Tough Los Angeles cop Vincent Hanna takes on a gang of professional bank robbers led by the precise, enigmatic Patrick McLaren.

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Cast

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Laura Harrington ...
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John Santucci
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Harvey Torena (as Juan Fernandez)
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Storyline

Tough Los Angeles cop Vincent Hanna takes on a gang of professional bank robbers led by the precise, enigmatic Patrick McLaren.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Hanna is the cop and the HEAT is on... See more »


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27 August 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crimewave  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in only a fortnight. See more »

Goofs

The exterior after bar scene when Hanna is following Lillian on the sidewalk, the boom Mic shadow is frequently seen chasing above/behind the quarreling actors. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Michael Mann (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

L.A. WOMAN
Performed by Billy Idol
Written by The Doors
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User Reviews

 
Intense, controlled and very enjoyable thriller
29 April 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I recently saw a clip of this Michael Mann 1989 TV movie on a video clips website, and it served to remind me just how much I'd loved owning this film on VHS years back. I'm going to seek it out on DVD, and you can keep "Heat" – for which this is the precursor – I won't envy you a jot. I don't care how good De Niro and Pacino are, I don't care how interesting (or not) are the lives of the supporting characters, I don't care how much better quality the later film may have been: there's just a zinging energy about "LA Takedown" – something really, really taut, pushing and exciting that seems absolutely of its time, absolutely right for the story – so much so that it's "Heat" that now seems out of time.

The two leads – Scott Plank's fearless cop Vincent and Alex McArthur's isolated career criminal Patrick – should be singled out for particular praise in a generally well-cast movie. Some reviewers have said they think the performances are hammy: I disagree. I think they're misunderstanding a sharp, dramatic script which is punchy, spare, to the point – much like the two lead characters themselves. Vincent and Patrick's memorable coffee shop meeting is extraordinarily tense and dynamic: their controlled exteriors masking fierce intensity. Their rapid-fire exchanges reveal nothing and everything: Vincent the live wire, excited by the criminality he chases down even as he does so systematically; Patrick the warrior-monk, alone with his rigid samurai code. He speaks slowly and clearly, and to me it isn't ham: it's that he doesn't want a single thing around him to be misunderstood. But even he can't control everything. In many ways this is 1980s film noir - in classic noir style, there must of course be a woman in the background, to affect the course of events.

This is definitely David to the Goliath of "Heat", but I highly recommend it. Don't listen to that other lot – "Heat" is bloated and over-long by comparison to this tight project.


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