Drugs, and Mafia, and Undercover Cops, oh boy
Fairly straight cop 'n crime drama set in the mafia controlled heroin trade in the late sixties. After a prominent arrest, a couple key players disappear into the woodwork. The authorities track down the lesser - Stacey Woodward, a former mistress of the arrested mafioso. At an opportune moment, agent Sol Madrid uses her to help arrange a deal in Mexico with the drug lord Emil Dietrich, who supplies the heroin. The other missing character is Harry Mitchell, and he is staying with Dietrich. Hot to kill both of these disappeared folk is the New York mafia, but most especially Dano Villanova, who we met being arrested earlier.
Madrid is portrayed as the very soul of competence. He's at least two steps ahead of his own game, if not always the chaotic world around him. The movie makes a big deal about following vs. not following the rules in the pursuit of the bad guys. As an agent in the field who has to entertain us - meaning a certain amount of unpredictability - Mr. Madrid is therefore on the side of breaking the rules.
The story plays out without huge surprises. It seems shallow compared to more recent portrayals of the drug trade and the mafia. There some depth to the characters here, but they don't go beyond a bare first draft interpretation - the movie lives primarily for the plot.
Being shot in the late sixties makes for an interesting viewpoint. Drug use and addiction are interchangable here. The hallucinatory special effects to simulate heroin is particularly dating. The best portrayal of hallucination from this period that I've come across is still the episode "A, B, and C" from The Prisoner.
Telly Savalas is perfect as the suave Dietrich, but everyone else seems to be overplaying their role. I'm not sure exactly why this is true, but I am liable to put it on the direction, as many of these actors have gone on to long and varied careers - several, such as Rip Torn and Ricardo Montelban being quite well known. Actually, I'll say Montelban does a good job, but his character is peripheral and doesn't have any depth.
There's nothing here we haven't seen before, and nothing that hasn't been done better. Throw in a plot without much imagination and the largely atrocious acting, and there's nothing left to recommend this film.
Full profile for Sol Madrid
Offsite info: Internet Movie Database
login to submit an article
A Film Review
2006-03-10 06:51:39... CheriLacy
The Lazy Moviewatcher's Top... Something of 2004
Despite being busy watching all of 2003's movies at home, this reviewer did actually hit the theater a few times this year
2004-12-30 22:39:13... andrew
2003 Awards Tracker
So many awards, so much recognition - it's amazing how these people don't develop an ego
2004-01-29 21:45:11... andrew
How to set up a cheap home theatre
Constant upgrades and a host of revolving standards make the home theatre market hard to decide when to jump in.
2003-05-27 17:52:42... mastadonfarm
submit a review here
submit a review here
indexes links credits privacy|
all contributed material © their respective authors
everything else © 2013 thatcow
link to this site