A highly-detailed dramatization of a true case, The Onion Field deals in its two hours with death and guilt; and the manipulation of the judicial system to pervert justice.

A highly-detailed dramatization of a true case, The Onion Field deals in its two hours with death and guilt; and the manipulation of the judicial system to pervert justice.

Set in 1963, two plainclothes cops on patrol in Hollywood stop a couple of suspicious-looking punks in a car. In a swift moment one of the bad guys pulls a gun and the cops are disarmed and kidnapped. They are taken to an onion field miles away and one is brutally murdered. The second makes his escape. The two killers are quickly arrested but each claims the other did the killing.

On this confusion the trials and re-trials drag on for years. Concurrently the survivor goes through bouts of guilt and is forced to resign from the force.

James Woods as the near-psychotic Powell is chillingly effective, creating a flakiness in the character that exudes the danger of a live wire near a puddle.

The Onion Field

Production

Avco Embassy/Black Marble. Director Harold Becker; Producer Walter Coblenz; Screenplay Joseph Wambaugh; Camera Charles Rosher; Editor John W. Wheeler; Music Eumir Deodato; Art Director Brian Eatwell

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 122 MIN.

With

John Savage James Woods Ted Danson Ronny Cox Franklyn Seales Priscilla Pointer
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