The Onion Field

D: Harold Becker
Black Marble (Walter Coblenz)
US 1979
126 mins


W: Joseph Wambaugh [based on his book]
DP: Charles Rosher
Ed: John W. Wheeler 
Mus: Eumir Deodato

John Savage (Karl Hettinger), James Woods (Gregory Powell), Franklyn Seales (Jimmy Smith), Ted Danson (Ian Campbell), Ronny Cox (Sgt. Pierce Brooks)

A slow-burning reenactment of a true crime event, though the real crime is the events which emerged in the aftermath.
A pair of police officers pull over a pair of petty crooks for a traffic offence and both cops find themselves abducted at gunpoint and driven to an onion field where the elder of the two men is shot in cold blood and though the other officer escapes death, he subsequently finds himself fired from the force for cowardice, while the two killers escape the death sentence by manipulating the justice system.
A small film of the late 1970's which has all but become completely obscure. Certainly worth a watch for fans of crime drama, with exceptional performances from John Savage, Ted Danson and particularly James Woods.

James Woods in The Onion Field
James Woods in The Onion Field