An LA police officer is murdered in the onion fields outside of Bakersfield. However, legal loopholes could keep his kidnappers from receiving justice, and his partner is haunted by overwhelming survivor's guilt.
Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to ... See full summary »
A cheese warehouse worker with wife and two kids hates his dull life. He reminisces about the time he met the late love of his life and the days they spent riding around on his motorbike and her horse committing petty thievery.
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.
George C. Scott,
Gregory Ulas Powell is a disturbed ex-con who recruits Jimmy Lee "Youngblood" Smith, a petty thief, as his partner in crime. Powell panics one night when the two of them are pulled over by a pair of cops for broken brake lights. Powell decides to kidnap the cops, and Smith, as always, reluctantly goes along with Powell's crazy scheme. The group drives out to a deserted onion field in Bakersfield, California, and one officer is shot while the other escapes. The remainder of the film explores the nature of the American justice system, as well as the devastating psychological effects of this event, and the trial on the surviving officer.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The abduction of officers Hettinger and Campbell was filmed at the exact location at Carlos and Gower, where the real crime occurred in March 1963. Writer Joseph Wambaugh said, "I made sure that there were cops who were on duty the night Hettinger and Campbell were kidnapped, to come around and take a look at how we were depicting it." See more »
In the beginning of the film (which takes place in 1963), as the camera pans down the street, past houses, a 1965 Chevy Impala is seen parked in one of the driveways. See more »
Det. Sgt. Pierce R. Brooks:
Has your conscience ever bothered you? Like feeling - guilty?
Mr. Brooks... I believe... I think that is something that rich white guys dreamed up to keep guys like me down. I honestly don't believe there is such a thing... such a feeling. Guilty? That's just something the Man says in court when your luck runs out.
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Watching the Onion Field is like being in the trial it portrays. Overlong, boring and ultimately unsatisfying the film drags on until its uninteresting ending which resolves nothing and leaves you wishing you hadn't wasted the last two hours of your life. The opening of the film has some promise. The characters seem to have some potential but after the plotless first half hour you begin to care less and less. Then, after the first 45 minutes almost an entirely new cast of characters is introduced badly and for the rest of the film we really have no reason to care about them. The characters who were introduced early on suddenly disappear into the background and resurface occasionally in scenes that have little or no impact. The film is filled with unnecessary scenes which neither advance the plot or the characters and simply make the film drag moreso. The only character we are really introduced to and care about is Ted Danson and when he's gone the rest of the characters are strangers to us. Overall the film doesn't go anywhere and in the end you know little of what happened after the shooting and in the end you really don't care.
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