Good Cop, Bad Cop?

I mentioned some time ago that I like to throw Irv the occasional curveball with the Ask Movie Irv series–this is one of those times. What exactly did I mean by posing the question “Good Cop, Bad Cop”? Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure. I’m not giving Irv any further instructions; he’s free to interpret this question as he wishes as an excuse to talk about cop movies. And who doesn’t relish the opportunity to discuss cop movies? Will he be bringing up In the Heat of the Night or The Naked Gun? Prince of the City? Beverly Hills Cop? Cruising? Serpico? The Super Cops? (The Super Cops as film is sadly inferior to the terrific L.H. Whittemore book. But I digress…unless of course Irv chooses to compare true-life cop book to true-life cop movie)

Will Irv go for the comparison between movies about upstanding officers vs. bad guys in blue? Perhaps a comparison of cinematic quality, videlicet Ferrara and Herzog Bad Lieutenants?

The suspense is killing me–and prolonging it any longer would be a crime:

Now you’ve seen how Irv tacked the question. Follow his thread or riff on your own interpretation of the question; a warrant has been issued for your arresting comments!


  • Wayne P.

    Good question and answer too! It makes sense to take the tack of coming up with a good cop, bad cop all rolled into the same character from a classic movie and it has the added benefit of increasing the degree of difficulty factor considerably. I was just about ready to go down that same road with Harry Callahan from Dirty Harry, who had both a bend and break the rules quality to dispensing his brand of law enforcement…when I stumbled onto a great film and a multi-talented collection of diverse roles in the name of justice: L.A. Confidential. I especially liked the fact that Russell Crowe’s portrayal of Bud White fits the mold of Harry Callahan, but you also have the added appeal of a real corrupt cop, in James Cromwell’s fine part, thrown in for good (and very bad;) measure!.

  • OZ ROB

    Cop Jim Wilson`s ( Robert Ryan ) violent environment and the dehumanizing aspects of his police work have made him bitter and brutal. He is sent to the country on a case as punishment for the violent bashing of a suspect , Despite the ugly nature of this assignment Jim `s volatile nature starts to dissipate as his emotional rapport with blind Mary ( Lupino ) begins and he faces the confronting attitudes of her bigoted father.This experience promises a new beginning for him turning him from bad cop to good cop in .On Dangerous Ground,,1952..

  • Bryan Ruffin

    I have to agree, Doyle was a great example! Dirty Harry is another, and for the same reasons. He is a cop that is very dedicated to the job for all the right reasons. His worst problem is when he goes out to get the criminals, he usually stays just this side of the law himself! There usually isn’t much difference between him and the people he chases; except maybe the badge and the cuffs.