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Fort Apache the Bronx (1981)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  6 February 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 4,118 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 10 critic

From the sight of a police officer this movie depicts the life in New York's infamous South Bronx. In the center is "Fort Apache", as the officers call their police station, which really ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tito Goya ...
Jumper / Detective
Miguel Pinero ...
Lance Guecia ...
Track Star (as Lance William Guecia)
Rony Clanton ...
Pimp (as Ronnie Clanton)
Sully Boyar ...
Michael Higgins ...


From the sight of a police officer this movie depicts the life in New York's infamous South Bronx. In the center is "Fort Apache", as the officers call their police station, which really seems like an outpost in enemy's country. The story follows officer Murphy, who seems to be a tuff cynic, but in truth he's a moralist with a sense for justice. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No Cowboys, No Indians, No Cavalry To The Rescue, Only A Cop. See more »


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apacserőd Bronxban  »

Box Office


$29,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During production residents of the Bronx protested the film claiming it would show show only the Bronx badly and ignore the good qualities. Moreover, local Bronx community groups also allegedly threatened to sue the production because of the way the picture was going to depict the Bronx and its ethnic minorities such as African Americans and Puerto Ricans. Because of this, the picture starts with disclaimer a in the prologue and script changes to the screenplay were made. See more »


In the last scene, you can see the (non-extra) locals being held back in the background to give the illusion of a deserted area. See more »


Theresa: Andy?
Corelli: [sleepily] Hmm?
Theresa: I'm glad we did it.
Corelli: Glad we did what?
Theresa: Wise guy...
[pauses, then]
Theresa: Andy?
Corelli: [sleepily] Hmm?
Theresa: Did you enjoy it?
Corelli: [smiles] Yeah, it was all right...
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ed Asner/The Kinks (1984) See more »


It's Time to Party Now
Written by Ray Parker Jr. (uncredited)
Performed by Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
(P) 1980 Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

13 August 2004 | by (Lincoln England) – See all my reviews

I'm surprised at all the negative reviews of this movie. yes, it's dark and depressing and certainly 'un-even', but I was glued to the screen. New York is the most fascinating city I've ever visited. Beautiful, cosmopolitan, fantastically wealthy and it sure never sleeps. But there's a dark side to "the big apple" and I honestly think this film captures that perfectly. It shows the poverty and despair of all those who haven't managed to live the dream and the siege mentality of the guys trying to maintain law and order. It's an utterly believable picture of day-to-day police work in a huge city. Much better than Cagney & Lacey & Kojak. Paul Newman plays a veteran patrol officer who's been on the streets too long and finds it hard to take anything seriously any more, until. You'll have to watch the movie to find out what lights his fire again. Ken Wahl (convincingly) plays his much younger partner and Ed Asner is superb as their hard-nosed Captain, struggling to be a cop, manager, politician, budget-holder and father-figure all at once. In fact, I would say Asner deserved an Oscar nomination. It was easily his best role. Fort Apache truly shows the real nature of a war against crime. Cops are under-funded and battling daily against impossible odds. All they have is each other. On the DOWN side, this movie does have 2 major flaws. First, it is horribly jolty and un-even. There's no plot at all and (to me) it felt throughout like a 'pilot' for a police soap opera that never made it to series. And second, the romance between Paul Newman and Rachel Ticotin is frankly ridiculous. They're both excellent actors and I'm one of the many millions who envy Newman his good looks, but, Ticotin is THIRTY THREE years younger than Newman. He could (almost) be her Grandfather! Fort Apache is a good movie though and I would say it paved the way for many current shows (such as Law & Order) which show law enforcement, warts and all. It's well worth seeing.

25 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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