Richard Fleischer directs George C. Scott, Stacy Keach and Scott Wilson in this cop drama showing vignettes from the careers of two LA uniform police; a veteran facing down retirement and his partner who goes from rookie to seasoned survivor.
Episodic. Showing the daily grind of seventies policing. The risks, the excitement, the duty, the comraderies. The destruction of the men’s personal life. The psychological pressures of being on the front line. A few amazing bits of acting from Scott aside, there’s nothing you wouldn’t see here that seven seasons of a primetime policier on TV wouldn’t cover. We just get it compressed into a feature length running time. The anecdotal, unusual busts keep you entertained, the soapy tragedies supply the actors their meat. This might have been revolutionary in it depiction in 1972. Now it’s just a satisfyingly grainy afternoon killer.