Fort Apache, The Bronx

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Fort Apache: The Bronx
Fort apache the bronx.jpg
Movie poster for Fort Apache, The Bronx
Directed byDaniel Petrie
Produced byThomas Fiorello
Martin Richards
Companies:
Producers Circle
Time-Life Television
Written byHeywood Gould
StarringPaul Newman
Ed Asner
Ken Wahl
Danny Aiello
Rachel Ticotin
Kathleen Beller
Pam Grier
Clifford David
Miguel Piñero
Music byJonathan Tunick
CinematographyJohn Alcott
Editing byRita Roland
Distributed by20th Century Fox
HBO (DVD)
Release datesFebruary 6, 1981
Running time125 minutes
LanguageEnglish
Budget$4,000,000
Box officeTotal US Gross: $29,200,000 (US)
International Gross: $36,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $65,200,000[1]
 
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Fort Apache: The Bronx
Fort apache the bronx.jpg
Movie poster for Fort Apache, The Bronx
Directed byDaniel Petrie
Produced byThomas Fiorello
Martin Richards
Companies:
Producers Circle
Time-Life Television
Written byHeywood Gould
StarringPaul Newman
Ed Asner
Ken Wahl
Danny Aiello
Rachel Ticotin
Kathleen Beller
Pam Grier
Clifford David
Miguel Piñero
Music byJonathan Tunick
CinematographyJohn Alcott
Editing byRita Roland
Distributed by20th Century Fox
HBO (DVD)
Release datesFebruary 6, 1981
Running time125 minutes
LanguageEnglish
Budget$4,000,000
Box officeTotal US Gross: $29,200,000 (US)
International Gross: $36,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $65,200,000[1]
The real "Fort Apache" in the summer of 2007—1086 Simpson Street in the Bronx, formerly the New York Police Department's 41st Precinct Station. 40°49′32.07″N 73°53′33.72″W / 40.8255750°N 73.8927000°W / 40.8255750; -73.8927000

Fort Apache: The Bronx is a 1981 crime drama film made by Producers Circle, Time-Life Television Productions Inc., and distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. It was directed by Daniel Petrie and produced by Martin Richards, Thomas Fiorello, with David Susskind as executive producer. It stars Paul Newman, Ken Wahl, Danny Aiello, Edward Asner, Rachel Ticotin, Kathleen Beller, Pam Grier, Clifford David and Miguel Piñero.

Filmed on locations in the Bronx, New York City, New York, it is widely believed that the film was based on the book Fort Apache by Tom Walker, but the studio, Time-Life Television Films (owner of the script), disputes this. The result was lengthy court litigation.

Plot[edit]

Police officers face many challenges in the decayed South Bronx region of New York City. Among them are NYPD officers Murphy (Newman) and Corelli (Wahl), who work out of the 41st precinct, nicknamed "Fort Apache" because to those who work there, it feels like an army outpost in foreign territory (an allusion to Fort Apache out of the Old West).

The precinct itself is one of the worst and most dilapidated in the entire department, approaching demolition and staffed mostly by officers who are unwanted by and have been transferred out of other precincts. Additionally, the precinct is of little use to the large Puerto Rican community, as only 4% of the officers are Hispanic in the largest non-English speaking section of the Bronx, according to retiring precinct captain Dugan.

Corelli and Murphy attempt to maintain law and order but have conflicts with corrupt fellow officers, as well as with a newly appointed police captain, Connolly (Asner). There is rioting due to alleged police brutality, as well as issues related to the deaths of two rookie cops at the movie's beginning.

Illustrating the hopeless futility of the work done at the precinct, the killer is later found as an anonymous body, dumped in the roadside trash. With nothing to link her to the deaths of the rookie officers, the police remain ignorant of the fact that she was the killer and will never be caught, while a purse snatcher who dresses in pull over war clothes as his disguise and was targeting elderly welfare receipients on their check cashing days is chased by by Murphy and Corelli into the ambiguous ending that never says if he was successfully captured or not.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film was successful, grossing over $65 million worldwide at its time of release in 1981. Paul Newman was largely praised for his performance, but the movie itself received more negative reviews.

Legal issues[edit]

After the release of the film, an author, Tom Walker, filed a lawsuit against one of the production companies, Time-Life Television Films (legal owner of the script), claiming that the producers infringed on his book Fort Apache (New York: Crowell, 1976. ISBN 0-690-01047-8). Among other things, Walker, the plaintiff, argued that: "both the book and the film begin with the murder of a black and a white policeman with a handgun at close range; both depict cockfights, drunks, stripped cars, prostitutes and rats; both feature as central characters third- or fourth-generation Irish policemen who live in Queens and frequently drink; both show disgruntled, demoralized police officers and unsuccessful foot chases of fleeing criminals". But the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that these are stereo-typical ideas, so called "scènes à faire" (French for "scenes that must be done"), and that the United States copyright law does not protect concepts or ideas. The court ruling stated: "the book Fort Apache and the film Fort Apache: The Bronx were not substantially similar beyond [the] level of generalized or otherwise nonprotectible ideas, and thus [the] latter did not infringe copyright of [the] former".[8][9]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fort Apache, The Bronx. – The Numbers
  2. ^ "Conscience in a Rough Precinct". – TIME. – February 16, 1981. – Retrieved: 2008-06-10
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger. – "Fort Apache, The Bronx". – Chicago Sun Times. – January 1, 1981 – Retrieved: 2008-06-10
  4. ^ a b Film: "Fort Apache, The Bronx". – Variety. – January 1, 1981. – Retrieved: 2008-06-10
  5. ^ Sambides, Nick, Jr. – Review: Fort Apache, the Bronx". – Allmovie. – Retrieved: 2008-06-10
  6. ^ DiGiaomo, Frank (December 2004). "The Gossip Behind the Gossip". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ Cultural Desk: "'Apache' Film's Debut Protested". – New York Times. – February 7, 1981
  8. ^ Margolick, David. – Legal Notes: "Writer Told 'Ft. Apache' isn't Just His". – New York Times. – August 25, 1985
  9. ^ Beeber, Jessie, and Maura Wogan. – "Is Scènes à Faire Really 'Necessary'?". – Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal. – Spring 2004. – Vol. 15, No. 1

External links[edit]