This film is about the adventures of a 1940's special anti-gangster police squad in Los Angeles, the infamous 'Hat Squad.' The four members of this squad are big, tough, no-nonsense cops who don't hesitate to break the law, if it suits their purposes. When a local woman is murdered, their investigation turns up the fact that she had been romantically linked to several prominent men and had secret films taken of her liaisons. Since one of those men is the powerful U.S. Army General at the head of the then-new Atomic Energy Commission and another is the (married) leader of the Hat Squad, complications ensue. The FBI even gets involved in an attempted cover-up. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Nick Nolte must have thought he died and went to heaven when he was offered the part of Max Hoover in Mulholland Falls. Consider, in the film Hoover is married to the lovely Melanie Griffith while simultaneously involved in a torrid affair with ultra sexy Jennifer Connelly. Now I ask you, what sane man could turn down such a part? To Nolte's credit he kept his mind on business and turned in a excellent performance.
As Hoover, Nolte is head of a post world war 2 Los Angeles police division assigned the task of keeping organized crime out of the city of Angels. Given cart blanch by their superiors Hoover's crew often resort to brutal even murderous means in carrying out their duty. Their favorite disposal site for human garbage is Mulholland Falls; a rocky cliff nestled in the hollywood hills.
One day the squad investigates the death of a young woman found in the nearby desert. To Hoover's horror he discovers the body to be that of Allison Pond, (Connelly), a pretty prostitute who was his former mistress.
Finding no clues on the murder site Hoover checks out Allison's apartment. While there Hoover realizes the apartment is the site of sex film anonymously sent to him days before. Hoover quickly discovers the films origin point in a neighboring apartment. He then just as quickly makes contact with the individual who took the films. Said person was secertly taking the movies to blackmail some of Allison's more influential clients including Hoover himself. Unfortunately, for Hoover the films are stolen before he can take them into custody.
Later, when Hoover begins zeroing in on one of Allison's especially influential clients as a possible suspect in her killing he is pressured by everyone from the FBI to his superiors to backoff. He refuses but soon has second thoughts when a mysterious source threatens to use the missing film to reveal his affair to his wife.
As previously stated Nolte's protrayal is top notch but he is not alone. Several solid supporting performances including Griffith, Connelly, Bruce Dern and Chazz Palmeterri lend quality to the proceedings.
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