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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cop Land (released in 1997) - Starring Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro

The film is based on the town of Garrison, New Jersey. It is known for most of its local population being that of auxiliary transit cops - this gives the town the nickname of ‘Cop Land.’ The Sherriff of Garrison is Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone); he was also a police force aspirant, but his chances of joining were ruined as he is hearing impaired due to an injury from his childhood. Sometime in the past, he had saved Liz Randone (Annabella Sciorra) from the car which she was trapped inside. However, life has moved on, many of his friends and peers serve on the force, including Liz’s husband, Joey Randone (Peter Berg). Freddy has secretly loved Liz since they were kids, but now she is trapped in an abusive and violent marriage to Joey.
Freddy leads a lonely life, few friends, one loyal - the bottle. One night as he returns from the local pub, his car crashes into a clump of trees as he avoids running over a deer. Elsewhere a young cop Murray Babitch (Michael Rapaport) is driving back home after a night out, as he drives through to the George Washington Bridge, his car is side scraped by another car. He attempts to get the car to pull over, flashing his badge. The man in the co driver’s seat pulls out a weapon, Murray ducks to avoid getting shot, just then he hears a shot fired – the red car speeds ahead of him, the cop has had enough! Murray fires shots at the car, which spins to a halt on the bridge, his own car screeches to a halt as it rams into the other vehicle.

Under the bridge, sits Freddy, oblivious of the chaos that has ensued. Cops line the Bridge, as Lt. Ray Donlan, incidentally Babitch’s uncle, comes to his rescue. The young officer is inconsolable, as he tells Ray that he was only doing his duty and that he shot in self defense. Officer Jack Rucker (Robert Patrick) tells Ray that the men in the car had no weapon, they’d only been pointing a steering wheel lock at Murray.
The detective present Leo Crasky (John Spencer) tells Murray that his foolhardiness is going to cost Lt. Ray Donlan his reputation and career; he convinces the man that if he doesn’t let Leo help, Murray will land up in prison. Babitch is convinced that they don’t have to do this, and it is wrong. Meanwhile, Jack plants a weapon in the dead men’s car. However, a paramedic on police duty tells him that he saw him do that - and a scuffle takes place. Ray, meanwhile goes over to where Murray was standing - he isn’t there anymore. The man has jumped off the bridge. But was this really the end ?
The film was about the corruption in the police force, as cops try and save themselves from being blamed for fraudulent practices; Heflin is shown as the man who is up against the corrupt biggies, he is the underdog, who is treated with disdain and met with rancor. Directed by James Mangold, Cop Land was released in 1997. Stallone’s performance is unlike any of his past acts; he displays the quieter, sensitive side of a man most people reject and mock due to his physical shortcomings, he even donned a ‘non glam’ look, putting on pounds to look the part. His performance won him praise from both critics and audiences alike.

Cop Land (released in 1997) - Starring Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro

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