Cops and Robbers

Overview

In this comedy from director Aram Avakian, New York police officers Cliff Gorman and Joe Bologna turn crooked. Their plan is to steal $10 million worth of investment certificates, using a Manhattan parade as their "cover." Gorman and Bologna display an amazing degree of dexterity and foresightedness in breaking down the investment firm's sophisticated security system. Too bad they didn't take fate into consideration. Cops and Robbers was based on a novel by Donald Westlake (The ...
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Overview

In this comedy from director Aram Avakian, New York police officers Cliff Gorman and Joe Bologna turn crooked. Their plan is to steal $10 million worth of investment certificates, using a Manhattan parade as their "cover." Gorman and Bologna display an amazing degree of dexterity and foresightedness in breaking down the investment firm's sophisticated security system. Too bad they didn't take fate into consideration. Cops and Robbers was based on a novel by Donald Westlake (The Hot Rock).
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Original theatrical trailer; English: Mono; Spanish: Mono; English, French & Spanish language subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Aram Avakian didn't enjoy an especially prolific career as a film director he had significantly more extensive credits as an editor for both movies and television, and taught filmmaking in his later years, but he certainly made a mark with the few movies he did make, particularly his darkly comic countercultural piece End of the Road and the clever, well-crafted heist drama 11 Harrowhouse. 1973's Cops and Robbers is one of Avakian's most enjoyable and accessible pictures, but while it's an often funny look at two working-class guys trying to pull off a big score, it's also the sort of gritty crime flick that they don't make anymore, shot on the streets of New York City before gentrification set in, when it was among the dirtiest and most dangerous great cities in the world. Cops and Robbers opens as a cop named Joe Joseph Bologna is walking his beat in a run-down neighborhood. Joe stops into a liquor store and begins talking to the clerk behind the counter, a moment before he draws his gun. Joe walks away with a couple hundred bucks in his pocket and the manager of the store wondering what the hell just happened. Joe and his best friend, Tom Cliff Gorman, have both spent years working for the NYPD -- Tom is a detective, though that doesn't mean much in terms of added pay or prestige -- and they often feel like they're being played for suckers, putting their lives on the line for low wages and protecting citizens who would just as soon they got lost. When Joe confesses to Tom that he robbed the liquor store while on duty, Tom is intrigued, and after talking about the criminal possibilities presented to them as cops, they decide they should put their knowledge to use, pulling off a robbery that would leave them set for life. An underworld boss who calls himself Patsy O'Neill John P. Ryan is brought in one day, and Tom copies down his home address and stops by his house with a proposal -- he'd like to make an arrangement to steal something that O'Neill would be willing to buy for two million bucks. O'Neill freely admits he's sure someone is playing a prank on him, but he goes along, telling Tom that he could move ten million in bearer bonds and would be willing to pay 20 cents on the dollar. Tom and Patsy strike a deal, and he and Joe make a plan to steal the bonds from a major Wall Street brokerage house while the Apollo 11 astronauts, just returned from the moon, are given a ticker-tape parade that runs past the building. Of course, the perfect plan turns out to be less than perfect, but the cops also turn out to have criminal instincts as keen as any gangster. Cops and Robbers was written by Donald E. Westlake who adapted his own novel, and while the dialogue is often quite funny, it comes from characters who are edgy and pissed off, and it captures the bitterness and cynicism of New York at a time when Watergate was on the horizon, crime was exploding, and the city was starting to crumble. Joseph Bologna and Cliff Gorman are pitch-perfect as Joe and Tom, who don't present themselves as either heroes or villains -- they're just frustrated working stiffs who figure that it's time they got a piece of the action in a world that's drowning in corruption before they become another cop shot on duty. The film also has an excellent supporting cast, including Ryan as the gangster with a bowling alley in his basement, Joe Spinell as his fashion-challenged henchman, Shepperd Strudwick as a stockbroker who has some ideas of his own concerning the robbery, and Ellen Holly, who is cool, wary, and sexy as his secretary. However, it's cinematographer David L. Quaid and director Avakian who really make Cops and Robbers something special. Quaid captures the funky details of New York City in the 1970s -- the artless graffiti, the crumbling buildings, the peeling paint of the police station, the shabby suburbs with their above-ground swimming pools -- with an eye that's part artist and part anthropologist, while Avakian gives this movie a easy but assured pace that's a solid match for the alternately laid-back and angry vibe of his protagonists. Cops and Robbers is an overlooked gem that, without succumbing to willful eccentricity, still represents the sort of daring, streetwise filmmaking that made the early to mid-'70s a golden age for American auteur filmmaking.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/2/2003
  • UPC: 027616899620
  • Original Release: 1973
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English, Español
  • Time: 1:29:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cliff Gorman tom
Joseph Bologna Joe
Jacob Weiner Thief
Charles Bergansky Perpetrator
Martin Cove Ambulance Attendant
Cliff Cudney Perpetrator
Charlene Dallas Secretary
Dolph Sweet
James Ferguson Clerk
Frances Foster Black Lady
Frank Gio Rocco
Gayle Gorman Mary
Walter Gorney Wino
Albert Henderson Cop
Ellen Holly Ms. Wells
Randy Jurgensen Randy
Walter Klavun Cop
Delphi Lawrence Rich lady
Lucy Martin Grace
Arthur Pierce Ambulance Attendant
Nino Ruggeri Mr. Joe
John Ryan Patsy O'Neill (Pasquale Aniello)
Joe Spinell Marty
Lee Steele Hardware Store Owner
Shepperd Strudwick Eastpoole
Joseph Sullivan Jack
Dick Ward Paul Jones
Technical Credits
Aram Avakian Director
John Boyt Costumes/Costume Designer
Alan Hopkins Asst. Director
Elliott Kastner Producer
Michel Legrand Score Composer
Barry Malkin Editor
Chris Newman Sound/Sound Designer
Georges Pappas Producer
David Quaid Cinematographer
Gene Rudolf Art Director
Donald E. Westlake Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/Confession
2. Perps and Perks
3. Hustling
4. A Million Dollars
5. Bearer Bonds
6. Scoping It Out
7. Occupational Hazards
8. Ready, Steady, Go
9. Moving In
10. The Inner Sanctum
11. A Small Wrinkle
12. ShredMaster
13. "A Lot of Cash"
14. The Setup
15. The Exchange
16. The Spoils/End Credits
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Spoken Languages: Español
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: None
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