The Onion Field

1979

Action / Crime / Drama

The Onion Field (1979) download yts

Synopsis


Added By: Kaiac
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Director

Cast

Christopher Lloyd as Jailhouse lawyer
Ted Danson as Det. Ian James Campbell
James Woods as Gregory Ulas Powell
John de Lancie as LAPD Lieutnant #2
1080p
1.95 GB
1920*1080
R
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S Unknown

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Lechuguilla 9 / 10

True Life Story Told With Authenticity

A Los Angeles cop and his partner stop a car at night for a minor traffic violation. The car contains two petty criminals. One of the criminals panics, and orders the two cops into the car, at gunpoint, and then commands one of the officers to drive the car out to the desert. Near Bakersfield, the car turns off onto a lonesome dirt road next to an onion field. Shortly thereafter, a violent confrontation occurs. Not everyone survives.

With a plot that is direct and easy to follow, "The Onion Field" tells this story in a straightforward manner. There are almost no plot twists or turns. And the film has a breathtaking sense of authenticity. Indeed, the film's kidnapping scene takes place at the intersection of Carlos and Gower, the exact location where the real life kidnapping occurred.

The film's pacing is rather slow. Scenes tend to be lengthy, with emphasis on character development. The first half gives us a snapshot of the everyday lives, both of the cops and of the two thieves. It also describes the kidnapping incident that brought them together, and the ordeal on the deserted road. Much of the second half takes place in a courtroom setting, as we see how the criminal trial plays out. This second half of the film renders a scathing indictment of the American judicial process.

The film's cinematography is fine, if perhaps somewhat dark. The background music is low-key and appropriately ominous. Production design is adequate.

Based on Joseph Wambaugh's book, the screen story itself is the strength of the film. But the acting also is quite good. James Woods, Franklyn Seales, and Ted Danson are all convincing in their roles. John Savage gives a great performance too, despite his tendency to talk as if he's got marbles in his mouth.

Fact-based films have an inherent advantage over fictional films, in my opinion. And, "The Onion Field" is made with such authenticity, with such a sense of purpose and dedication, it easily makes my list of the best crime films of the 1970s.

Reviewed by PWNYCNY 9 / 10

Wambaughs best work

Ted Danson usually is found jokin' and schmoozin' in sit-coms. But there's no jokin' or schmoozin' in this movie. Here, Mr. Danson plays a police officer who is brutally murdered by two no-account thugs while his partner, completely terrified, looks on and does nothing and then is methodically hunted and only by sheer luck escapes. Remember, the two thugs actually kidnap and terrorize not two hapless civilians, but two police officers armed with their weapons. The message of this movie to me is clear: if this can happen to two police officers, it can happen to anyone, so beware. This is a powerful movie, not only because of the story, which is intense and provocative, but also because of the acting, which offers chilling portrayals of two psychopathic criminals who offer no apologies for their wanton and heinous acts and of an emotionally shattered police officer who is experiencing a nervous breakdown secondary to post-traumatic stress exacerbated by his overwhelming feelings of guilt over having done nothing to save his partner's life. This movie also shows how the criminal justice system reduces this act of terrorism to the level of being just another case as the case drags on for years in the courts. Indeed, the tragedy and terror of the event soon becomes eclipsed by the sheer mountain of legal paperwork it generates in the courts. This is a great movie which is based on an excellent book, which in turn is based on an actual event.

Reviewed by huggy_bear 8 / 10

Don't Miss the First Half

Great true life movie of two L.A. police officers whose lives were changed forever in on onion field on the outskirts of Bakersfield, CA. As always, I will not set here and go over the entire movie. I will say that James Woods did an excellent job portraying Powell, and of course, Ted Danson was his usual best as officer Ian Campbell. This story grips you right from the minute that the two officers are taken hostage. I can only imagine the terror that Campbell and Hettinger went through on the ride from L.A. to Bakersfield. The scene in the onion field and what transpired after the murder of officer Campbell, with Hettinger fleeing the maniac Powell through the fields at night, is breath taking. It is just so sad that in reality, all this really happened, and a good man lost his life at the hands of a crazed-ass lunatic.

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