Mitchell

  • Directors: Andrew V McLaglen
  • Producers: Benjamin Melniker, R Ben Efraim
  • Writers: Ian Kennedy Martin
  • Genres: Crime, Action, Drama
  • Actors: Joe Don Baker, Linda Evans, Martin Balsam, John Saxon, Merlin Olsen, Morgan Paull, Harold J Stone, Robert Phillips

A trade union lawyer named Walter Deaney (John Saxon) kills a burglar in his house. Only an unorthodox plain-clothes detective named Mitchell (Joe Don Baker) believes that Deaney is guilty of something more than self-defense, but Chief Albert Pallin (Robert Phillips) tells him that Deaney is wanted for “every federal law violation in the book” and is therefore “FBI property.”

To keep Mitchell away from Deaney, the Chief orders him to stake out the home of James Arthur Cummings (Martin Balsam), a wealthy man with ties to the mob whose “big scene” is the import and export of stolen merchandise. Mitchell initially is unconcerned with Cummings and focuses primarily on Deaney. But he gets drawn in after Cummings discovers that Salvatore Mistretta (Morgan Paull), cousin of his mafioso benefactor Tony Gallano (Harold J. Stone), is bringing in a shipment of stolen heroin from Mexico without Cummings’ consent.

After unsuccessfully trying to buy Mitchell off with an offer of an illicit real estate deal and a prostitute named Greta (Linda Evans), Deaney decides to work with Cummings to eliminate the annoying cop. Deaney is killed shortly thereafter during an attempt on Mitchell’s life.

Cummings refuses to let Mistretta use his port facilities to bring the shipment in, earning him the ire of Gallano who begins sending thugs to harass him. Cummings decides that the only ally he still has — aside from his faithful butler and bodyguard, Benton (Merlin Olsen) — is Mitchell, because he’s no good to the police dead.

In 1980, a heavily edited version of the 1975 film was released for broadcast television, in which most of the violence and all of the nudity and profanity were removed. Several scenes in the film were shot twice for this purpose.

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