A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.
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New York City cop Daniel Ciello is involved in some questionable police practices. He is approached by internal affairs and in exchange for him potentially being let off the hook, he is instructed to begin to expose the inner workings of police corruption. Danny agrees as long as he does not have to turn in his partners but he soon learns that he cannot trust anyone and he must decide whose side he is on and who is on his. Written by
Josh Pasnak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sidney Lumet agreed to direct under two conditions: he wanted an unknown actor to play Leuci and he wanted the running time to be at least three hours long. Treat Williams was unknown at the time but the final cut was edited down to 2 hours and 47 minutes. See more »
When Barnes is picking up the Ciello family at their home, Barnes puts his hat - a brown fedora - on Ciello's young child's head. In the next shot, when Barnes takes his hat back from the child, it is not the fedora he had just put on the child but instead is a dark hunting hat with a long baseball cap like bill and no brim. See more »
Really, a stunning, unforgettable movie. This movie outlined very well the pitfalls, traps and emotional traumas associated with this type of betrayal. Although Danny Ciello wanted to cleanse himself and do the right thing, the path to that was to bring down the cop family, the close, tightly knit unit that he was part of. The tales he told had life-and-death implications for all involved, and may have been more than he bargained for.
Treat Williams was tremendous in this, although I must indicate my one complaint with the movie. That was in Williams' occasional overacting. The pain and emotion mostly was silently played out by Williams. The wrenching, emotional toll was plain to see and sense, even on a tough cop's stoic face. However, Williams occasionally went emotionally berserk, ostensibly to indicate the depth of his turmoil. This is a minor complaint, though. Actually his performance in this was astonishing.
There is a scene in the movie where Danny goes out in the night to help a junkie informant. The junkie is sick and desperate. He has nowhere else to turn except his cop handler, Danny. Danny finds himself in the position of having to get his informant his fix to keep him from getting violently sick. Danny finds himself running around in the rain and mud, ripping off another sick junkie of his stash. This junkie is desperate, too, and his cries dig deep into Danny as he rips him off. Later, when he takes the junkie home, his wife/girlfriend gets the drugs, disappears into the bathroom and takes them. When the junkie breaks into the bathroom, she tells him that the drugs were junk, and she flushed them down the toilet. The junkie is back where he started, and he begins beating her. Danny stands there, soaking wet and muddy, stunned by what is happening, and what he is out there doing. This simple scene is played out very well, and Treat Williams stands there with the revulsion and heartbreak played out on his face. This is not what he is supposed to be doing; this is not what he became a cop for.
A well-directed, well-acted movie.
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