An idealistic rookie cop joins the L.A.P.D. to make ends meet while finishing law school, and is indoctrinated by a seasoned veteran. As time goes on, he loses his ambitions and family as police work becomes his entire life.
A group of new police recruits takes to patrolling the streets of Los Angeles. Roy Fehler is a law student with a family and has joined the LAPD until he can complete his degree. He's partnered with veteran patrolman Kilvinski and they soon develop a good rapport. On the street the policemen are exposed to the seedier side of life but Kilvinski is a fair cop and a good teacher. Over time however, Fehler comes to love the work and both his family and his studies fall by the wayside. Kilvinsky retires and Fehler loses his way, drinking heavily. Fehler's wife leaves him and he soon hits bottom. Just as he begins to get his life in order, fate intervenes.Written by
Apparently, Columbia Pictures paid Joseph Wambaugh, who wrote the novel on which this film was based, a bonus of $1250 for each week his novel stayed on "The New York Times" best-seller list. The novel debuted on the list on February 21, 1971, and stayed on it for 32 weeks, thereby earning Wambaugh a total bonus of $40,000. See more »
Both Fahler and Kilvinski make a grievous error (not to mention violating both LAPD policy and procedure) by not handcuffing the truck driver when they arrest him. That is the first thing that should have been done before placing him in the back seat of the patrol car, especially given his belligerence about being pulled over and issued a traffic ticket, which then he refused to sign. See more »
There are people out there who would rip that badge off your shirt and stick it up your ass just to say they did it.
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Stacy Keach and George C. Scott star in this very gritty, very honest portrayal of early-70s police life. It's directed by Richard Fleischer, who usually worked on much flashier material than this. I've seen a lot of films that dug in and tried to paint a clear image of police life, but this story brings a level of realism that is somewhat missing in most cases - it was written by a cop (Joseph Wambaugh).
"The New Centurions" is a title that hints at a much deeper perspective into familiar territory. Even though all the suspected clichés are still somewhat in place, they're there out of reality rather than just filling space in a movie plot. George C. Scott's character is on his way to retirement, but instead of him not making it, he takes a much darker path. It's that darker path, and the sense of hope behind it, that informs both Scott and Keach in their fantastic performances. They're as good as they'd ever been here - deep, powerful, and incredibly personal. There's a real emotional vulnerability on display that can't be denied.
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