Cops and Robbers
Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Aram Avakian. 1973, 89 mins. 35mm. With Cliff Gorman, Joseph Bologna, Charlene Dallas. Cops and Robbers is the only film Westlake wrote from scratch, then turned into a novel. “The film was a surface treatment,” he said, “and I decided I’d like to get a little deeper into those characters.” Forty years later, the film is most interesting for its depiction of early ’70s New York, both its locations and the sense that things were starting to go off the rails—especially from the perspective of two cops who decide that if everyone else is stealing, why shouldn’t they? In attempting to pull a $10 million heist, however, they encounter the one truth that unites all of Westlake’s work: Reality scoffs at our plans.
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