Although extremely well cast, and fleshed out with some on-target dialog, Abby Mann's script is strictly potboiler material.
Although extremely well cast, and fleshed out with some on-target dialog, Abby Mann’s script is strictly potboiler material.
Homosexuality, police brutality, corruption in high places, and nymphomania are the peas in this literary shell game, which the admirable professional razzle-dazzle of direction, acting and, to an extent, editing, cannot sufficiently legitimize.
Jack Klugman and Frank Sinatra are the only honest cops portrayed. Ralph Meeker is on the take, Robert Duvall likes to bust ‘queers,’ and Al Freeman Jr decides in time that Nazi-style interrogation produces desired results.
Repeated plot digression – made bearable by the fact that it involves Lee Remick – explores Sinatra’s unstable married life.
The promise of erudition in the first reel gives way to programmer superficiality about the two main themes. For one thing, homosexuality is depicted as rampant in either truck stops, or else cheaply elegant salons. Also, the plot is heavily weighted against the police.