This film is about the adventures of a 1940's special anti-gangster police squad in Los Angeles, the infamous 'Hat Squad.' The four members of this squad are big, tough, no-nonsense cops who don't hesitate to break the law, if it suits their purposes. When a local woman is murdered, their investigation turns up the fact that she had been romantically linked to several prominent men and had secret films taken of her liaisons. Since one of those men is the powerful U.S. Army General at the head of the then-new Atomic Energy Commission and another is the (married) leader of the Hat Squad, complications ensue. The FBI even gets involved in an attempted cover-up.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Nick Nolte heads the cast of Mulholland Falls which came out a year earlier than L.A. Confidential and covered the same time period with similar themes. L.A. Confidential is a much better film, but Mulholland Falls does have its supporters.
The title refers to no waterfall because as a bad guy in the film so aptly put it, there aren't any waterfalls in Los Angeles. What it is, is a cliff off Mulholland Drive in which Nolte and his elite squad make a habit of throwing wise guys off. If they survive they have the option of a further trip or go back where they came from.
This was in the days of Chief William F. Parker of Los Angeles who took over one of the most corrupt police forces in the country. He dealt with systemic corruption in much the same manner J. Edgar Hoover did in taking over the corrupt Federal Bureau of Investigation after the Teapot Dome Scandal. Both men were authoritarian in the methods and their temperament. And both men have their supporters and detractors to this day.
But the main body of the film concerns a homicide of party girl Jennifer Connelly who as it turns out was not only involved with Nick Nolte, but with U.S. Army General John Malkovich who was just appointed to the Atomic Energy Commission.
Malkovich has an aide in Colonel Treat Williams who is every bit as extra legal as Nolte and his squad are. In this case the rule book is out on both sides.
In addition to those mentioned some nice performances are given by Melanie Griffith as Nolte's wife, Andrew McCarthy as the photographer and friend of Connelly who taped her sexual sessions. And stealing every scene he's in is Chazz Palmenteri as Nolte's partner, undergoing psychological therapy.
Though L.A. Confidential is definitely the superior film, if you liked that film, you'll no doubt like Mulholland Falls.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this