NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.
In a New Jersey town where a lot of NYPD officers live, the death of two Black teens attracts the attention of an internal affairs investigator (Robert De Niro). James Mangold’s breakthrough film is a story about police corruption, its locations inspired by the place he grew up, its look and style borrowed from the 1970s movies he used to watch. This was a chance for Sylvester Stallone to show his acting chops as the out-of-shape sheriff who’s deaf in one ear; eventually, he’s going to need to find the courage to stand up for himself and his town. A dynamite cast, lots of tension and an explosive denouement compensate for a less than original script.
1997-U.S. 105 min. Color. Produced by Cathy Konrad, Ezra Swerdlow, Cary Woods. Written and directed by James Mangold. Music: Howard Shore. Cast: Sylvester Stallone (Freddy Heflin), Harvey Keitel (Ray Donlan), Ray Liotta (Gary Figgis), Robert De Niro (Moe Tilden), Peter Berg, Janeane Garofalo… Robert Patrick, Annabella Sciorra, John Spencer, Edie Falco, Deborah Harry, Method Man.
Trivia: John Travolta was allegedly considered for the part of Freddy.
Last word: “I remember getting the idea for the movie while driving on the Palisades Parkway, and thinking about how to transpose a Western movie template onto what you might call a 1970s Sidney Lumet film – to make a film about these communities that were all interconnected, yet at war. I had this idea of a town that would exist and that would be similar to the town I grew up in – only exaggerated to be 100 percent cops.” (Mangold, Vulture)