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Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his drinking problem and this alcoholism causes him to lose his job, as well as his marriage. During his recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous, he meets a mysterious stranger who draws him back into a world of vice. In trying to help this beautiful woman, he must enter a crime-world of prostitution and drugs to solve a murder, while resisting the temptation to return to his alcohol abuse. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Decent thriller in which an ex-cop with drinking problem becomes involved dark issues and attempts to save a prostitute
Violent and exciting movie about narcotics dealers , hotshot prostitutes and an ex-policeman . Scudder (Jeff Bridges) is a cop from the County Department who is forced to abandon his duty , after shooting a violent suspect during a drug raid . The ensuing psychological aftermath of this busting worsens his alcoholic troubles . During his recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous , he meets a suspicious stranger (Randy Brooks) who draws him back into a world of vice and prostitution . Later on , he attempts to rescue a pimp-bound hooker (Alexandra Paul) from a drug lord called Angel Maldonado (Andy Garcia) . Scudder learns his friend has dark business with Angel . Scudder must enter a crime-world of prostitution and drugs to solve a killing , and get knee-deep in a mess of million dollar drug deals . Meanwhile , the ex-cop falls in love for another gorgeous prostitute (Rosanna Arquette).
In the picture there is tension , romance , thriller , emotion , intrigue , murders , drug-trafficking and a little bit of violence . A love story between a drunk ex-cop and whore is loosely interwoven with drug dealers and many other things . The movie is fast-moving on the ending but usually results to be slow-moving and being enough amusing as well as compelling but happen many events . The pic obtained moderated success and didn't attain the box office that the producers wanted . The suspense movie is correctly narrated but there're some storyline gaps and the twisted plot makes it a few ridiculous . Famous screenwriter Oliver Stone had little to do with his original script, which subsequently was re-written by Robert Towne and then revised by Hal Ashby in improvisation , he said he only visited the set once, and wanted to have his name taken off the picture but it was too late as the credits were already made up for it . The film is rated ¨R¨ for violence , nudism and some sex . The outcome of this drug and corruption story may not end happily or neatly -just like in real life- , but the characters and ideas explored along the way are compelling . Director takes on a complex subject with a large , uniformly excellent cast . Filmmaker Hal Ashby "threw away the script" and had the actors improvise all their dialog and actions . As nice acting from Jeff Bridges as an ex-cop who hires himself out to rescue a prostitute while resisting the temptation to return to his alcohol abuse . Andy Garcia's fine interpretation as a drug dealer , he is good but plays as Latin stereotypes . And two bombshell women : Rosanna Arquette and Alexandra Paul . Furthermore , Tommy 'Tiny' Lister as Nose Guard and James Avery as Deputy , but both of whom hand roles very secondaries . Catching original musical score composed and performed by James Newton Howard but with excessive use of synthesizer . Colorful and atmospheric cinematography by Stephen Burum , being totally shot in Los Angeles , California .
The motion picture was professionally directed by Hal Ashby , though with no originality . It turned out to be his last theatrical film . However , being fired just after principal photography wrapped, and the studio , PSO Entertainment took over creative control . Ashby was firstly film editor , in fact his highlight of his film editing career was winning an Oscar for the landmark ¨In the heat of the night¨ (1967) . As its director, Jewison gave him a script he was too busy to work on called ¨The landlord¨(1970) . It became Ashby's first film as a director . From there he delivered a series of well-acted , intelligent human scaled flicks that included dramas as : ¨The last detail¨ (1973), ¨Bound of glory¨ (76) , ¨The slugger's wife¨ (85) , ¨Coming home (78) ; comedies : ¨Harold and Maud¨ (71) ¨Shampoo (1975) , ¨Lookin' to get out¨(82) and his biggest hit : ¨Being there¨ (79) with Peter Sellers . Great reviews and Oscar nominations became common on Ashby films.
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