Stakeout (1987) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

It's a buddy pic. It's a violent cop thriller. It's a romantic comedy.

I know that doesn't sound like a very good combination, but it works very well.


Madeleine Stowe shows her breasts and buns
A really violent cop-killing baddie breaks out of prison, and four cops are assigned to place a 24 hour watch on the evil dude's ex-girlfriend. The two teams of cops don't get along with each other. In the course of the stakeout, one of the cops (Richard Dreyfuss) falls in love with her. Now you see the pickle he's in. He wants to see her, but he's watching her 12 hours a day, and some other cops are watching her the other 12 hours. So if he wants to be with her, he has to figure out how to do it without being seen or heard by two other cops who really don't like him and are watching him through binoculars and listening to him on tapped phone lines. And when he's with her, he can't admit who he is, or tell her that he's watching her through a telescope the rest of the day.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

The odd thing about the film is that the first 10 minutes and the last 20 minutes are played out as an ultra-violent standard cop movie. In between, it's a lot of light hearted banter between the cop and his partner, the cop and his new girlfriend, and the four cops who don't get along.

Except for the opening and close, it's a very pleasant popcorn movie, with Dreyfuss going beyond the call of duty as the charming cop.

John Badham directed. He's the same guy who directed Saturday Night Fever. 

The Critics Vote

  • Ebert 3/4

The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: very solid $65 million domestic gross


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Not a lasting cultural treasure, but an excellent popcorn film - thrills, laughs, pure mindless entertainment. (Tuna also rates it C+, and adds: "picturesque Seattle backdrop as well")

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