COP HATER (director: William Berke; screenwriters: Henry Kane/novel by Ed McBain; cinematographer: J. Burgi Contner; editor: Everett Sutherland; music: Albert Glasser; cast: Gerald S. O’Laughlin (Mike Maguire), Jerry Orbach (Joe Sanchez), Ellen Parker (Teddy Franklin), Robert Loggia (Detective Steve Carelli), Hal Riddle (Mercer), Russell Hardie (Lt. Byrnes), Shirley Ballard (Alice Maguire). Gerald S. O’Laughlin (Mike Maguire), William Neff (Kling), Vincent Gardenia (Danny the Gimp), Lincoln Kilpatrick (Det. David Foster), Gene Miller (Reporter Hank Miller); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William Berke; United Artists (MGM Limited Edition Collection); 1958)
“Though watchable, it’s more like TV fare than a movie.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A low-key crime drama directed by William Berke(“The Jungle”/”Highway 13”). It’s based on the novel by Ed McBain and is written by Henry Kane. When a NYC detective is killed in the street, in front of his precinct, during a summer heat wave, before going on duty for the midnight shift, Lt. Byrnes (Russell Hardie) avows to get the killer and assigns Detective Steve Carelli (Robert Loggia) to the case. Meanwhile Detective Mike Maguire (Gerald S. O’Laughlin), Steve’s partner, married to the unhappy Alice (Shirley Ballard), follows a lead on the .45 caliber gun used in the killing. Steve’s girlfriend, Teddy Franklin (Ellen Parker), who is deaf and mute, is disturbed by the murder. When a second cop is gunned down, the police turn their attention to question young gang suspects but come up empty. While no arrests are made, Mike Maguire is the next cop killed. An overwrought and drunk Steve talks too much to unethical newspaper reporter Hank Miller (Gene Miller), who quotes the cop in his paper and puts Teddy in danger by revealing her address. In the end, Steve comes to the rescue of Teddy when she’s confronted by the maniac killer (Hal Riddle). The reasons for the cop killings comes with a surprising plot development. Though watchable, it’s more like TV fare than a movie.
REVIEWED ON 6/1/2016 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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