Cop Land promotional poster
|Directed by||James Mangold|
|Produced by||Cathy Konrad
|Written by||James Mangold|
Robert De Niro
|Music by||Howard Shore|
|Cinematography||Eric Alan Edwards|
|Editing by||Craig McKay|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Running time||104 minutes|
|Box office||$44,862,187 (US-Canada)|
Cop Land is a 1997 American crime drama film written and directed by James Mangold. It features an ensemble cast featuring Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Rapaport, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, Annabella Sciorra, Cathy Moriarty, Arthur Nascarella, and John Spencer.
The story follows an Internal Affairs agent who is investigating deaths caused by a young officer that have been covered up by corrupt officers.
Critics gave the film generally positive reviews and it has a 72% "fresh" rating at RottenTomatoes.com, based on 61 reviews.
One night, the car of young cop Murray "Superboy" Babitch (Rapaport), nephew of Lt. Ray Donlan (Keitel), is sideswiped on the George Washington Bridge by a couple of African-American teens. Thinking they had fired at him, Babitch fires back and the teens are killed in the ensuing crash.
Worried about a possible racial incident, Ray's solution is to fake a suicide, pretending that Babitch jumped off the bridge. When a corrupt cop, Jack Rucker (Patrick), is caught trying to plant a weapon to justify the shooting, other corrupt Officers, including Det. Leo Crasky (Spencer) and Frank Lagonda (Nascarella), fear Babitch will resurface and testify to Internal Affairs.
IA Investigator Lt. Moe Tilden (De Niro) asks Garrison's mild-mannered half deaf Sheriff Freddy Heflin (Stallone) to provide information on the corrupt cops who live in his town. Though they work in a different city, Freddy views them as brothers and is reluctant to betray them, derailing Moe's investigation.
Freddy is secretly in love with Liz Randone (Annabella Sciorra), whose life he once saved in a near-drowning that cost him the hearing in one ear. The deafness prevented Freddy from joining the NYPD like so many others in town, including the man Liz eventually married, the abusive and unfaithful Joey Randone (Berg).
Although the cover-up at first seems successful, Ray is told by Patrolmen's Defense Association President Vincent Lassaro (Vincent) that without a body, the case will not stay cold. Ray reluctantly decides that his nephew should be killed. Babitch is tipped off by his aunt Rose (Cathy Moriarty) and escapes. He goes to Freddy's house looking for help, but when he sees Freddy's friend (and fellow NYPD cop) Gary "Figgsy" Figgis (Liotta), he flees. Earlier that night, Joey falls to his death on duty, aided by the fact that Ray took his time getting there (revenge for Joey's sexual affair with Ray's wife).
When Freddy realizes his mistake, he returns to Moe, but is angrily told that the case was blown by his failure to co-operate earlier. As he is shown the door, Freddy steals several NYPD files on the case. Back in his office, he studies the files and realizes the extent of his friends' corruption. Deputy Cindy Betts (Janeane Garofalo) decides to leave Garrison, frustrated by the New York cops having turned the town into their own personal fiefdom. Freddy returns home to find Figgsy packing to leave, not wanting to be further involved.
Freddy tells his Deputies what he is doing. Freddy also finds out that Figgsy burned down his own house, for the insurance money, accidentally resulting in the death of his crack-addicted girlfriend Monica (Mel Gorham). Freddy persuades Rose to reveal where her nephew is hiding. Freddy finds him and takes him to Garrison's jail. Soon after, Freddy's Deputy Bill Geisler (Noah Emmerich) leaves to tend to his pregnant wife.
Freddy attempts to take Babitch to New York to turn over to IA, but they are ambushed, Jack fires a gun next to Freddy's good ear and Babitch is taken. Knowing that Babitch has been taken to Ray's house to be killed, Freddy prepares to take them on by himself. A shootout follows, with Freddy killing Jack and Frank. Freddy is then shot in the shoulder by Leo, but is saved by the arrival of Figgsy, who kills Leo. Freddy and Figgsy continue into the house where Babitch is trying to escape through a window. Ray sneaks up behind Freddy, but before he can fire, Figgsy shoots at Ray but misses. Barely hearing the shot, Freddy turns and fatally shoots Ray. As Ray lies dying on the floor, he mutters obscenities toward Freddy, to which Freddy replies simply; "I can't hear you, Ray."
Later, after the scandal has been investigated and indictments handed down, Freddy, who has recovered, is seen looking at the New York skyline from across the Hudson. Deputy Geisler notifies him about a jack-knifed truck and Freddy goes back to work.
- Sylvester Stallone as Sheriff Freddy Heflin
- Harvey Keitel as Lt. Ray Donlan
- Ray Liotta as Officer Gary "Figgsy" Figgis
- Robert De Niro as Lt. Moe Tilden
- Michael Rapaport as Officer Murray "Superboy" Babitch
- Robert Patrick as Officer Jack Rucker
- Peter Berg as Officer Joseph "Joey" Randone
- Arthur Nascarella as Officer Frank Lagonda
- John Spencer as Det. Leo Crasky
- Malik Yoba as Det. Sam Carson
- Noah Emmerich as Deputy Bill Geisler
- Janeane Garofalo as Deputy Cindy Betts
- Annabella Sciorra as Liz Randone
- Cathy Moriarty as Rose Donlan
- Frank Vincent as PDA President Vincent Lassaro
- Victor Williams as Officer Russell Ames
- John Ventimiglia as Officer Vic Trollio
- Edie Falco as Berta (Bomb Squad Agent)
- Mel Gorham as Monica Lopez
- Paul Calderón as Hector the Paramedic
- Vincent Laresca as Robert the Paramedic
- Deborah Harry as Delores (4 Aces bartender)
- Tony Sirico as Tony "Toy" Torillo (photo only)
- Method Man as Shondel
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
All of the actors worked for scale.
The movie is based on Mangold's hometown Washingtonville, New York. He grew up in a development called Worley Heights, where many of the residents were NYPD. However, Edgewater, New Jersey was the principal shooting location.
Cop Land had its world premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on August 6, 1997. Some of the film's cast members attended, including Stallone, Keitel, Liotta, Sciorra, Moriarty and Rapaport.
Stallone's understated performance against type — he gained considerable weight for the role — was praised by critics and he received the Best Actor award at the Stockholm International Film Festival. Cop Land was also screened at the 54th Venice Film Festival in the Midnight line-up. Earlier in May 1997, the film was accepted into the main competition at the Cannes Film Festival, but Miramax declined the invitation due to re-shoots that were needed for the film, including footage of Stallone 40 pounds heavier.
Critical reaction was generally positive. Based on 59 reviews collected from notable publications by review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an overall approval rating of 71%. Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four stars and wrote, "There is a rough balance between how long a movie is, how deep it goes and how much it can achieve. That balance is not found in Cop Land and the result is too much movie for the running time". On the other hand, Gene Siskel praised the movie, especially the screenplay, "One to be savored."
In her review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin felt that, "the strength of Cop Land is in its hard-edged, novelistic portraits, which pile up furiously during the film's dynamic opening scenes... Yet if the price of Mangold's casting ambitions is a story that can't, finally, match its marquee value, that value is still inordinately strong. Everywhere the camera turns in this tense and volatile drama, it finds enough interest for a truckload of conventional Hollywood fare. Whatever its limitations, Cop Land has talent to burn".
Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B-" rating and Owen Gleiberman wrote, "Stallone does a solid, occasionally winning job of going through the motions of shedding his stardom, but the wattage of his personality is turned way down—at times, it's turned down to neutral. And that pretty much describes Cop Land, too. Dense, meandering, ambitious yet jarringly pulpy, this tale of big-city corruption in small-town America has competence without mood or power—a design but not a vision". In her review for the Washington Post, Rita Kempley wrote, "With its redundancy of supporting characters, snarled subplots and poky pace, Cop Land really might have been better off trading the director for a traffic cop". Rolling Stone magazine's Peter Travers praised Stallone's performance: "His performance builds slowly but achieves a stunning payoff when Freddy decides to clean up his town ... Freddy awakes to his own potential, and it's exhilarating to watch the character and the actor revive in unison. Nearly down for the count in the movie ring, Stallone isn't just back in the fight. He's a winner". In his review for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle also liked Stallone's work: "His transformation is more than a matter of weight. He looks spiritually beaten and terribly sad. He looks like a real person, not a cult-of-the-body film star, and he uses the opportunity to deliver his best performance in years".
Unlike 1991's Oscar and 1992's Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Stallone's previous high-profile attempts at branching out of the one-dimensional action star roles, both of which ultimately ended up commercially unsuccessful, critically panned, and often ridiculed, Cop Land with its star-studded heavyweight ensemble cast was met with high expectations as a multifaceted story based around corruption on the New York City police force. Additionally, it was to show Stallone in a completely different light, both physically (his 40 lb weight gain got a lot of press coverage) as well as artistically by letting him showcase his acting skills. And while the film posted a solid box-office intake ($44.8 million domestically), got good reviews, and Stallone received positive critical notices for his performance as a demure small-town sheriff, in 2008 the actor stated on the Opie and Anthony Show that Cop Land "hurt" his career and that he had trouble getting roles for eight years, due to the film's failure to reach the high expectations set for it and the mix of views on whether he was leaving action movies for more character-driven content. Stallone has described this as "the beginning of the end, for about eight years".
In 2011, for Cop Land's release on Blu-ray, the film's writer and director James Mangold commented on the film's reception: "The movie was under so much pressure to be America's next Pulp Fiction. But it's such a dark and sad tale, less jazzy and more of a kind of morality tale. It ends in a dark place. The star value got so high, and Miramax wanted the grosses to be so high. When it came out, a lot of daggers were out for Sly. He had made a bunch of shittier moves, he’s the first to admit, that weren't aimed for the highest result each time out".
|Cop Land Miramax Motion picture|
|Soundtrack album by Howard Shore|
|Label||Miramax Motion picture|
The score by Howard Shore was performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra released as a Cop Land Miramax Motion picture in 1997. The soundtrack was released on CD contained twelve tracks with a runtime of 40:11 minutes.
All music composed by Howard Shore.
|1.||"All Dressed Up In Blue"||4:18|
|3.||"Yellow Betray Blue"||3:31|
|4.||"Local Boy Saves Drowning Teen"||3:03|
|5.||"Mashed Potatoes Don't Mean Gravy"||2:21|
|6.||"The Sheriff Of Cop Land"||2:37|
|7.||"Pool Of Crimson"||4:37|
|8.||"The Diagonal Rule"||4:25|
|9.||"Across The River"||4:58|
|10.||"Big Blue Pow Wow"||2:28|
|11.||"Without Looking At The Cards"||4:06|
|12.||"One Police Plaza"||2:03|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Cop Land: Director's Cut was released to DVD in June 2004. Features include the original 112-minute cut, restoration of deleted scenes and scenes extended, addition of New York band Blue Öyster Cult's "Burnin' for You" to the soundtrack and a new audio commentary with James Mangold, Sylvester Stallone, Robert Patrick and producer Cathy Konrad. Also included are a "Shootout Storyboard Sequence" and "The Making of an Urban Western" documentary.
On the DVD, there are two deleted scenes that primarily show the racism in the town of Garrison. One scene involves all the resident Police Officers chasing down a pair of black motorists and the other shows Heflin's Deputy pointing out that the majority of the tickets issued in Garrison go to black motorists on charges that suggest racial profiling.
- "Cop Land". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- IMDB Fictional setting
- The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations Cop Land in Edgewater
- Roman, Monica (August 14, 1997). "A party in Cop land". Variety. p. 27.
- Rooney, David (August 15, 1997). "Cop Land replaces Empire in lineup". Variety. p. 39.
- Busch, Anita M (May 26, 1997 – June 1, 1997). "He Ain't Heavy ... At Least for the Reshoot". Variety. p. 5.
- "Cop Land - Rotten Tomatoes". Uk.rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Ebert, Roger (August 15, 1997). "Cop Land". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- Maslin, Janet (August 15, 1997). "Cop Land: Sly Holds His Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- Gleiberman, Owen (August 15, 1997). "Cop Land". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- Kempley, Rita (August 15, 1997). "Cop Land: No Muscle". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- Travers, Peter (December 8, 2000). "Cop Land". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- LaSalle, Mick (August 15, 1997). "Good Cop Bad Cop". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- Opie and Anthony Show, 1/17/08, Stallone interview.
- ‘Cop Land’ Director James Mangold: When Stallone Swapped Guns for a Gut;Andrew Breitbart Presents: Big Hollywood, 2 November 2011
- "Cop Land Soundtrack (1997)". Moviemusic.com. 1997-08-12. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "Cop Land Soundtrack CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 2006-01-24. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Official website
- Cop Land at the Internet Movie Database
- Cop Land at Rotten Tomatoes
- Cop Land at Metacritic