Internal Affairs (film)

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Not to be confused with the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs.
This article is about the 1990 American film. For other uses, see Internal affairs (disambiguation).
Internal Affairs
Internal affairs film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mike Figgis
Produced by Frank Mancuso Jr.
Written by Henry Bean
Music by Brian Banks
Mike Figgis
Anthony Marinelli
Cinematography John A. Alonzo
Edited by Robert Estrin
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • January 12, 1990 (1990-01-12) (United States)
Running time
134 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $27,734,391

Internal Affairs is a 1990 American crime thriller film set in Los Angeles about the police department's Internal Affairs Division.

Directed by Mike Figgis, the film stars Richard Gere as Dennis Peck, a suave womanizer, clever manipulator, and crooked cop who uses his fellow officers as pawns for his own nefarious purposes while showing a tender side as a devoted father. Andy García plays Raymond Avilla, the Internal Affairs agent who becomes obsessed with catching Peck when he suspects that Peck is not the poster boy police officer that the precinct has made him out to be.


During a drug bust, LAPD patrolmen Dennis Peck (Gere) and Van Stretch (Baldwin) viciously assault a dealer and his girlfriend. Outside, fellow patrolman Dorian Fletcher (Beach) shoots a man running towards him, only to discover that he was unarmed. While Fletcher is distraught by the incident, Peck plants a knife on the body to get Fletcher off the hook. Soon afterwards, Raymond Avila (Garcia) joins the LAPD's Internal Affairs Division (IAD) and is assigned to investigate the drug bust with partner Amy Wallace (Metcalf).

The investigation reveals that Stretch abuses drugs, has a history of excessive force, and may be corrupt. Avila eventually begins to look into Peck, who is held up as a role model for the LAPD but is regarded with distaste by other officers over his brutal techniques. Avila unsuccessfully pressures Stretch to provide evidence against Peck in return for immunity from prosecution. Fletcher, who has gotten into an altercation with Peck, agrees to help Avila's investigation. Avila's marriage starts to wilt due to his increased obsession with the case, and Peck insinuates he will make advances on Raymond's wife, Kathleen.

When Stretch makes it known that he will testify, Peck resolves to have him murdered. During a routine patrol in Huntington Park, Stretch is shot through the chest in a hit staged by Peck. After Peck murders the hitman, he sees the blue van used in the hit speeding away, indicating a witness to the crime. When Stretch is revealed to be alive, Peck strangles him. Avila and Wallace set up a sting to catch the witness, but two SWAT units arrive on the scene after the sting is leaked. Fletcher and the witness are killed in the resulting shootout. As he dies in Avila's arms, he identifies Peck as Stretch's killer.

Posing as an IAD investigator, Peck meets and insinuates himself with Kathleen, with the intent of signalling to Avila that he can manipulate the situation to his advantage. The episode angers Avila, who is sent home when he has an outburst at the office. As he is leaving on the elevator, Avila is beaten by Peck, who boasts that he bedded Kathleen earlier. As a result, Avila has a violent public confrontation with Kathleen at a restaurant. The two make up the following morning when Kathleen convinces Avila that she would never sleep with Peck.

Breaking under pressure, Peck's wife reveals the name of one of his associates, Steven Arrocas, which also happens to be the last name of two recent homicide victims. Meanwhile, Arrocas walks in on Peck having an affair with his wife. Peck tries to goad Arrocas into killing her, but Arrocas accidentally shoots Peck in the foot instead. Avila and Wallace meet on the scene and split up. Peck ambushes and shoots Wallace and flees. Avila, fearing for Kathleen's safety, returns home to find Peck about to rape her. Peck pulls a knife out of his boot and lunges at Avila, who shoots him dead. Avila tries to comfort his terrorized wife.


Original Ending/Deleted Scenes[edit]

Original ending of the movie was different. After entire scene where Peck kills Arrocases and wounds Wallace and Raymond taking her to hospital, Raymond calls his wife Kathy to tell her to lock the door, fearing that Peck will come after her. Peck however manages to sneak into their home and starts terrorizing her. He makes her take his shoe off and start cleaning his wounded foot, while at the same time he starts talking to her in very perverse, sexual way. When Raymond finally gets home Peck is holding Kathy and keeps her mouth covered so that she can't warn him and then he gets shot by Peck. As Peck smiles at him and prepares to kill Kathy, heavily wounded Raymond manages to run at him, crashing both of them out the window and into the swimming pool. Peck tries to drown Raymond but Raymond manages to get his gun and shoots Peck, killing him, but he almost ends up drowning. Kathy then jumps into the pool and manages to get him out, and after desperate attempts to revive him and screaming at him not to die, he wakes up, vomits and as he does so, Peck's dead body bobs out right next to them. Kathy starts laughing after Raymond revives and two of them then hold each other as the ambulance is heard coming. According to what director Mike Figgis said in his book Liebestraum, this ending was removed and changed because it didn't test well with audience during test screening of his original cut of the film. This is why Figgis wrote and filmed new ending for final theatrical version.

However, several parts of the original ending are shown in theatrical and TV trailers of the film, and till this day remain only available parts of it. They are; Raymond calling Kathy and telling her to lock the door, Kathy finds Peck in her home holding a gun and he tells her not to say anything, Peck telling her to take his shoe off and Peck shooting Raymond while holding Kathy and Raymond running at him, crashing both of them out the window. Other deleted scenes shown in trailers are; Alternate edit of the first scene between Raymond and his IAD boss, deleted dialogue scene where Raymond is told that if he goes after Peck and doesn't get him he's dead in the department and if he does get him "it could be even worse", deleted scene showing Peck calling someone and asking them for information about Raymond, deleted conversation scene between Raymond and Peck who are in some bar drinking and talking about how people want to be bad and how cops want to be bad worst of all while at the same time Peck's hooker/snitch is performing striptease. Some promotional stills also show these and some other deleted scenes.


Internal Affairs was well received by critics; review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 88% "Fresh" rating based on 25 reviews. Janet Maslin of The New York Times said, "Internal Affairs is, for the dim movie season that is traditionally January, an unusually bright light."[1]

Internal Affairs is included in The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made (2004). [2]

Box office[edit]

The movie was a moderate success but performed better on home video.[3]


  1. ^ "Internal Affairs". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  2. ^ Peter M. Nichols; A. O. Scott (21 February 2004). New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made / Edition 1 (1 ed.). St. Martin's Press. p. 491. ISBN 9780312326111. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "VIDEO RENTALS : 'Internal Affairs' Has Appeal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 

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