6.7/10
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46 user 15 critic

Fort Apache the Bronx (1981)

In New York, South Bronx's main police precinct is nicknamed Fort Apache by its employees who feel like troopers surrounded by hostiles in a wild west isolated outpost.

Director:

Daniel Petrie

Writers:

Heywood Gould, Thomas Mulhearn (suggested by the experiences of) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Murphy
Edward Asner ... Connolly
Ken Wahl ... Corelli
Danny Aiello ... Morgan
Rachel Ticotin ... Isabella
Pam Grier ... Charlotte
Kathleen Beller ... Theresa
Tito Goya Tito Goya ... Jumper / Detective
Miguel Pinero Miguel Pinero ... Hernando
Jaime Tirelli ... Jose
Lance Guecia Lance Guecia ... Track Star (as Lance William Guecia)
Rony Clanton Rony Clanton ... Pimp (as Ronnie Clanton)
Clifford David ... Dacey
Sully Boyar ... Dugan
Michael Higgins ... Heffernan
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Storyline

From the sight of a police officer this movie depicts the life in New York's infamous South Bronx. In the center is "Fort Apache", as the officers call their police station, which really seems like an outpost in enemy's country. The story follows officer Murphy, who seems to be a tuff cynic, but in truth he's a moralist with a sense for justice. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No Cowboys, No Indians, No Cavalry To The Rescue, Only A Cop. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bronx See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$29,200,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$65,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The experiences of real life former NYPD Detectives Thomas Mulhearn and Pete Tessitore served as inspiration for the original screenplay by Heywood Gould. It is reported that Paul Newman spent some time with Mr. Mulhearn, getting into character for Officer Murphy. Thomas and Pete, along with other ex-cops helped add to the authenticity of the experiences documented in "Fort Apache the Bronx". See more »

Goofs

In the last scene, you can see the (non-extra) locals being held back in the background to give the illusion of a deserted area. See more »

Quotes

Murphy: [Murphy and Isabella are playing the game of you-tell-me-about-me while on their first date. Murphy starts telling Isabella about herself] Poor family, you're the oldest. You've got a lot of brothers and sisters. You got a brother in the joint. Your mother's sick. You got a scholarship to nursing school and you did real good, but you can't get a job anywhere but here. How'm I doin'?
Isabella: I don't know yet.
Murphy: [continuing] Smoke a little reefer, fool around a little bit, you wanna get married but the ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

NBC edited 29 minutes from this film for its 1983 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Side
Written by David Lasley (uncredited) and Allee Willis (uncredited)
Performed by Crystal Gayle
Courtesy of CBS Records
(P) 1979 CBS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Under-rated
13 August 2004 | by RussianPantyHogSee all my reviews

I'm surprised at all the negative reviews of this movie. yes, it's dark and depressing and certainly 'un-even', but I was glued to the screen. New York is the most fascinating city I've ever visited. Beautiful, cosmopolitan, fantastically wealthy and it sure never sleeps. But there's a dark side to "the big apple" and I honestly think this film captures that perfectly. It shows the poverty and despair of all those who haven't managed to live the dream and the siege mentality of the guys trying to maintain law and order. It's an utterly believable picture of day-to-day police work in a huge city. Much better than Cagney & Lacey & Kojak. Paul Newman plays a veteran patrol officer who's been on the streets too long and finds it hard to take anything seriously any more, until. You'll have to watch the movie to find out what lights his fire again. Ken Wahl (convincingly) plays his much younger partner and Ed Asner is superb as their hard-nosed Captain, struggling to be a cop, manager, politician, budget-holder and father-figure all at once. In fact, I would say Asner deserved an Oscar nomination. It was easily his best role. Fort Apache truly shows the real nature of a war against crime. Cops are under-funded and battling daily against impossible odds. All they have is each other. On the DOWN side, this movie does have 2 major flaws. First, it is horribly jolty and un-even. There's no plot at all and (to me) it felt throughout like a 'pilot' for a police soap opera that never made it to series. And second, the romance between Paul Newman and Rachel Ticotin is frankly ridiculous. They're both excellent actors and I'm one of the many millions who envy Newman his good looks, but, Ticotin is THIRTY THREE years younger than Newman. He could (almost) be her Grandfather! Fort Apache is a good movie though and I would say it paved the way for many current shows (such as Law & Order) which show law enforcement, warts and all. It's well worth seeing.


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