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>
The car driven by The Hats is a 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible, with its famous four round "Ventiports" on its front fenders. See more »
Prior to Hoover and Coolidge boarding the C-47, the underside of the port wing is shown. Civilian registration numbers can be seen through the paint. This particular aircraft is a civilian DC-3 that has been painted over in US Air Force markings. See more »
Decent enough movie, with decent performances. Nolte is very good as the leader of an elite, slightly secret police squad dedicated to battling organized crime in 1940's Los Angeles. If the movie had developed something along this line, this may very well have been a terrific movie. This may have allowed the terrific actors who made up Nolte's squad to be developed better (played by Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Chazz Palmintieri).
However, this movie inexplicably goes off into a plot of murder, sexual intrigue, politics, corruption, military cover-up and the Atomic Energy Commission! What!? The movie seemed to meander so much, and the plot reached a point of ridiculousness. It's unfortunate because this had real possibilities, and Nolte was just superb. There are brief scenes in which we see the squad do what they do best - deal with gangsters trying to gain a foothold in L.A. The look and atmosphere were right on, and there was certainly a solid cast on hand to make this work. Unfortunately, the ridiculous plot made this difficult to accept.
At one point in the film, a military officer sends Nolte's wife a film of Nolte making love to another woman, as a way of blackmailing him. Nolte comes home to see his unsuspecting wife watching this film of him with another woman. The stunned humiliation is played out very well by Nolte and Melanie Griffith. You can see and feel the revulsion that Nolte's character feels, as he tries to answer for what is playing out on the film screen.
Brief pieces of good acting and atmosphere, ruined by a plot with too much stuffed into it. It just reached too far...for what?
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