Sharky's Machine (1981) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • 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.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Burt Reynolds stars in and directed this volatile action thriller about an Atlanta cop by the name of Tom Sharky, a Sgt whose gung-ho tactics on a narcotics case gets him demoted to the Vice Squad. There he forms a colorful crew of individuals into a "machine" whose target is to bring down a crimelord known only as Victor (Vittorio Gassman). Playing vital cogs in "Sharky's Machine" as police officers are (Brian Keith) as Pappa, (Charles Durning) as LT Friscoe, (Bernie Casey) as Arch, and (Richard Libertini) as Nosh. He is also aided by (John Fiedler) as Barrett, a Forensic's Specialist. Adding intrigue and mystery to the storyline are (Earl Holliman) as Governor Hotchkins, (Henry Silva) as Billy, a drugged up hitman and (Rachel Ward) as Dominoe, a call girl who catches Sharky's interest and plays a key role in helping him discover Victor's true identity. The entire plot of the film depicts a cop's search for justice in a world of greed and corruption.

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