The Onion Field (1979)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama


The Onion Field (1979) Poster

An LA police officer is murdered in the onion fields outside of Bakersfield. However, legal loopholes could keep his kidnappers from receiving justice, and his partner is haunted by overwhelming survivor's guilt.


6.8/10
4,220

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  • John Savage in The Onion Field (1979)
  • James Woods in The Onion Field (1979)
  • James Woods and Franklyn Seales in The Onion Field (1979)
  • Ted Danson and John Savage in The Onion Field (1979)
  • James Woods in The Onion Field (1979)
  • James Woods and Franklyn Seales in The Onion Field (1979)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Harold Becker

Writers:

Joseph Wambaugh (book), Joseph Wambaugh (screenplay)

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User Reviews


7 September 2014 | chengiz
6
| Good first half, poor second half
Most people have commented here about the film being let down by a rather slow, poor and melodramatic second half. I agree but won't dwell on it since it's already discussed by better reviewers.

So let's discuss the acting. James Woods is very good as Powell, the main villain so to speak. Danson is very good as one of the detectives. Unfortunately, Savage (who plays the other detective) is a mediocre actor, and Seales (the other criminal) is awful and seems to have walked out of a 1930s theater with his hamming (there's no other word for it).

The direction is tight in the first half but pretty much loses it in the second. I give it points for honesty and not going for gimmicks etc, but it doesn't do the truthful storytelling very well. The director should have known his limitations and tried to go for a more entertaining angle. It'd have been nice to see more of the early Powell and his attempts at crime, and a longer set up of the post crime events and how the two come to be caught. This could have been a much better movie.

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