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The Thin Blue Lie (2000)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  13 August 2000 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 280 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

A spine-chilling thriller about a courageous young reporter who risks his life and career to go deep into police abuse within homicide.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jonathan Neumann
...
Phil Chadway
...
Frank Rizzo
...
Kate Johnson
...
K.C.
Al Waxman ...
Art Zugler
Beau Starr ...
Detective Marshall
...
Detective King
...
Vinnie
Louis Di Bianco ...
Deep Nightstick
...
Sandra Durano
Bruce McFee ...
Detective Harris
...
Detective Regossi
...
John Reilly
Hayley Tyson ...
Sharon Chadway
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Storyline

A new reporter is brought to a Philadelphia newspaper to provide court coverage in this 70's era fact-based story. One of the first cases brought to his attention involves a mentally handicapped young man who was found guilty of murder. His attorney, however, contends that his client was railroaded by the police and beaten into a confession. Investigation into the allegations reveals that not only has the client been beaten, but the witnesses were also beaten to force their testimony to collaborate the police's findings. Further investigations reveal a history of police abuse in many cases involving minorities and the under-privileged. Bringing his findings to his editors and a senior reporter, he is green-lighted to pursue the story further. He quickly finds that his story will not be easily founded as he receives threats at the hands of street police and detectives. Eventually he finds that the case leads to Mayor Frank Rizzo's office. He also finds that many don't support his ... Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 August 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Goon Squad  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Disappoints
5 August 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

People couldn't wait for Rizzo to be elected mayor of Philadelphia. He was a popular, inarticulate, authoritarian Chief of Police. (He's the chief that Sidney Poitier talks to on the phone in "In The Heat of the Night.") The city had become positively dangerous by the early 1970s. I lived there at the time and was repeatedly burglarized, as some of my friends were repeatedly raped (on campus at the University of Pennsylvania, and in their dorm rooms too). The liquor store I patronized had bullet holes in its windows. Most shop keepers in my neighborhood either carried pistols in their belts or kept them hidden under the counter. It was like Dodge City without Wyatt Earp. So Rizzo was elected. And, as promised, he reduced the crime rate, although the streets never really became safe again. He reduced the crime rate in two ways. One -- and I'm guessing at this -- is by bringing pressure on his police officers not to officially report crimes brought to their attention. I'm guessing that this is true because the process of recording or not recording index crimes according to political circumstances is universal. It can affect the number of crimes one way or another by forty percent or more. The second way, as shown in this film, is simply by permitting the already existing violence by the police force to increase unchecked. Clobber them. And yet the film disappoints. Rob Morrow is an interesting actor, and Paul Sorvino does fine as Frank Rizzo, one of whose first acts as mayor was to appoint his brother as head of the Fire Department. ("It's a total surprise!" said the delighted brother at the time.) But that's about it as far as the film's virtues go. It's a rather low-budget "All the President's Men," without any of that film's strong points. The script is done pretty much by the numbers. The direction is poor in many respects, including camera placement. A scene involving a conversation between Morrow and another character seems to have been shot from across the street, so there are constantly vehicles passing between us and them, which is unnecessary and annoying. The dialogue is mundane. There are hints of past evildoings that sound like made-up threats. If Lumet had got hold of this, things might have happened. As it is, well -- if there's nothing else on, and you don't expect too much....


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