Best Crime Movies of 1979
Escape from Alcatraz
Escape from Alcatraz tells the story of the only three men ever to escape from the infamous maximum security prison at Alcatraz. In 29 years, the seemingly impenetrable federal penitentiary, which housed Al Capone and "Birdman" Robert Stroud, was only broken once - by three men never heard of again.
...And Justice for All
An ethical Baltimore defense lawyer disgusted with rampant legal corruption is asked to defend a judge he despises in a rape trial. But if he doesn't do it, the judge will have him disbarred.
Over the Edge
The music of Cheap Trick, The Cars, and The Ramones highlights this realistic tale of alienated suburban youth on the rampage. Dillon makes his screen debut in this updated, well-done "Rebel Without a Cause." Shelved for several years, the movie was finally released after Dillon made it big. Sleeper with excellent direction and dialogue.
This is the hard and shocking story of life in a British Borstal for young offenders. The brutal regime made no attempt to reform or improve the inmates and actively encouraged a power struggle between the 'tough' new inmate and the 'old hands'. This film is a re-make, by the same director and writer, of a 1977 BBC teleplay banned before broadcast [see Scum (1991)].
Times are hard for habitual guest of Her Majesty Norman Stanley Fletcher. The new prison officer, Beale, makes MacKay look soft and what's more, an escape plan is hatching from the cell of prison godfather Grouty and Fletcher wants no part of it. The breakout is set for the day of a morale-raising football match between a 'celebrity' football team and the inmates of Slade. Everything is going to plan until Godber is injured on the goal post. In the ensuing confusion, Fletcher finds himself on the wrong side of the prison walls and must now try and break back into prison.
A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films in the porno pits of Los Angeles.
Murder by Decree
Sherlock Holmes is drawn into the case of Jack the Ripper who is killing prostitutes in London's East End. Assisted by Dr. Watson, and using information provided by a renowned psychic, Robert Lees, Holmes finds that the murders may have its roots in a Royal indiscretion and that a cover-up is being managed by politicians at the highest level, all of whom happen to be Masons.
The Onion Field
Greg Powell, a disturbed ex-con, recruits Jimmy Youngblood (Smith) a petty thief, as partner in crime. Powell panics when they two of are pulled over by two cops for tail lights. Powell decides to kidnap the cops and Smith goes along with his crazy scheme. They drive out to a deserted onion field in Bakersfield, where one cop is killed and the other escapes. The film explores the consequences.
When a Stranger Calls
A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.
Love and Bullets
Charles Bronson is out for revenge in this action drama. Jackie Pruit (Jill Ireland) is the girlfriend of notorious gangster Joe Bomposa (Rod Steiger). When it looks as if Jackie's life is being threatened by Bomposa's goons, the FBI moves in to protect her, in hopes that she'll have incriminating evidence that the Bureau can use against Bomposa in court. Veteran agent Charlie Congers (Bronson) is assigned to watch over Jackie, and while it soon becomes obvious that she knows almost nothing about Bomposa that would be of any use to the FBI, he also falls in love with her. However, Bomposa decides that it would be a lot more convenient to have Jackie out of the way, and he orders her to be executed. Bomposa's henchmen manage to slip through FBI security and murder her, but now they have to answer to the angry and vengeful Congers.