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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.
Disillusioned quippy alcoholic, Al Mackey, and emotionally distraught family man, Marty Wellborn, are homicide cops in Hollywood hot on the trail of the murderer of a movie mogul who was moonlighting by making child porno pictures. While Marty deals with his failed marriage and a snitch turned surrogate son he's put in danger, Mackey focuses on the case and his main woman of interest, in more ways than one, becomes a feisty actress called Willie, one of several suspects with motive, opportunity and the evil means to carry out this act. The investigation takes the police duo straight into the viper's pit that is the city's seedy underbelly, and the real question quickly becomes would a medal be in order for the killer instead of being arrested. The movie's title refers to the name of the bar where Mackey spends his evenings.Written by
Richard Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
James Garner and John Lithgow shine in this classic as detective sergeants Mackey and Wellborn. I thoroughly enjoyed Garner's character's reaction as a staid old-fashioned sort of cop interacting with extremely sexually liberated Willie played by Margot Kidder. Stuart Margolin's direction gives this film a sort of "Rockford Files" feel. The ending is sad and predictable with Wellborn's (Lithgow) inability to depersonalize the crimes he investigates. But there are some entertaining moments like in Colleen Dewhurst's great scene in which her character, Lorna Dillman, proves herself incapable of the crime. Simply priceless.
If you like Garner and Lithgow, you'll love this one!
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