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After dealing day and night with the city's flotsam, Mr. Wambaugh tells us, these policemen, neither brighter nor more sensitive than any other group of men, survive only with the help of booze and pills and a see-through cynicism that is worn as if it were plastic rain-gear.
Wambaugh's episodic novel is tough and funny and comes alive with the unexpected details of a forlorn truth. The movie, which Mr. Aldrich directed from a screenplay The choirboys movie Christopher Knopf, is cheap and nasty without having any redeeming vulgarity and absolutely no conviction of truth.
What went wrong? The material seems to be the sort that would perfectly suit Mr. Aldrich "The Dirty Dozen," "The Grissom Gang," "Ulzana's Raid"a man whose darker humors match those of the novelist, yet there's little evidence of that here. Further, the movie is such a stylistic and narrative mess one suspects it was originally shot to be one of those six-hour "television novels" and then cut down to its present two-hour running time for a theatrical play-off.
Though it's the kind of film The choirboys movie deed for people who don't read much, it can The choirboys movie followed only by someone who has some familiarity with the book. However, anyone who liked the book will probably be appalled by the movie. Which is about as close as "The Choirboys" ever gets to "Catch Wambaugh's cops hold in L. The sessions, which the cops call choir practice, are epic benders that have the effect of decompressing the men's psyches.
They sing, fight, get sick, play cruel practical jokes on one another and, eventually, return to the surface of the earth. In Mr. Wambaugh's novel, the reader is able to understand the manic intensity of the choirboys at these parties, having been given some idea of the grubby violence of their working lives. The film attempts to treat their working lives mostly in comic terms, even though what happens is not especially comic, so that their off-duty behavior has no more meaning than would the off-duty behavior of a bunch of loutish television repairmen.
Among the actors in the huge cast, some of the more prominent are Charles Durning, as the father-figure cop; Perry King, as an Ivy League sort, who turns out to be fatally effete; Tim McIntire, a red-neck, bigoted sadist; Randy Quaid, as "the kid," and Burt Young, who is funny and spirited as the vice-squad chief whom everyone mistakes for the station-house janitor.
Running time: minutes. At the Cinerama Two, Broadway near 47th Street, and other theaters.
This film has been rated R. Spermwhale Whalen. Charles DurningCalvin Motts.
Louis Gossett Jr. Baxter Slate. Perry KingFrancis Tanaguchi. Clyde KusatsuSpencer Van Moot. Stephen MachtRoscoe Rules. Tim McIntireDean Proust. Randy QuaidCheech Sartino. Chuck SacciSam Lyles. Don StroudHarold Bloomguard. James WoodsSgt.
Dominic Scuzzi. Burt YoungDeputy Chief Riggs. Robert WebberFanny Forbes. Jeanie BellKimberly Lyles. Blair BrownCra Lee Tingle. Michele CareySgt. Nick Yanov. Charles HaidHod Carrier. Joe KappHadley. Barbara RhodesCapt.
Phyllis DavisLuther Quigley. Jack DeLeonLieut. Georoe Di CenzoLieut.
David SpielbergPete Zoony. Vick TaybackAlexander Blaney. Michael Wills. See the article in its original context from December 24,0 Buy Reprints. View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions.The choirboys movie
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'The Choirboys,' Film Version Of Novel About Police, Opens