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Sharky's Machine (1981)

Tom Sharky is demoted to vice after a bust goes terribly wrong. He and his team stumble across a mob murder tied to prostitution and government.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Victor
...
Papa
...
Friscoe
...
Hotchkins
...
Arch
...
Billy Score
...
Nosh
...
Smiley
...
...
Joe Tipps
...
Mabel
Hari Rhodes ...
Highball Mary
...
Barrett
James O'Connell ...
Twigs
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Storyline

Tom Sharky is a narcotics cop in Atlanta who's demoted to vice after a botched bust. In the depths of this lowly division, while investigating a high-dollar prostitution ring, Sharky stumbles across a mob murder with government ties, and responds by assembling his downtrodden fellow investigators (Sharky's "machine") to find the leaders and bring them to justice before they kill off all his partners and witnesses, including Sharky himself. Written by Unknown

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody leans on Sharky's Machine. [Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

18 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brigada Anti-Crime  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was the only picture to be released in theaters in the 70mm format during the 1981 Christmas season according to the 15th December 1981 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety'. The film was distributed in both 35mm and 70mm film formats with six-track Dolby stereo sound. See more »

Goofs

They define "dilawdid" as "Synthetic Heroin" whereas "Dilaudid" is Synthetic Morphine. See more »

Quotes

Sharky: You all right, partner?
Arch: Of course not, you asshole. I'm shot!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Forty Deuce (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Street Life
Performed by Randy Crawford
by Joe Sample (as J. Sample) & Will Jennings (as W. Jennings)
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A pretty well-oiled machine.
29 December 2002 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

In a departure from his customary late '70's/early '80's fare (and sporting a new, close-cropped toupee), Reynolds directed and starred in this tough, lurid crime drama. He plays a narcotics cop who, after slightly botching a drug bust, is demoted to the vice squad. Here, he becomes involved in the surveillance of a high-priced call girl (Ward) who is linked to a gubernatorial candidate (Holliman.) This leads to all sorts of violence and intrigue as it is discovered that the call girl is but one piece in a puzzle of corruption and criminal behavior. Reynolds does a decent job, both in the director's chair and in front of the camera. He wisely surrounds himself with an array of strong character actors and gives each of them the opportunity to register with the audience. His familiar brands of charm & sarcasm are present, but in a much more toned down way. Casey gets one of his most significant big screen roles, Keith has a few amusing moments and Durning bellows and mouths off in his enjoyable, expected way. Gassman is an appropriately sleazy crime lord and Silva is a chilling (if sometimes unintentionally funny) assassin. Ward's performance is a matter of taste. Many viewers are swept away by her looks and find her acting strong. Others see her as pretty, but unspectacular as an actress. In either case, this was a major showcase for her which did not translate to a major big screen career. Drawbacks of the film include a muddled storyline in which the bad guys' motivations aren't made particularly clear. Also, the sound effects and the blaring song score are cranked up much higher than the dialogue which makes for an uncomfortable audio situation. There is some nice aerial photography, notably containing shots of Atlanta's Peach Tree Tower. The music varies from classic tunes by top talent to loud, horrific and agonizing "music" by inferior singers whose voices are almost as bad as Reynold's torture on the boat. Though the film is engrossing and stylish, just a nip and tuck along the way would have made it even better.


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