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  • Warning: Spoilers
    After a few years of fruitlessly trying to find this film, I finally won the jackpot when I found it on DVD (with the title "Deadly Justice") and at a decent price!!! I had read Video Movie guides and all of the reviews for this movie were very positive and encouraging. I knew that with the late, great Richard Crenna on board (truly deserving the Emmy he won for this performance, and he was the king of TV movies) this was a must-see.

    For the time, this film was quite daring (with the exception of such movies as "Deliverance") and very realistically acted. Crenna is fantastic as the chauvinistic, inconsiderate, hardened cop who believes that sexual assault victims "bring it on themselves". His attitude does not serve him well when he is re-assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit in his precinct. He cracks offensive jokes after trying to remove a nude rape victim from a phone booth who is incoherent with fear. He undergoes a transformation and an attitude adjustment after he is beaten and brutally attacked by two criminal sadists. Thankfully, because this movie was made for TV in the mid-80s, we are not exposed to the graphic details of the rape, nor are any given later on in the statements that Richard Beck makes. But, truthfully, we don't need to be shown. We know what he's gone through, as he experiences everything that rape victims face - and perhaps, because he is both a straight male and a cop - even more. He realizes that people look at him differently, especially his partners and most notably, his father. His dad cannot understand why Beck didn't do more to stop the attack, and Richard realizes, after going through the denial phase, that what happened to him was not his fault, despite what people say. He flashbacks to the assault, alienates his girlfriend, and has to answer embarrassing questions (as all sexual assault victims who report the crime do), like, has he ever had homosexual relations before? His ordeal transforms him into a more aware and sensitive individual who sees that the medieval attitudes toward rape need to change. What I thought was a nice touch was his rescuing a woman from a rapist, his ex-wife and children being the most supportive of him, going over his partner's objections of identifying his attackers, and finally, speaking to the cadets in the Police Academy, spreading awareness, concern and knowledge.

    It was also great to see two 80s TV moms in the same film (Meredith Birney of "Family Ties" and Joanna Kerns of "Growing Pains"). Pat Hingle was great as Beck's father, and Frances Lee McCain was compassionate as Beck's ex-wife. But the biggest honors go to Crenna, for his realistic and excellent portrayal. His talent and presence is, and will continue to be greatly missed, but his impact will live on. I highly recommend this film. You may never look at sexual assault the same way again. RIP Richard.
  • This bold and thought-provoking TV movie centers on a bigoted and sexist police officer (the late Richard Crenna) who has always believed that rape victims "ask for it", but finds himself re-thinking his belief after he is sexually assaulted himself. This was definitely new territory where TV movies were concerned but it was done with care and taste. Crenna's gutsy performance won him an Emmy Award in a disturbing film that raised quite a few eyebrows. I was impressed with the filming of the actual assault scene. A scene that could have been cheap and exploitative was done with style without compromising the integrity of what was going on in the scene. A serious adult movie experience for those who like a component of challenge in their entertainment.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Richard Beck is a NYPD cop with some old school views regarding women, especially concerning sexual assault. Victims sometimes bring things on themselves, a lack of understanding as to why victims often have trouble identifying & prosecuting attackers (as compared to victims of other crimes), and of course a categorization of assaults as more or less important dependent on the circumstances (a date rape maybe more a misunderstanding in Beck's view, not the same as the serial attacker who grabs you off the street or invades your home). Those attitudes, however are put to the test when he himself is assaulted.

    Richard Crenna won an Emmy for his outstanding performance as the chauvinist cop turned victim in this film. We see Beck early on as more of a low rent Dirty Harry type, a good guy who isn't always bound by conventional rules, such as when he's about to go off duty but stops three street thugs from hassling a homeless man (and decides to teach one of them a lesson about being bullied). We also see him risk his life to save a hostage in pursuit of murder suspect, then take the armed killer down and into custody. We see Beck off duty, clearly in love with his ex wife, unhappy they aren't together but reluctantly letting her life on her own (and date someone new who seems to be spending significant time with his two kids). Becks as a father seems interested in his daughter's musical pursuits and enjoys taking his son fishing on weekends, often with his dad, a retired cop in his own right. It's all designed to show Richard Beck as a decent human being at heart, not a one dimensional male chauvinist jerk with no compassion or concern for others. Crenna does a marvelous job straddling the line between the outdated and misunderstood misogynist and the more normal cop and dad, a drama movie version of Archie Bunker, who's attitudes on race left a lot to be desired but at heart wasn't an uncaring or unsympathetic man who deeply loved his wife and daughter.

    All of this makes Beck's transformation to a more enlightened man believable after he is assaulted while pursuing (foolishly without back up) two felons. We see Beck faced with same life or death situation many female rape victims face, the shock and disbelief following the attack, as well as the invasive and almost dehumanizing post assault investigation conducted by medical personnel, none of which is like anything victims of other types of crimes endure, a fact that until now has eluded Beck's conscious. Of course, it would be silly if Beck "saw the light" right away, and he doesn't, as we watch him withdraw from work and family unable to process what has happened, which isn't uncommon in sex assault victims regardless of gender or any pre conceived stereotypical attitudes. Beck also deals with the questions surrounding many victims related to whether or not their behavior caused the assault, made worse here for dramatic effect because of Beck's reputation as a rogue in the field and the way he has rubbed some higher ups in the Department and DA's office the wrong way through the years, a classic case of "prosecuting the victim".

    The supporting cast is strong, particularly Francis Lee McCain as Beck's ex wife, who plays a key role in helping him regain his dignity and re connect with his kids after his self imposed post assault exile. Meredith Baxter plays a rape counselor who in the past who crossed paths with Beck, but despite their differences she offers him support in the end, as well as a lead in possible serial rape case that Beck agrees to follow up on which involves a suspect he let walk on a bench warrant when trading information on another case (maybe not the best choice he could have made).

    Some of the individual scenes are gut wrenching, including the actual assault, Beck's initial rape exam in the hospital, his being brought to tears as the DA questions whether he was at fault for the assault, and great scene where Beck, trying to get his life back to normal, resumes his weekend fishing trips with his son and father, only to have his dad turn on him, humiliating him in front of his child, furious his son the cop would even engage such criminals without back up and unable to understand how his son could "let" an assault like this happen (you start to see where some of Beck's preconceived opinions have come from). Crenna is outstanding start to finish, despite some very challenging material, and deservedly won an Emmy Award For Best Leading Actor for this film (this was a busy time for him as he also received two Golden Globe nominations, one for this film and one for his role in the Matt Dillon film "Flamingo Kid"). This is one TV movie that stands the test of time and remains compelling no matter when it's viewed.
  • I first saw this truly startling mid-80's made-for-TV favorite in health class when I was in 17 in high school. It truly unnerved the hell out of me. The teacher would occasionally stop the film and make all the students discuss what they just saw with utmost seriousness. It's an experience I'll always treasure as a truly special and unique adolescent memory. Richard Crenna deservedly won an Emmy for his exceptionally brave performance. Nicholas Worth and M.C. Gainey are positively terrifying as the two brutish homosexual hooligans who sodomize Crenna. The single most scary moment occurs when Worth holds a knife to Crenna's throat and venomously snarls to Gainey,"You ever go pig-hunting Sonny -- they squeal when ya stab 'em!" Yikes! This was pretty heavy and hard-sitting stuff for me to take at the time. It still upsets me today and rates highly as my second all-time favorite 80's TV movie right after the equally awesome "Fallen Angel."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this movie when it first came out on television. At the time, and still today, male rape is rarely spoken about. It is under reported even more than crimes against women. I found this little gem at Big Lots in Huntington Beach California for only $1.50...It does not come in the fancy book style DVD package, but in a little cardboard holder. Crenna's picture is on the cover, under the title Deadly Justice. Hearst owns the rights. It is in the video section. Richard Crenna was always one of my favorite actors and he had a lot of guts to take on this subject matter. Meredith Baxter has a small but important part as the rape counselor. At the end Beck becomes a speaker to graduating police cadets about how rape can happen to anyone, even a man, even a cop. Great movie!!!
  • The Rape Of Richard Beck should never have been a made for TV film, it was truly worthy of theatrical release. Had it been on the big screen there might have been an Oscar instead of an Emmy that sat on Richard Crenna's fireplace mantel.

    The big screen's loss was the small screen's gain. Richard Crenna in the title role is a hard-nosed cop who has little patience for the victims of sex crimes, especially after he was reassigned to sex crimes after pulling a real cowboy performance in apprehending a suspect. Maybe he's seen too many Clint Eastwood films and emulates his style, but there's nothing wrong calling for backup.

    Afterward he's still looking to score big and follows two really suspicious characters into Seattle's underground where they get the drop on him. The two are a really vicious pair of inbreds and male rape is probably an ordinary thing in their family. They both assault and rape him and make the mistake of leaving him alive. Probably they don't want a cop killing on the resume, at least they're bright enough to appreciate those consequences.

    The story centers around Crenna who has to readjust his thinking and come to grips with the fact that cops can be victims too. Crenna is now going through victim trauma, rape trauma something he'd been dismissive of with women before.

    Other roles to note are George Dzundza as his partner, Pat Hingle as his father and a former cop as well, Meredith Baxter as the rape counselor who previously had not been getting along with Crenna. Most of all the role to note besides Crenna's is that of Frances McCain as Crenna's ex-wife who has an interesting relationship with her former husband.

    This one is highly recommended, especially for those considering a career in law enforcement.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    'The Rape of Richard Beck" combines elements of "Dirty Harry" and "Deliverance" in a message-oriented, urban crime melodrama about two hardcore homosexual hoodlums that sodomize an off-duty police detective at gunpoint when he cannot produce any back-up. Basically, it's a rape movie for guys about guys that espouse a callous, chauvinistic attitude toward female rape victims. Neither former ballet dancer-turned-director Karen Arthur nor producer-scenarist James G. Hirsch deviate an iota from the social problem/crime drama formula in this outstanding role-reversal rape movie. No, they don't depict the actual simulated sodomy between the cop and his two thuggish assailants, played with menace by Nicholas Worth and M.C. Gainey. Most of the action that takes place between Beck and his assailants occurs in close-ups and medium shots. The act itself takes place off-camera so that everybody retains their dignity. After all, this was a prime-time network featured 1985 made-for-television movie. Nevertheless, the impact of the rape on the cop's life evokes a reevaluation on his part about helpless women raped because he thought that they brought it on themselves. By the end of the action, Beck is teaching sensitivity training classes to cadets at the police academy.

    "The Rape of Richard Beck" takes an obnoxious, hard-boiled cop and forces him to endure sodomy and then live with the consequences. Mind you, this isn't something you want to sit around and watch with a bunch of drunks. Detective Richard Beck's transformation when he loses his gun is 180 degrees. Indeed, at the beginning of "The Rape of Richard Beck," the filmmakers make a subtle point that perhaps Beck is a little too big for his own britches by trying to be a one man army. Beck compares modern-day cops to 'tribal warriors' of another age going out on 'safari' in 'the jungle' to apprehend criminals. Meanwhile, Beck's partner Blastig (George Dzundra of "Basic Instinct") thinks that Beck is crazy to jeopardize their lives when they are off-duty, especially because he has 37 months left until he receives his pension. If anything, Beck's hubris is that he's supremely overconfident about himself. He thinks that he is larger-than-life and exempt from all the rules. Indeed, he makes up Beck's Police Rules about being a cop. Ironically, the very same thing that Beck had accused women of doing by bringing her rape on themselves, he does himself when he embarks on his so-called 'safaris' to nab lawbreakers.

    Aside from this horrific twist, "The Rape of Richard Beck" is a well-made but standard, police procedural that argues a good case about misguided (male) perceptions of rape (women) victims. Earlier, Beck felt that female rape victims brought this molestation on themselves and then did help matters by refusing to identify the suspect and prosecute. By having the unthinkable happen to an abrasive, masculine cop who has trouble coming to terms with himself after the fact gives this film its dramatic punch. Richard Crenna, better known for his comedy TV role on "The Real McCoys" and his supporting bits in the "Rambo" movies, received an Emmy for his first-rate, top-notch performance as the violated detective. This performance is a far cry from his spaghetti western "A Man Called Noon," his French crime thriller "Un Flic," and his turn as a criminal in "Wait Until Dark." The sodomy for the sensation minded doesn't occur into about 40 minutes into the plot. Earlier, we learn that Beck is divorced. His son Joey (Jonas Marlowe of "Children of the Corn") and his daughter live with their mother Carolina Beck (Francis Lee McCain of "Patch Adams") and Beck comes around to take his son on fishing trips with his father Chappy Beck (Pat Hingle of "Hang'em High"). Beck spoils his son and his ex-wife doesn't appreciate his shenanigans. We only see Beck's current girlfriend once after the rape occurs and Beck suffers from a nervous breakdown and destroys the dinner that she had carefully prepared. Indeed, in the underground room where the crime transpires, we only see unsavory tough guy Nicholas Worth of "Heartbreak Ridge" and a younger, thinner M.C. Gainey of "The Dukes of Hazzard" corner a cop, disarm him, batter him, then seize him by the hair and pull his head back as one character reaches to unzip himself. Later, we learn that a janitor witnessed the rape in its entirety and refused to interfere for fear that he would receive similar treatment from them. Initially, Beck behaves like a female rape victim. He lives in the land of denial, but rape counselor Barbara McKee (Meredith Baxter Birney of "Ben") sees through his masquerade. Eventually, these two who had never tolerated each other join sides to catch a rapist.

    "The Rape of Richard Beck" is one of the few TV movies or theatrical features that examines the impact of rape on a man, but the grim subject matter and prime time sensibility prevented the filmmakers from delving too deeply into any man's worst nightmare. You'd think that a TV movie of this magnitude would have merited a better presentation on DVD, but the copy that I bought appeared under a different, more generic title "Deadly Justice" on a twin-bill with an early Mark Harmon adventure opus "Tuareg: The Desert Warrior."
  • Vlad 124 January 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    I remember seeing this as a little me back in the 1980's.If I remember correctly Beck was underground someplace and is cornered by 2 guys or whatever. One of the guys says to him "I just broke up with my girlfriend" and I think his partner says "yeah he just broke up with his girlfriend-why don't you help him out" or something to that affect. Then due to the magic of television- the camera pulls out as the viewers see a struggle ensue-then the picture fades to back leaving me as a young viewer to wonder-what was happening? As a grown-up I know what was happening- he was getting violated against his will by other men. That one sequence has had a profound place in my mind ever since- It is fatefully stored in my mind with all the other bits and pieces of stuff I would rather forget...I am so glad this is available in some form again, I must revisit this movie again with older-eyes!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A movie about rape is generally thought to be cheesy, feminist and overacted. The Rape of Richard Beck redefines what a movie such as the aforementioned is all about.

    Richard Crenna stars as Richard Beck, a mild-mannered, sensible police sergeant with an independent streak, having been a cop for over 20 years. The backstory succeeds in creating a normal, non-crafted individual without seeming forced. It should be noted those that have seen Rambo should be careful to not compare the two characters when watching.

    The first 35 minutes of the film both serve as a means to introduce characters and as a way to juxtapose the old Richard and his life versus the new, affected one. The formula works.

    What truly builds the film's level of competence are Crenna's small nuances he gives to Beck and the small but poignant change that is visible on his face before and after he is raped. The entire cast puts on a great performance as their characters are pitted against Crenna's Beck and one cannot help but have moments of pause. I suggest looking at Crenna's face at the beginning of the film and after the rape. There is a dramatic, and yet not dramatic, change in his face; his demeanor that help in making this film notches above the usual fare of movies on television.

    The term "gang rape" is not used in this film, perhaps because Richard was only raped by two men, or because it was not made clear if one raped him and the other held him down. The film does not give many details about the rape, perhaps because that is not what the story is about. It is a documentation of one man's life before and after a violent sexual assault.

    The ending of the film leaves one with a question about the rapists themselves, although one must wonder if it is simply bad acting or the look on the rapist's face: He looks woefully sorry from behind the police glass when finally identified. My first thought was he was high on drugs and would not have raped Richard otherwise and now must live with what he did. However, it is a question that will never be answered.

    If you ever have an hour and a half to spare, this movie is well worth the watch, and you may watch parts over and over because it is just that powerful.
  • This TVM features rape as the dramatic centre point but there`s a difference in that the victim is a middle aged streetwise cop who is MALE . The crime itself is thankfully understated ( This is a TVM after all ) and the teleplay revolves around the victim Richard Beck struggling to come to terms with his rape as he finds sympathy in short supply

    Casting Richard Crenna as Beck is a double edged sword . Crenna is best known as playing supporting roles usually as good guys and he gives a very good performance here . Unfortunately he does come over as being far too nice to be entirely convincing as a tough streetwise cop . I couldn`t help notice that the script also seems to play up to the nice guy character of Beck . We the audience are supposed to empathise with the victim but if they`d made Beck a rather more hard edged or just plain nasty and cynical character we`d have still felt sorry for him . Considering the theme is one of rape I can`t feeling the producers have made a mistake in making Beck too likable . Were they frightened that if we saw Beck give someone a few slaps now and again we would have thought he deserved to be raped in some way ?

    I can`t help thinking everything would have worked a bit better if there had been more in the way of " Rape victims deserved it " from a sneering cynical arrogant pre rape Richard Beck which would have made a few scenes work even better , scenes like where his police chief says " Get out of here punk " when Beck goes to pieces at the ID parade or when Beck desparately explains to his unsympathetic relative that " There was nothing I could do , they had a gun to my head "

    As it is THE RAPE OF RICHARD BECK is a very good TVM but probably tries a little too hard to make us empathise with the rape victim which isn`t necessary because no one deserves to be raped
  • To help drive home the moral(s) "it can happen to you" and or "don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes".
  • This movie truly is remarkable. I know the title might sound a little off-putting to some but if you stick with it you're in for a real cinematic pleasure.

    It tells the story of Richard Beck, a no nonsense police officer in America. Throughout the early stages of the film, we see him reacting to various sexual assaults in a light manner. He doesn't think it's possible that someone could actually feel stress, humiliation or even shame at being anally sexually abused. However, eventually some young hoods take his anal-virginity leading to Richard Beck feeling at constant unease around other men.

    It's such an eye opener that Beck really was raped that made him an enlightened human being. Thank god this man was raped, for otherwise he would be stuck in his old ways and we can now all sleep easy knowing that he knows that rape is wrong.