The New Centurions (3-Aug-1972)
Director: Richard Fleischer
Writer: Stirling Silliphant
From novel: The New Centurions by Joseph Wambaugh
Review by Charlie from Michigan (posted on 1-Nov-2009)
From the novel by Joseph Wambaugh, author and veteran of the LAPD, The New Centurions followed the tortured career of rookie officer, Roy Fehler (brilliantly portrayed by Stacy Keach), who signed on with the LAPD only to help with money problems in the early 60's. I saw this movie in 1973 when it was released to theatres, after having read the book.
He was teamed with grizzled old veteran, Andy Kilvinsky, where Roy learns what being a big city uniformed cop was really all about.
The film follows Roy as he encounters all manner of really crazy and dangerous things on the beat including his being almost mortally wounded when he and his partner interrupt an armed robbery in progress. Roy makes some bad choices that affect his health and career with the PD as the film continues.
The New Centurions was Wambaugh's first novel, written while he was still on the LAPD (as a sergeant if I remember), and included scenerios that were wholly or partially accurate recreations of police experiences. This movie is a very intense and entertaining film version of the novel with great performances from Keach and from top-billed award winning actor, George C. Scott who played Officer Andy "Baby, I got more soul than I can CONtrol" Kilvinsky.
This movie and subsequent other Wambaugh novels/movies inspired me (and many many other guys) to become a cop; I am in my 35th year on the job. Very entertaining movie; very gritty, intense and suspenseful at times. It is dated in it's language, attitudes and scenerios, but the clothing, hair styles and automobiles are a hoot!
Highly recommend it, but not for children as it is very realistic and has extremely intense "cop scenes"
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