Director Sidney Lumet grabs a tiger by the tail with Q&A, a hard-hitting thriller that takes on weighty topics of racism and corruption in the New York City justice system.

Director Sidney Lumet grabs a tiger by the tail with Q&A, a hard-hitting thriller that takes on weighty topics of racism and corruption in the New York City justice system.

Working from Edwin Torres’ novel, Lumet has scripted in concise, suspenseful fashion, opening with cop Nick Nolte ruthlessly killing a Latino drug dealer outside an after-hours club and then intimidating witnesses on the scene. As his first job as a new assistant d.a., Timothy Hutton is summoned by his cooly evil boss Patrick O’Neal (a man with unbridled political ambitions) to do a routine investigation, writing up a Q&A with Nolte and other principal players. He’s obviously the fall guy. Key to film’s success is how the case gradually uncovers new layers of corruption and insidious racism, with escalating awareness (and danger) for Hutton.

Nolte is outstanding, bringing utter conviction to the stream of racist and sexist epithets that pour from his good ole boy lips.

Q&A

Production

Regency/Odyssey. Director Sidney Lumet; Producer Arnon Milchan, Burtt Harris; Screenplay Sidney Lumet; Camera Andrzej Bartkowiak; Editor Richard Cirincione; Music Ruben Blades; Art Director Philip Rosenberg

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 132 MIN.

With

Nick Nolte Timothy Hutton Armand Assante Patrick O'Neal Lee Richardson Jenny Lumet

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