Thursday List – Top 10 Dirty Cops in Movies
In honour of RAMPART’s cinema release here in the UK this weekend we look at our Top 10 Dirty Cops in movie
I have been waiting a long time for RAMPART. It looks excellent. I am very much looking forward to getting a screening of it this weekend. I loved Oren Moverman’s previous film THE MESSENGER which also starred Harrelson and Foster. Here is a brief synopsis of RAMPART…
Meet Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), Brown is a cop long ago unleashed from the rules of the Los Angeles Police Department. Roving the streets in his black-and-white cruiser, he governs and punishes at will. His home life is a riddle. Somehow he has fathered children with two sisters (Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon). Somehow he still lives casually with them both, slipping in and out of a family life that’s as tangled as his long career on the force. His own daughter calls him Date Rape. That’s because, years ago, Brown may have killed a rapist and gotten away with it. The shadow of the incident still haunts him, so when his Rampart division gets caught up in a corruption scandal, Brown makes an easy target. As the controversy seeps through the department and into city hall, this hardened, reckless officer finds himself at the centre of a sordid L.A. story.
Sounds right up my street, and from the trailer I am hoping I will not be disappointed…
In the films honour, I wanted to look back at my favourite Dirty Cops as portrayed in the Movies…
10 – NARC
Jason Patric and Ray Liotta deliver edgy, driven performances in this compelling crime drama. Nick Tellis (Patric) is a suspended narcotics officer recruited to investigate the murder of Michael Calvess, a rookie cop killed under mysterious circumstances. Tellis is teamed with Calvess’s partner, Henry Oak (Liotta), a hot-tempered renegade who’ll stop at nothing to avenge his friend’s death. As Tellis and Oak follow a shadowy trail through the seamy drug underworld, the lines start to blur – between right and wrong, good and evil, and justice and revenge.
DIRTY COP – HENRY OAK (RAY LIOTTA)
9 – UNLAWFUL ENTRY
After an armed robbery attempt on their suburban home, a young couple (Kurt Russell and Madeleine Stowe) do what anyone would do – they call the police. That’s when they meet Los Angeles Policeman Pete Davis (Ray Liotta) and immediately warm up to his caring and sensitive attitude.
He makes the couple’s safety his personal concern, and begins frequent patrols of their property. But this friendship turns into a twisted obsession as Davis’s relationship with the couple develops and forces his way into their lives.
Plunged into a nightmare where protector becomes predator, the couple must somehow escape from the web of security that has become their ultimate enemy…
DIRTY COP – PETE DAVIS (RAY LIOTTA AGAIN)
8 – DIRTY HARRY
Harry Callahan is a tough, streetwise San Francisco cop whom they call Dirty Harry. In this action classic, you’ll see why…
A rooftop sniper (Andy Robinson) calling himself Scorpio has killed twice and holds the city ransom with the threat of killing again. Harry will nail him, one way or the other, no matter what the “system” prescribes.
Filming on location, director Don Siegel made the City by the Bay a vital part of Dirty Harry, a practice continued in its four sequels. The original remains one of the most gripping police thrillers ever made.
DIRTY COP – HARRY CALLAHAN (CLINT EASTWOOD)
7 – ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES
It was a time of tyrants: the only way to uphold the truth was to break the law. He fought for the good of all men and for the love of just one woman.
Kevin Costner brings the epic hero Robin Hood to life in a film filled with pageantry, intrigue, action and romance. With an outstanding cast, record-breaking theme song and film production on a sweeping scale, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has become a legend in its own right.
DIRTY COP (GO WITH ME ON THIS ONE) – THE SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM (ALAN RICKMAN)
6 – THE DEPARTED
A big-budget Hollywood star power remake of the Hong Kong classic crime thriller Infernal Affairs.
Two men operate on different sides of the law; one a mole with the Boston State Police department, the other within the Irish mafia. When bloodshed breaks out on the streets, each mole is despatched to discover the other’s identity in a race against time…
Marty finally collected the Best Director statuette at the 2007 Oscars after decades of bad luck. Not only that but the Departed also picked up awards for Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best film!
DIRTY COP – COLIN SULLIVAN (MATT DAMON)
5 – TRAINING DAY
A gripping drama set in the shadowy world of undercover police work, ‘Training Day’ tells the story of a veteran L.A.P.D. narcotics officer (Denzel Washington in an Oscar-winning role) who guides an idealistic rookie (Ethan Hawke) through his first day on the brutal inner-city beat.
DIRTY COP – ALONZO (DENZEL WASHINGTON)
4 – LEON
Gary Oldman plays a corrupt government official whose maniacal greed leads to murder on the streets of New York. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues when he crosses paths with a lone hitman named Leon. Caught in the middle is an orphaned 12-year-old girl, who can’t forgive or forget the man who killed her family.
DIRTY COP – NORMAN STANSFIELD (GARY OLDMAN)
3 – L.A. CONFIDENTIAL
L.A. Confidential is “tough, gorgeous and vastly entertaining” (The New York Times), “a genuine masterpiece that will knock your socks off” (Rex Reed) and won 1997 Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Director Curtis Hanson and a terrific cast serve up a “ravishing, thrilling tale of police corruption and Hollywood glamour”, in this film version of James Ellroy’s novel. Three Cops (Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce), a call girl (Kim Basinger), a mysterious millionaire (David Strathairn), a tabloid journalist (Danny De Vito), and the Chief of Detectives (James Cromwell) fuel a labyrinthine plot rife with mystery, ambition, romance and humour.
DIRTY COP – CAPTAIN DUDLEY SMITH (JAMES CROMWELL)
2 – SERPICO
Al Pacino is forcefully real as Frank Serpico, an independent young recruit entering the police force in the late 1960s, fulfilling a childhood dream. The good old boys of the NYPD lose no time in initiating the unorthodox Serpico in the ways of cutting corners, forging documents, and, most important, taking payoffs from local gambling operations and narcotic rings. His refusal to take his share of illegal protection money combined with his counterculture lifestyle make Serpico a target for harassment by his unified and powerful peers. Lumet hones in on the evocative details of Serpico’s personal struggles and inner turmoil as his obsessive fight for truth begins to have disastrous effects on his personal life and threaten his safety. Serpico goes to the commissioner for help but to no avail, eventually taking his story to the New York Times, shattering the police department and putting himself in danger of violent retribution, leading to an inevitably violent and harrowing climax.
DIRTY COP – EVERYONE EXCEPT SERPICO
1 – BAD LIEUTENANT
He’s the kind of cop who steals drugs off a dead man’s body, the kind of father who’d rather feed his drug habit than his family. His badge means nothing to him other than the right to act like the very criminals he’s supposed to be chasing. the fierce anger beneath his personality is only fuelled by his addiction to heroin, crack and alcohol.
But when a beautiful young nun (Frankie Thorn) is raped on the altar of a local church, the Bad Lieutenant (Academy Award Nominee, Harvey Keitel) is drawn to her case and into a final desperate attempt to find the true depths of human sin and the power of mercy.
BAD COP – THE LIEUTENANT (HARVEY KEITEL)
About The Author – Scott Lawlor
Chief Editor of FRC. A self confessed geek with an unhealthy thirst for all things Home Cinema. Whether it is the latest Action film or Subwoofer.
How is your favourite dirty cop? I am sure I missed a few, let me know…