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>
What Happened In The Onion Field Is True. But The Real Crime Is What Happened After.
Did You Know?
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
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
Det. Karl Hettinger
[while in the onion field seeing his partner crying
That's the onions. It makes you eyes water.