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Q & A (1990)

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A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuses to help him in this gritty ... See full summary »

Director:

Sidney Lumet (as Alan Smithee: television prints)

Writers:

Edwin Torres (book), Sidney Lumet (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Mike Brennan
Timothy Hutton ... Al Reilly
Armand Assante ... Bobby Texador
Patrick O'Neal ... Kevin Quinn
Lee Richardson ... Leo Bloomenfeld
Luis Guzmán ... Luis Valentin (as Luis Guzman)
Charles S. Dutton ... Sam Chapman (as Charles Dutton)
Jenny Lumet ... Nancy Bosch
Paul Calderon ... Roger Montalvo
International Chrysis International Chrysis ... Jose Malpica
Dominic Chianese ... Larry Pesch (as Dominick Chianese)
Leonardo Cimino ... Nick Petrone
Fyvush Finkel ... Preston Pearlstein
Gustavo Brens Gustavo Brens ... Alfonse Segal
Martin E. Brens Martin E. Brens ... Armand Segal
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Storyline

A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuses to help him in this gritty crime film. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the questions are dangerous, the answers can be deadly.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 April 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tödliche Fragen See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$11,207,891
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Nick Nolte gained 50 pounds for his role as Brennan. See more »

Goofs

Chief Quinn asks ADA Reilly why he did not attend St. John's Law School. Hutton says his father didn't like the Jesuits. St. John's University is not a Jesuit institution. It is conducted by the Vincentians. See more »

Quotes

Captain Lt. Michael 'Mike' Brennan, NYPD: [Brennan is telling other cops about an arrest] l don't know what this guy's on, but he just sits there with a shit-eating grin on his face! So, fuck it. l figure l've got to straighten him out a little bit. So l say, ''You've got a right to remain silent as long as you can stand the pain.'' There's nothing. Not a fucking dent. Not a fucking dent! l decide to fingerprint him in the back room, He pulls away from me, He's a big motherfucker, He's 6'-3" or 6'-4", He starts yelling, ''You fucking ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Community: Advanced Criminal Law (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Double-Cross the Ones You Love
Song by Ruben Blades
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In Defense of Jenny Lumet
4 May 2002 | by ProfessorFateSee all my reviews

Many reviews here have trashed Jenny Lumet's acting in this film and I want to go on record saying that I thought she gave an above average performance. I know, she's the director's daughter, but I think she more than holds her own opposite the likes of Timothy Hutton and Armand Assante (she doesn't have any scenes with Nolte).

Lumet plays a girlfriend from Reilly's (Hutton) past. Reilly dated her when he was a beat cop and has since risen to Assistant DA. When the film begins it has been 6 years since their break-up and she strolls into a tense interview session on the arm of notorious drug czar Bobby Texador (Armand Assante). Obviously shaken by her involvement in the case, Reilly attempts to talk with her about their past. I think Lumet is quite convincing in her scenes with Hutton: wrenched emotionally as she kicks him out of her mother's apartment and touching as she discusses their failed relationship. She's no Meryl Streep, but she effectively conveys the anguish of a young woman forced to re-visit her painful past.

Nolte is incredibly powerful as rogue cop Mike Brennan, a brooding, unstoppable evil force unlike any other character Nolte has played. His Mike Brennan is a distant cousin to Denzel Washington's Oscar-winning performance in "Training Day". Assante is nearly perfect as the menacing-yet-philosophical drug lord Bobby Texador. One of my favorite aspects of this script is the multi-faceted nature of Assante's character. Audiences aren't usually asked to identify with drug dealers, but Lumet's script and Assante's performance make Texador into more than just a one note crook. Both he and Nolte were Oscar-worthy, yet neither was even nominated (Jeremy Irons and Joe Pesci took home the male acting Oscars in 1990).

My only criticism of the film is the way racial and ethnic stereotypes are forced into almost every scene: the hard-drinking Irish cop, the Italian mobsters, the shyster Jewish lawyer, the street-brawling Puerto Rican gang members. Maybe Lumet had a point to make by concentrating so obsessively on his characters' ethnic origins, but it seems like over-kill. Despite this flaw, Q&A is still an absorbing and powerful film.


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