to murder a black revolutionary serving time in his prison.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: James Woods, Tim McIntire, Kay Lenz
Cop (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An obsessive, insubordinate homicide cop is convinced a serial killer is loose in the Hollywood area and disobeys orders in order to catch him.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning
Best Seller (1987)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Hit man Cleve approaches writer/cop Dennis about a story for his next book: How Cleve made a living, working for one of the most powerful politicians in the country. To get the story right,... See full summary »

Director: John Flynn
Stars: James Woods, Brian Dennehy, Victoria Tennant
In Love and War (TV Movie 1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

This movie is an account of US Navy Commander James Stockdale's 8 year imprisonment in North Vietnam. During his confinement in such camps as the infamous "Hanoi Hilton", Stockdale, among ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Aaron
Stars: Jane Alexander, James Woods, Concetta Tomei
True Believer (1989)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., Margaret Colin
Salvador (1986)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A journalist, down on his luck in the US, drives to El Salvador to chronicle the events of the 1980 military dictatorship, including the assasination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. He forms an... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: James Woods, James Belushi, Michael Murphy
Badge of the Assassin (TV Movie 1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Three black revolutionaries gun down two New York City police officers. The subsequent investigation puts a white assistant DA and a black police detective on the trail of the killers that ... See full summary »

Director: Mel Damski
Stars: James Woods, Yaphet Kotto, Alex Rocco
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An idealistic rookie cop joins the LAPD to make ends meet while finishing law school, and is indoctrinated by a seasoned veteran. As time goes on, he loses his ambitions and family as police work becomes his entire life.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: George C. Scott, Stacy Keach, Jane Alexander
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Simon Rouse, Victoria Tennant, Patrick O'Connell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Brian Gibson
Stars: Christopher Guest, William Hootkins, Lionel Murton
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of cast and crew worked on both this movie and the next year's Joseph Wambaugh adaptation The Black Marble (1980). See more »

Goofs

When Jimmy is seen watching television at Greg's house he is watching "General Hospital". This scene takes place in early March 1963 while "General Hospital" debuted April 1, 1963. 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

Referenced in The Simpsons: Homer and Apu (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A True Cop Story

Joe Wambaugh penned this script and told the story of one of the most shocking cases in Los Angeles Police history. Wambaugh was the only man qualified to tell this story since he came out of the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The story was not just a typical cop story where the cops always win. Rather, it was a story of the tragedy of a lost life, the broken life of another, and the tragic lives of two pathetic, small time killers who would spend the majority of their lives in and out of prison. It was this case that changed Los Angeles police policy from that time on.

The cast was little known at that time. Who would have thought Ted Dansen would go on to TV fame? Who would have thought James Woods would become a big screen actor? The rest of the cast, including John Savage and the late Franklyn Seales would remain a part of the landscape and gain their own fame.

As for Wambaugh, he is one of my favorite writers because of all of the great cop projects he would do: "The Blue Knights," "Police Story" and others.

Some days I really wish for dramas like those especially in these days of mistrust of cops...hey, it's a tough job laying down your life every day of your life. A movie like this might open the eyes of many and change some attitudes.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Discuss The Onion Field (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?