The Onion Field

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Released 1979

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Movie Summary

Director:
Harold Becker
Released:
1979
Rating:
R
The Onion Field is the 1979 crime drama from celebrated director Harold Becker (Sea of Love, Malice, City Hall, Mercury Rising), adapted from the novel by Joseph Wambaugh. Two young and unprincipled men, recent graduates of the California corrections system, Gregory Powell (James Woods) and Jimmy Lee Smith (Franklyn Seales), are stopped by two plainclothes cops, Karl Hettinger (John Savage) and Ian Campbell (Ted Danson), in Los Angeles. It's not a hazardous stop and the cops are unprepared when Powell gets out of the car and jams a gun into Campbell's back, forcing Hettinger to turn his piece over to Smith. The thieves drive the cops out to Bakersfield in the middle of the night, pull into an onion field, and shoot and kill Campbell. Karl manages to stumble through the utter darkness and make an escape. The two killers are quickly picked up and defend themselves in court, causing a long, drawn-out trial in which the guilt-ridden Karl is forced to testify repeatedly.moreless
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