The Onion Field

The Onion Field

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of The Onion Field

Someone, somewhere, made the effort to put together a retrospective overview of The Onion Field, more than 20 years after the event, for this DVD, when so many recent releases go out devoid of extras. It is typical of the Wambaugh approach: don't short change the audience; tell the truth; accept responsibility.

The documentary is longer than you would expect, if its sole purpose had been to give an impression of inclusivity. Of course, this is not a cynical ploy to give the DVD added bonus points, but a genuine reappraisal of the film.

Writer Joseph Wambaugh, director Harold Becker, actors James Woods and Ted Danson talk to camera about their involvement. With the exception of Danson, whose charm sugarcoats everything he says, the experience is enlightening, with Woods demonstrating a lively intelligence and eloquent turns of phrase. Wambaugh is the calm central influence, not so much manipulating the others as allowing them the opportunity to speak freely.

"I don't think there is a cop in America who didn't want to see this movie," he says. He may be right. Compared to Dark Blue (2003), which exposed endemic corruption within the LAPD, The Onion Field is nothing if not decent.

The trailer is imaginatively constructed, extremely well put together and surprisingly subtle - something unheard of these days

Reviewed on: 09 Sep 2003
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The Onion Field packshot
Retelling of an infamous cop killing case in Los Angeles, 1963.
Amazon link

Product Code: MP213D

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85 Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital mono

Extras: documentary - The Return To The Onion Field; trailer

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