REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER (operation undercover) (1975 U.S.) D: MILTON KATSELAS W: ABBY MANN/ERNEST TIDYMAN P: M.J. FRANKOVICH
When an undercover policewoman (Susan Blakely) is found shot dead in a drug (and arms) dealer (Tony King)`s apartment, police detective Michael Moriarty (as a liberal, long-haired "hippie") is the chief suspect. A fragmented narrative utilising several characters` flashbacks reveal what`s going on. Pretty much ignored upon release, the sands of time can help us disregard some of the fale notes of authenticity the film hits occasionally, and we can concentrate on what is good. And there is a lot of good here. The excellent supporting cast includes Yaphet Kotto, Hector Elizondo, Bob Balaban (memorable in a bizarre chase scene as an amputee panhandler), Vic Tayback, William Devane, Dana Elcar, Sonny Rosso and Richard Gere in his feature debut as a pimp. Mario Toso`s gritty, cockeyed location photography (mostly NYC) effectively captures a rooftop chase, and a tense and exciting elevator siege. Elmer Bernstein provides the score. Based on a novel by James Mills (THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK), which may be fact based. Screenwriter Mann wrote JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG and created KOJAK, while Tidyman created SHAFT, and wrote THE FRENCH CONNECTION. Recommended, and a DVD would be nice.

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