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Onion Field
     

Onion Field

5.0 2
Director: Harold Becker,

Cast: Harold Becker, John Savage, James Woods, Ted Danson

 

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Joseph Wambaugh's The Onion Field is based on an actual 1963 case. L.A. plainclothesmen Karl Hattinger (John Savage) and Ian Campbell (Ted Danson) routinely investigate a pair of suspicious types, Greg Powell (James Woods) and Jimmy Smith (Franklin Seales). Unexpectedly, Powell pulls a gun on the cops, then forces them into a deserted onion field, where he

Overview

Joseph Wambaugh's The Onion Field is based on an actual 1963 case. L.A. plainclothesmen Karl Hattinger (John Savage) and Ian Campbell (Ted Danson) routinely investigate a pair of suspicious types, Greg Powell (James Woods) and Jimmy Smith (Franklin Seales). Unexpectedly, Powell pulls a gun on the cops, then forces them into a deserted onion field, where he kills Campbell in cold blood. Hattinger manages to escape, and through his eyewitness account, Powell and Smith are arrested. But that is not that. Thanks to their knowledge and manipulation of the quicksilver legal system, Powell and Smith manage to evade prosecution for years. Meanwhile, Hattinger goes through hell on earth, tortured with guilt over the fact that he lived while Campbell died so ignominiously.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Harold Becker's account of an actual police case that occurred in 1963 features an unforgettably graphic first act that the rest of the film can't quite sustain, yet it remains an absorbing study of the psychological costs of police work. Prolific author and ex-cop Joseph Wambaugh has probably done more than anyone in any media to give the public a real sense of the life of the average police officer. John Savage's cop, the survivor of a terrible ordeal, fits that description closely, and it's his crippling mental anguish over his partner's (Ted Danson) death that is the film's true subject. James Woods, in his breakthrough role as the psycho ex-con, is truly terrifying in the film's opening, and the effect of this sequence is so powerful that it tends to diminish the impact of the rest of the film, although it's undeniably well done. Savage gives what may be his best performance as the tormented cop, but the part leaves him little latitude as a dramatic character. Among the talented cast are Franklyn Seales, Priscilla Pointer, Christopher Lloyd, and Ronny Cox.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/16/2015
UPC:
0738329167721
Original Release:
1979
Rating:
R
Source:
Kl Studio Classics
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:02:00
Sales rank:
25,341

Special Features

An Interview with John Savage; Audio Commentary with Director Harold Becker; "Ring of Truth" documentary; Original Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Savage Karl Hattinger
James Woods Greg Powell
Ted Danson Ian Campbell
Ronny Cox Pierce Brooks
Franklyn Seales Jimmy Smith
David Huffman District Attorney Phil Halpin
Priscilla Pointer Chrissie Campbell
Christopher Lloyd Jailhouse Lawyer
Diane Hull Helen Hattinger
Beege Barkett Greg's Woman
Richard Herd Beat Cop
Le Tari Emmanuel McFadden
Richard Venture Glenn Bates
Lee Weaver Billy
Phillip Richard Allen District Attorney Marshall Schulman
Pat Corley Jimmy's 1st Lawyer
K Callan Mrs. Powell
Sandy McPeak Mr. Powell
Lillian Randolph Nana
Ned Wilson LAPD Captain
Jack Rader IAD Captain
Raleigh Bond 2nd Judge
Bradford English Redhaired Cop
Stanley Grover Greg's 2nd Lawyer
Michael Pataki District Attorney Dino Fulgoni
Steve Conte 1st Prison Guard
John de Lancie Actor

Technical Credits
Harold Becker Director
Walter Coblenz Producer
Eumir Deodato Score Composer
Brian Eatwell Production Designer
Richard C. Goddard Set Decoration/Design
Dick Goddard Set Decoration/Design
Joe Hubbard Set Decoration/Design
Tom Mack Asst. Director
Charles Rosher Cinematographer
Joseph Wambaugh Screenwriter
John W. Wheeler Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Onion Field
1. Chapter 1 [:00]
2. Chapter 2 [:00]
3. Chapter 1 [18:40]
4. Chapter 2 [17:44]
5. Chapter 3 [18:55]
6. Chapter 4 [16:19]
7. Chapter 5 [14:25]
8. Chapter 6 [14:44]
9. Chapter 7 [14:04]
10. Chapter 8 [11:16]

Customer Reviews

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Onion Field 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joseph Wambaugh`s excellent work is parlayed into a memorable classic film.The performances are superb,the true power of this film I find is''understatment'' in the screenplay in conjunction with Franklyn Seales & John Savage`s riveting performances.It is a film that is seared into my conscience. John Wimmer
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joseph Wambaugh's work had been brutalized on screen until he took the lead and wrote the screenplay from his non fiction classic. Like the book, the filmed version strikes at your heart and guts with an indictment of American juisprudence that 50 films before it only wished it could accomplish. James Woods is the definitive movie psycho and you beg for his character, Gregory Ulysis Powell to taste the gas at San Q. One of 1979's best films.