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Q & A (1990)

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1:38 | Trailer
A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuses to help him in this gritty ... See full summary »

Director:

Sidney Lumet (as Alan Smithee: television prints)

Writers:

Edwin Torres (book), Sidney Lumet (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Mike Brennan
Timothy Hutton ... Al Reilly
Armand Assante ... Bobby Texador
Patrick O'Neal ... Kevin Quinn
Lee Richardson ... Leo Bloomenfeld
Luis Guzmán ... Luis Valentin (as Luis Guzman)
Charles S. Dutton ... Sam Chapman (as Charles Dutton)
Jenny Lumet ... Nancy Bosch
Paul Calderon ... Roger Montalvo
International Chrysis International Chrysis ... Jose Malpica
Dominic Chianese ... Larry Pesch (as Dominick Chianese)
Leonardo Cimino ... Nick Petrone
Fyvush Finkel ... Preston Pearlstein
Gustavo Brens Gustavo Brens ... Alfonse Segal
Martin E. Brens Martin E. Brens ... Armand Segal
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Storyline

A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuses to help him in this gritty crime film. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the questions are dangerous, the answers can be deadly.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 April 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tödliche Fragen See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,816,605, 29 April 1990

Gross USA:

$11,207,891

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,207,891
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the gay club dressing room where Bobby Texador, his wife and bodyguards are meeting Roger Montalvo, "I Love Paul C." is written and circled on the message board directly behind Montalvo, played by Paul Calderon. See more »

Goofs

Chief Quinn asks ADA Reilly why he did not attend St. John's Law School. Hutton says his father didn't like the Jesuits. St. John's University is not a Jesuit institution. It is conducted by the Vincentians. See more »

Quotes

Det. Luis Valentin: This case is dirty, I feel it in the cojones you know?
Det. Sam 'Chappie' Chapman: You're listening to a piece of shit like Bobby Tex, the day you start believing a damn dope-dealing Spic against a cop like Mike is the day I turn in my badge! Mike Brennan is the best cop I ever saw! First one through the door, the window, the skylight, he stepped in front of a bullet for me once, caught it in his left hand and shoved it up the punk's ass! Now unless you know, don't blow, this is serious.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.14 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Double-Cross the Ones You Love
Song by Rubén Blades.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
New York Confidential
17 November 2005 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

Guess the film from the following description of its characters. A young man investigating misdeeds in the police force, motivated by the memory of his father (a legendary policeman) but also by the pain of having lost the affections of a woman he loves to another player in the drama. A renegade cop, rampaging violently through the city, but revered on the force for standing up to the scum on the streets. And the renegade's boss, who protects him, partly because he himself is on old-school Irish policeman; but partly because he appreciates having his own private bag-man, especially in his dealings with organised crime. Throw in some prostitutes for a little background colour, and it sounds like a perfect description of 'L.A. Confidential'. But it also describes this tough and underrated movie made by Sidney Lumet some years before Curtis Hanson's film.

Whereas Hanson's film was stylised, and glamorised violence (provided the cause was just), Lumet has gone for a more realist approach, and his bad cop (played mesmerisingly by Nick Nolte) is completely rotten, in fact resembling Harvey Kietel's 'Bad Liutennant' in Abel Fererra's movie. The film is dated by its ghastly electronic soundtrack, and more interestingly by its portrait of New York at a time when the city was at its lowest ebb. But it's a very well assembled thriller, exploring issues of race, mixed loyalties and the meaning of good policing without flinching from a grim picture of life on the margins of law abiding society. Lumet has had a long career, but this is one of his better films, and ultimately more truthful than Hanson's stylish charade. Each are good, in their own way: why is only one so appreciated?


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