Crime Story (1986–1988)
13 user 4 critic


Chicago Major Crime Unit, led by no-nonsense lt. Torrello, stops a team of robbers, but the leader escapes. Torrello suspects Ray Luca, a mobster on the rise. He also deals with idealistic public defender Abrams, who opposes his methods.


Abel Ferrara


Chuck Adamson (creator), Gustave Reininger (creator) | 5 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Farina ... Lt. Mike Torello
Tony Denison ... Ray Luca (as Anthony Denison)
Bill Smitrovich ... Det. Danny Krychek (as William Smitrovich)
Steve Ryan ... Det. Nate Grossman
Billy Campbell ... Det. Joey Indelli (as Bill Campbell)
Paul Butler Paul Butler ... Det. Walter Clemmons
Stephen Lang ... Atty. David Abrams
Joseph Wiseman ... Manny Weisbord
Darlanne Fluegel ... Julie Torello
Jon Polito ... Phil Bartoli
Johann Carlo ... Cori Luca
William Russ ... Det. Wes Connelly
Eric Bogosian ... Dee
Martin Ferrero ... Ignacio
David Caruso ... Johnny O'Donnel


Chicago's Major Crime Unit, that can operate slightly outside the law and is led by hardboiled lieutenant Mike Torrello, stops a violent team of armed robbers one night, but their leader escapes. Torrello suspects the head to be Ray Luca, a young ruthless and ambitious mobster on the rise. Luca soon convinces Johnny O'Donnel, one of the people Mike cares for, to join his crew, but this ends up having deadly consequences. Mike must also deals with idealistic public defender David Abrams, who highly disapproves of Mike and his team's sometimes borderline vigilante methods. However, Luca sees this as Abrams' weakness and uses it to get on Abrams good side, by pretending to be clean. However, Luca still has to follow orders of his higher-ups, even though he's trying to remove their influence over him.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The jewel robbery using the underwater cutting bar is based on a real jewel robbery masterminded by 'John Santucci' who was a "Technical Consultant" as well as playing Paulie. See more »


During one scene as Torello sits unmoving at his desk talking to the MCU officers, the medallion on a chain around his neck change position several times. See more »


Lt. Mike Torello: Who is he, Julie? Who is he, 'cause I'm gonna kill him.
Julie Torello: Who is who?
Lt. Mike Torello: The dead man from the dance floor. Who is he?
Julie Torello: Andy Torello. Your cousin.
Lt. Mike Torello: Little Andy? Little Andy was coming on to you?
Julie Torello: He's 23 years old. He'd come on to a collie if you put it in a skirt.
See more »


Written by Del Shannon and Max Crook
Performed by Del Shannon
©1961 Bug Music/Mole Hole Music/Unchappel Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Basis for Good Television Series
11 December 2001 | by eibon09See all my reviews

One of the best works of film even if its a made for tv movie that Abel Ferrara did in the 1980s. Departure from the sleeze filled alleys and angered souls of The Driller Killer(1978), Ms.45(1981), and Fear City(1984). Created by the same people who did "Miami Vice" which was a good show in the 1980s. Between "Crime Story" and "Miami Vice", I found the former to be the better of the two for a couple of reasons.

First, there is the nice 1950s noir atmosphere that the show and this movie envoked. Second, the acting, direction, and screenplay of "Crime Story" and the movie were for the most part first class. Crime Story(1986)(TV) contains a pre NYPD Blue role for David Caruso where he does ok. The star of the TV film and series is Dennis Farina who has rarely been as good in a role as he was here.

His role is almost autobiographical due to the fact that before he became an actor, he was a Police officer for many years. So in a way he was simply at home in playing Michael Torrello. Has all the elements of Ferrara's crime and drama pictures...I.E., King of New York(1990), Bad Lieutenant(1992), and The Funeral(1996). Wonderful TV movie that inspired many of today's Police shows although none of them hold a candle to this TV film and series.

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