In 1957, black lawyer John Williams has to defend his nephew Charlie, who is accused of strangling a white boy to death. John doesn't believe Charlie did it, and although Charlie confesses,... See full summary »
Ernest R. Dickerson
Courtney B. Vance,
Charles S. Dutton,
The bar in an old Pennsylvania steel town, housed with many of life's losers and disillusioned men, is the main setting for this slice-of-life film. Michael Madsen is the bar owner, who is ... See full summary »
Victoria is a dealer in the most dangerous game. Playing conveniently into her hand is her husband and his partner, two of the dirtiest cops on the force. Gunning for her is a seductive ... See full summary »
At the turn of the century, Henri Gauthier-Villars, a notorious bachelor, marries the young country girl Gabrielle Colette and introduces her to debauched Parisian life. Gabrielle keeps a ... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
Annie marries Jack Westford, a cop when they met. Six years later Jack is now working as a security guard in a bank and feels that he was unfairly fired from the force. He also appears to ... See full summary »
A woman goes to previously all-male boarding school on a scholarship. She begins to separate herself from her boyfriend in order to devote more time to her new environment. Over a course of... See full summary »
Unhappy wife has an affair with a stranger. He falls for her and reveals that he's in fact a hitman hired by her cheating husband to kill her. She confronts her husband, but he claims innocence. Who to trust?
Lenny von Dohlen,
Jim Natter, the leader of a violent Kuk Klux Klan lodge, is shot dead. His teenage son Eric Natter is found nearby, and taken into police custody for his protection pending the investigation. While four cops drive him to a safe-house, they are ambushed. Three of them shot dead, including Deputy Lawrence, and his black partner Jerry Robinson is accused of the murders. Written by
Actually there have been quite a few features, made-fors, and miniseries shot in and around Wilmington, North Carolina, as this one was. Wilmington has the second largest assemblage of studios in the country, outside of Burbank. The problem is, most of the things shot there are turkeys. Not including "Crimes of the Heart" and "Blue Velvet" and one or two others, which my own performances rendered memorable.
Considering the schlock as a class in itself, this probably rates a B. It isn't as bad as it could be. Of course it's filled with clichés. Shoot outs take place in which thousands of rounds are exchanged with no one having to pause and reload their weapons. A black detective on the run has to protect the racist 12-year-old son of a Klan member, and we know their relationship will evolve, and we know the direction that evolution will take.
The good guys are completely good, while the bad guys are somewhat less one dimensional -- let's say they have one and a half dimensions. But it has a few interesting directorial touches; odd angles are used effectively and bodies and objects are moved around with efficiency.
The racial issue is nicely handled. A black man makes tender love to a white woman and it's treated matter-of-factly. And the movie is as much watchable for what it doesn't include as for what it does: no slow-motion deaths, no car chases. The acting is not bad, particularly on the part of the twelve-year-old racist.
Just before the climax, Shannon has a line, "Take him out to the cement factory." This refers to a real cement factory on Blue Clay Road which has been used as a location in several other films. It served as a prison twice, in "Weeds" and again in "Everybody Wins." It's always good to see Dick Olson in a Wilmington movie, and he has a small part in just about every one, in this case, a motel manager. He's a nice guy as well as a reliable character actor.
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