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Q & A
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Q & A (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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Q & A -- An Assistant D.A. working on a murder case uncovers a trail of corruption leading directly back to the D.A.'s office.
Q & A -- 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.


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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Edwin Torres (book)
Sidney Lumet (screenplay)
View company contact information for Q & A on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 April 1990 (USA) See more »
When the questions are dangerous, the answers can be deadly.
A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector... See more » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. See more »
User Reviews:
Probing the police See more (37 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Nick Nolte ... Captain Michael Brennan

Timothy Hutton ... Asst. Dist. Atty. Aloysius 'Al' Francis Reilly

Armand Assante ... Roberto 'Bobby Tex' Texador

Patrick O'Neal ... Kevin Quinn (Chief of Homicide)
Lee Richardson ... Leo Bloomenfeld

Luis Guzmán ... Det. Luis Valentin (as Luis Guzman)

Charles S. Dutton ... Det. Sam 'Chappie' Chapman (Homicide) (as Charles Dutton)

Jenny Lumet ... Nancy Bosch / Mrs. Bobby Texador

Paul Calderon ... Roger Montalvo
International Chrysis ... José Malpica

Dominic Chianese ... Larry Pesch / Vito / Lorenzo Franconi (as Dominick Chianese)

Leonardo Cimino ... Nick Petrone (mob boss)

Fyvush Finkel ... Preston Pearlstein
Gustavo Brens ... Alfonse Segal
Martin E. Brens ... Armand Segal
Maurice Schell ... Det. Zucker

Thomas Mikal Ford ... Lubin (court stenographer) (as Tommy A. Ford)
John Capodice ... Hank Mastroangelo
Frederick Rolf ... District Attorney
Hal Lehrman ... Altshul

Gloria Irizarry ... Mrs. Bosch (Nancy's mother)
Brian Neill ... Sylvester / Sophia
Susan Mitchell ... Flo (hooker)
Drew Eliot ... Magnus
Frank Raiter ... Seabury
Harry Madsen ... Antonio 'Tony' Vasquez
Jerry Ciauri ... Bruno Valli (Pesch's driver)
George Kodisch ... Insp. Flynn
Burtt Harris ... Phil
Michael A. Joseph ... Pimp
Cynthia O'Neal ... Agnes Quinn
Victor Colicchio ... After Hours Luis Alvarado

Anibal O. Lleras ... After Hours patron (as Anibal Lleras)
José Rafael Arango ... After Hours patron
David Dill ... Bartender
Alex Ruiz ... Danny (hitman)
Richard Solchik ... Phillie (hitman)
Edward Rogers III ... José's apartment detective (Frank)
Junior Perez ... 'Nancy' Captain
Javier Ríos ... Boat lover
June Stein ... Assistant District Attorney
Rod Rodriguez ... Carlo
Sonny Vito ... Gino

Olga Merediz ... Mrs. Valentin
Peter Gumeny ... Guard
Edward Rowan ... Ed
Danny Darrow ... Phone investigator
José Collazo ... Fisherman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

José Alvarez ... Niteclub Dancer (uncredited)

G.W. Bailey ... Bartender (uncredited)
Janis Corsair ... TWA Supervisor (uncredited)

David Hummel ... Police Officer (uncredited)

Vincent Pastore ... Man Sitting at Bar (uncredited)

Directed by
Sidney Lumet (also as Alan Smithee: television prints)
Writing credits
Edwin Torres (book)

Sidney Lumet (screenplay)

Alan Smithee (screenplay) (on television prints)

Produced by
Burtt Harris .... producer
Lilith Jacobs .... associate producer
Arnon Milchan .... producer
Patrick Wachsberger .... executive producer
Mike Wise .... executive producer
Original Music by
Rubén Blades 
Cinematography by
Andrzej Bartkowiak (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Richard P. Cirincione  (as Richard Cirincione)
Casting by
Joy Todd 
Production Design by
Philip Rosenberg 
Art Direction by
Beth Kuhn 
Set Decoration by
Gary J. Brink 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Neil Spisak 
Makeup Department
Joe Cranzano .... makeup artist
Bob Grimaldi .... hair stylist (as Robert Grimaldi)
Production Management
Nannette Rosa-Collazo .... production supervisor: Puerto Rico
John H. Starke .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Julie A. Bloom .... second assistant director
Nelson Cabrera .... second second assistant director
Parnes Cartwright .... second assistant director
Burtt Harris .... first assistant director
Vicente Juarbe .... second assistant director: Puerto Rico
Rebecca Saionz .... dga trainee
Art Department
James J. Archer .... assistant props
Clive Brown .... head carpenter: Puerto Rico
James Halligan .... head construction grip
Carl Landi .... construction coordinator
Richard Reseigne .... design/construction coordinator: Puerto Rico
Siv Sandstrom .... art department coordinator
William Sohmer .... stand-by scenic
Leticia Stella-Serra .... props/set dressing: Puerto Rico
Walter Stocklin .... property master
Bruce Swanson .... leadman
Richard A. Ventre .... master scenic artist
Sound Department
Rick Dior .... sound re-recording engineer
John Fundus .... boom operator
Dennis Maitland II .... sound recordist
Jane McCulley .... adr editor
James H. Nau .... assistant sound editor
Christopher Newman .... sound mixer
Peter Odabashian .... sound editor
Mark Rathaus .... sound editor
Maurice Schell .... supervising sound editor
Leo Trombetta .... assistant sound editor
Susan M. Wagner .... assistant sound editor
Susan Sklar Friedman .... apprentice sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Fausto Ferrer Cruz .... special effects assistant: Puerto Rico
J.B. Jones .... special effects: yacht
Camera and Electrical Department
Norman Buck .... key grip
Michael Caracciolo .... second assistant camera
François Duhamel .... still photographer
Michael J. Fabiano .... key rigging grip (as Mike Fabiano Jr.)
Michael Green .... first assistant camera
James Malone .... key rigging electrician
Frances 'Buddy' McBride .... best boy (as Buddy McBride)
James McGrath .... dolly grip
Gary Muller .... first assistant camera
Tom Priestley Jr. .... camera operator
Andrew Priestley .... second assistant camera
Lorey Sebastian .... still photographer
William Ward .... gaffer
Douglas Pellegrino .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Wanda Berrios Diaz .... extras coordinator: Puerto Rico
Tere Lopez .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sue Gandy .... assistant costume designer
Donna Maloney .... wardrobe supervisor
Benjamin Wilson .... wardrobe supervisor (as Ben Wilson)
Editorial Department
Phil Downey .... color timer
Kerry Fulton .... apprentice editor (as Kerry Fulton-Peluffo)
David Siegel .... assistant editor
Music Department
Michael Farrow .... music engineer (as Mike Farrow)
Carlos Franzetti .... conductor and arranger
Transportation Department
Thomas Reilly .... transportation captain
Paul Rivera .... transportation captain: Puerto Rico
Other crew
Miguel Arteta .... location assistant
Stephen Danza .... location manager
Michael DeCasper .... production assistant
Maureen Garvey .... production assistant
David Harris .... production assistant
Liza J. Harris .... production office assistant
Delphine J. Kilianski .... production secretary: puerto rico
Paige Morrow Kimball .... production assistant (as Paige Morrow)
Ilene S. Landress .... production accountant
Jackie Martin .... production coordinator
Kathleen McGill .... production controller
John Penotti .... production assistant
Valley Via Reseigne .... accountant: puerto rico
Barbara Stoia .... script supervisor
James Traynor .... production assistant (as Jay Traynor)
Tim Williams .... production assistant
Douglas Yellin .... production executive

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
132 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Kevin Quinn's (Patrick O'Neal) wife Agnes is played by Cynthia O'Neal, Patrick O'Neal's real life wife.See more »
Factual errors: 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 »
Captain Lt. Michael 'Mike' Brennan, NYPD:You're the whitest black man I know, Chappy.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Queens Logic (1991)See more »
Don't Double-Cross the Ones You LoveSee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Probing the police, 18 March 2015
Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom

Sidney Lumet does what he does best. Tell a story about law and order in New York and look into police corruption.

Timothy Hutton plays Reilly, a young former cop turned assistant district attorney asked by the police commissioner (Patrick O'Neal) to look into the shooting of a Puerto Rican criminal by detective Brennan (Nick Nolte) who claims it was self defence. The commissioner tells him that its an open and shut case and also tells him that if its not in the Q&A then it did not happen.

However Hutton is determined and finds flaws in Brennan's story and the case leads him to a charismatic Puerto Rican crime boss called Bobby Tex (Armand Assante) whose wife was once Hutton's girlfriend until he discovered she was mixed race.

It looks like Brennan is an out of control cop who is trying to get rid of some select criminals on behalf of someone at the top. The commissioner turns out to be a hypocrite as he later tells Hutton that he is taking the Q&A too seriously.

Nolte gives a larger than live performance as the foul mouthed, racist, homophobic, brutish cop who is a legend in the department. The first one through the door and is willing to break the law if necessary. His fellow cops know better to cross him and have to put up with his jibes. However he does not run away with the acting stakes as he is matched by Assante and Hutton.

Assante gives a scene stealing performance as the drug dealer who just wants to get out of the business alive. He knows Brennan is dangerous and frankly he knows too much hence why he wants out. This was an era when Assante looked to have broken through and had a good run of films in the early 1990s.

Timothy Hutton could had been a brat packer in the early 1980s. He was a contemporary of Tom Cruise, Sean Penn but separated from them early on for the simple reason by 1981 he was a best supporting actor Oscar winner. Since then Hutton decided to work with acclaimed directors or make interesting even offbeat films. The result is he might not be as well known today to cinema audiences but he has had a varying filmography.

Here Hutton plays the earnest ADA who is out to cross swords with Brennan but he himself is flawed. His father was a cop and might had been on the take. His treatment of his former girlfriend suggests he might also be racist.

This is a moderately budget, moody, noir thriller. Ruben Blades matches the mood with his soundtrack. Director Sidney Lumet was in the twilight of his career and this was maybe his last great film. Of course he was probably jaded with the criminal justice system by then and you always sense the film has a cynical and depressed air about it. That the system is rotten to the core and cannot be fixed.

Lumet gets his actors to pull out top performances and even some of the minor characters make their mark.

Was the above review useful to you?
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