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Disillusioned quippy alcoholic, Al Mackey, and emotionally distraught family man, Marty Wellborn, are homicide cops in Hollywood hot on the trail of the murderer of a movie mogul who was moonlighting by making child porno pictures. While Marty deals with his failed marriage and a snitch turned surrogate son he's put in danger, Mackey focuses on the case and his main woman of interest, in more ways than one, becomes a feisty actress called Willie, one of several suspects with motive, opportunity and the evil means to carry out this act. The investigation takes the police duo straight into the viper's pit that is the city's seedy underbelly, and the real question quickly becomes would a medal be in order for the killer instead of being arrested. The movie's title refers to the name of the bar where Mackey spends his evenings.Written by
Richard Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Lithgow's character, a man who was unable to push away the atrocities he had seen in his work as a cop, was heart-rending tragic. (The scene of an abused little boy whom he had rescued is haunting.) Colleen Dewhurst's character was an odd mix of crustiness, worldliness and a little bit of Mother Teresa, with regard to how she took a runaway teen/porn actress under her wing. Although the movie doesn't address it outright, we suspect that Dewhurst's character was a lesbian. It was interesting to see Willie (played by Margot Kidder), react to being treated like a lady by Garner, after having coming on to him in the S&M manner that she was accustomed to.
No, this movie isn't a great, timeless classic. But I found myself intrigued by the characters and the story. Stuart Margolin directed the movie, acted in it, and also composed music for it. It is interesting to see this versatility from a gentleman who has made a career of playing sleazy slimeballs.
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