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Report to the Commissioner

Where to Watch Report to the Commissioner


Report to the Commissioner is a compelling crime drama film released in 1975. Directed by Milton Katselas, this film features a striking cast led by Michael Moriarty, Yaphet Kotto, and Susan Blakely. Scripted by the famous award-winning duo of Abby Mann and Ernest Tidyman, the story is based on the original novel by James Mills. The movie stands as a testament to 70's cinema, portraying both the gritty aesthetics and the complex socio-political fabric of the era.

Michael Moriarty plays the lead role of Officer Bo Lockley, a naive young rookie in the New York Police Department's plainclothes division. His character is deeply human and instantly relatable, with Moriarty portraying the interplay of innocence, commitment, and struggle with exceptional finesse. The film further embellishes its narrative prowess with a power-packed performance by Yaphet Kotto as Richard 'Crunch' Blackstone, a hardened, street-smart detective who serves as a perfect foil to Moriarty's character.

In contrast to Lockley's character is another detective, played by Hector Elizondo, whose political manoeuvring and nuanced character make him an essential part of this intricate tale. Susan Blakely offers an equally compelling performance as 'Chicklet,' a guarded undercover policewoman who crosses paths with Lockley. The chemistries and conflicts among these main characters build a solid foundation for the plot to evolve.

The story spins a web around a seemingly simple case of an undercover policewoman who has reportedly gone missing after trying to infiltrate and expose a drug cartel. As the layers of the narrative slowly peel away, the supposed clarity spirals into a whirlpool of deception, ambiguities, and conflicting loyalties. Officer Lockley is thrust into this chaos and must navigate it— a task harder than initially perceived given his novice status and limited understanding of the world he has been thrown into.

Report to the Commissioner masterfully showcases the raw reality of life on the streets of mid-70's New York City. The film's rendering of the city plays a central role in manufacturing the backdrop for the story, displaying the raw, unvarnished picture of the decaying side of the city amidst its growth and aspiration. Director Katselas creates a relentlessly authentic world where the boundaries between good and evil are blurred, and the struggle for survival overrides all else.

In its edgy storytelling style, the film broaches critical themes such as police bureaucracy, corruption, and the dehumanizing effects of an enervating urban landscape. Courtesy of the clever scriptwriting, these themes are intelligently woven into the storyline, making it a hard-hitting critique while still maintaining its narrative integrity as a crime drama.

The film also possesses a distinct visual style, with many scenes shot in the actual streets of New York, lending a gritty realism. Its authentic portrayal of police operations – from precinct politics to cynical detachment and favouritism within the force – give it an edge over more sensationalized crime dramas. While the movie's pace is deliberately slow, allowing for a detailed and immersive delve into its main characters' psyches, the climactic scenes are charged with surprise and tension, creating a highly captivating experience for the viewers.

As a film, Report to the Commissioner embodies gritty realism, noir-like storytelling, and powerful performances. Featuring nuanced characterizations and complex interactions against the backdrop of a gritty urban environment, Katselas' direction, coupled with Mann and Tidyman’s writing, transcends typical crime drama tropes. The film is marked by its unflinching, stark representation of New York's underbelly and the multidimensional characters that inhabit it.

In summary, Report to the Commissioner stands tall as a significant contribution to 1970's crime cinema, highlighting an era defined by its nuanced social commentary and gritty realism. Its captivating story, evocative performances, and a meticulously detailed setting continue to resonate with audiences who appreciate crime dramas that do not shy away from portraying reality in all its shades.

Report to the Commissioner is a Crime, Drama movie released in 1975. It has a runtime of 112 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7..

How to Watch Report to the Commissioner

Where can I stream Report to the Commissioner movie online? Report to the Commissioner is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Tubi TV, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Report to the Commissioner for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Milton Katselas
Michael Moriarty, Yaphet Kotto, Susan Blakely
Also starring Yaphet Kotto
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