|COPS AND ROBBERS
(director: Aram Avakian; screenwriter: Donald E.
Westlake/based on the novel by Donald E. Westlake;
cinematographer: David L. Quaid; editor: Barry Malkin;
music: Michael LeGrand; cast: Cliff Gorman
(Tom), Joseph Bologna (Joe), John P. Ryan (Patsy
O'Neill), Ellen Holly (Ms. Wells), Nino
Ruggeri (Mr. Joe), Charlene Dallas
(Secretary), Gayle Gorman (Mary), Lucy Martin (Grace),
Joseph Sullivan (Jack), Shepperd Strudwick (Mr.
Eastpoole), Dick Ward (Patrolman Paul Jones),
Dolph Sweet (George), James Ferguson (Liquor Store
Clerk), Frances Foster (Bleeding Lady); Runtime:
89; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Eliott Kastner; MGM;
"Seems confused about what to do about regular guy cops who get bitten by the greed bug and become dirty."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A pleasant but only a semi-plausible caper comedy unevenly directed by Aram Avakian ("End of the Road"/"11 Harrowhouse"), that has a happy ending but it seems confused about what to do about regular guy cops who get bitten by the greed bug and become dirty. It's based on the novel by Donald E. Westlake, who also writes the screenplay.
risk taking, underpaid buddy NYC cops Tom and
Joe (Cliff Gorman and Joseph Bologna) are family men
suffering from burn out, who live in the dullish Long
Island suburbs and work in the same Manhattan
precinct. Tom is a detective on the robbery squad,
while Joe is a beat patrolman. On the drive to
work, Joe tells Tom that on a spur of the moment
decision he robbed last night a liquor store
while in uniform and easily pulled off the heist.
Tom brainstorms and suggests they cook up a
scheme to each make a million bucks and retire to the
location of their choice. Tom pays a visit to
the arrogant Mafia boss Patsy O'Neill (John
P. Ryan), a fence, who has a bowling
alley in his apartment. Tom, hiding his identity,
arranges a deal whereby the cops steal $10 million
dollars of unregistered securities that say pay to
the bearer and the Mafia boss will give them $2
million for the bonds. On the day of a ticker-tape
parade down Broadway to honor the astronauts, the
cops use the parade as a diversion to rob a Wall
Street firm. Despite things not going right during
the robbery, the cops are still able to rip-off the
Mafia boss by outsmarting him during an exchange of
the securities for the money in Central Park on a
park declared bicycle day only and cleverly escape
in a squad car through the park though chased by the
mafia goons on bikes.
superficial stuff, the cops are not particularly
sympathetic characters, the anti-establishment
scenario is tied to the times and has no power on
its own, and the morality logic is a bit twisted.
But it's mildly entertaining, and since it makes no
claim to offer a message it's bearable as a minor
conventional caper flick that works as long as you
don't ask questions how it works.
REVIEWED ON 10/23/2012 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ