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Q & A (1990)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  27 April 1990 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,366 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 30 critic

A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuse to help him in this gritty ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Alan Smithee: television prints)

Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Q & A (1990)

Q & A (1990) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Captain Michael Brennan
...
Asst. Dist. Atty. Aloysius 'Al' Francis Reilly
...
Roberto 'Bobby Tex' Texador
...
Kevin Quinn (Chief of Homicide)
Lee Richardson ...
Leo Bloomenfeld
...
Det. Luis Valentin (as Luis Guzman)
...
Det. Sam 'Chappie' Chapman (Homicide) (as Charles Dutton)
...
Nancy Bosch / Mrs. Bobby Texador
...
Roger Montalvo
International Chrysis ...
José Malpica
...
Larry Pesch / Vito / Lorenzo Franconi (as Dominick Chianese)
...
Nick Petrone (mob boss)
...
Preston Pearlstein
Gustavo Brens ...
Alfonse Segal
Martin E. Brens ...
Armand Segal
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Storyline

A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuse to help him in this gritty crime film. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the questions are dangerous, the answers can be deadly.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tödliche Fragen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$11,207,891 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Lumet:  the director was unhappy with the way this movie was edited for television so he had his name removed and replaced with the pseudonym "Alan Smithee" for the television broadcast version. See more »

Goofs

Chief Quinn asks ADA Reilly why he did not attend St. John's Law School. Hutton says his father didn't like the Jesuits. St. John's University is not a Jesuit institution. It is conducted by the Vincentians. See more »

Quotes

Captain Lt. Michael 'Mike' Brennan, NYPD: Oh, Reilly. You just loved the idea of your father. Now, your father was dirty. He was as dirty as they come. Nothing big, just penny-ante stuff. You know, free meals. A place to coop. For a while, he was a bag man for a pad in the South Bronx. The normal stuff. He took home $100, $150 a week. That's all. But hell, what a cop. Like me, he was the first through the door, the window, the skylight! I mean, he knew there were animals out there! He knew there was a line the niggers, the spics, the ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Finding Forrester (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

QUE SERA SERA (WHATEVER WILL BE, WILL BE)
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Jay Livingston Music/St. Angelo Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stuck between greatness and clunkiness
29 April 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Q & A is one of the most enigmatic films I've seen. It veers drastically between exceptionally good and oddly clunky and sometimes threatens to be pretty poor – and not necessarily in that order. It follows an investigation into a shooting by Michael Brennan, an experienced and ferociously tough police officer played magnificently by Nick Nolte in his pomp. The investigation is conducted by Timothy Hutton, who is a true revelation (to me, at least) as an almost equally tough, but mostly non-violent, lawyer. The situation is muddied by a shady drug-runner (Armand Assante) and a manipulative senior officer (Patrick O'Neal).

The introduction to Nolte's character is fabulous scene-setting, as he holds court with fellow officers regarding some previous rough-housing of a suspect. The Brennan profile is deep and somewhat mysterious – we like him, we hate him, we are disgusted by him….and we want to see more of him. Speaking of which, the film could have benefited from more interplay between Nolte and Hutton. Hutton's brilliantly understated resilience to the aggression of Nolte and Assante, is a surprise and adds a true edginess to the film. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of the very clunky love interest Hutton has with Assante's mistress – we discover they are former lovers who split up over some fairly tenuous business about her father being black. The continued revisiting of this strained relationship is weak and uses time that one feels could be better served building the Brennan character or at least promoting the Nolte/Hutton feud.

Other questionable points in the film concern the various plot turns that are almost casually thrown in and, whilst we don't lose track of proceedings, one feels we could have been given a better idea of how the characters arrive in certain situations. In short, by occasionally rushing things, Q & A often has you wondering if it's a bad film.

But there are some moments that are truly great – various scenes with Nolte, and a short office tantrum by Hutton towards the end. You certainly feel that if this film featured more high profile actors it would be considered much more significant than it is currently. I would recommend Q & A to anyone simply for the performances of Nolte and Hutton – and obviously to fans of gritty cop dramas, who will love it anyway.


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