New York Sergeant Joe Leland (Frank Sinatra) is given a murder case in which the male victim has been brutally murdered. A new officer, Robbie Loughlin (Al Freeman Jr. – Malcolm X and Finian's Rainbow), is assigned to be Leland's partner on the case. The victim turns out to be, Teddy Likeland (James Inman), the son of politically influential man and also was a homosexual. Leland and Loughlin interview a female tenant from Likeland's building and she mentions that he had a roommate. During the course of the investigation Leland is haunted by memories of his wife, Karen (Lee Remick – The Omen and Anatomy of A Murder), and their separation. She comes into his mind every time he has a quiet moment. Leland and Loughlin find Felix Tesla (Tony Musante – The Deep End of the Ocean and The Yards), Likeland's roommate, and bring him in for questioning. Leland sees that the whole force is prejudiced against homosexuals and is treating Tesla poorly. Leland is told by his captain that he is up for a promotion and must do something to raise his profile within the force. Taking this cue, Leland takes over the questioning of Tesla and gets him to confess to murdering Likeland. From the beginning Leland is not convinced that he has the right man. Leland gets promoted to lieutenant right after Tesla is executed for the murder. This causes his partner Loughlin to try and abuse his power as an officer in order to get confessions to crimes. Leland has to confront him about this. Loughlin is angry and says he is just doing what Leland did to get a promotion. Leland decides it is better to work alone, but does occasionally turn to Dave Schoenstein (Jack Klugman – from televisions The Odd Couple) for help.
Norma MacIver (Jacqueline Bisset – Class and Rich and Famous) comes to see Leland about a case concerning her husband's death. It was ruled as a suicide, but she thinks her husband was murdered. Leland tells her he will look into it. The captain tells Leland that he is retiring soon and that he is next in line for the job. He warns Leland to be cautious. As soon as Leland starts investigating the MacIver death he gets shot at. Leland speaks with Curran (Ralph Meeker – The Dirty Dozen and Paths of Glory), the cop who originally investigated the MacIver case. He asks him where the missing pages to MacIver's notebook are. Curran says that he cannot tell him or he would be killed. Leland investigates more and finds out the MacIver was an accountant for some corrupt high-profile land owners. The dirty corporation is called Rainbow. Leland goes to find out more answers from MacIver's therapist, Dr. Roberts (Lloyd Bochner – The Lonely Lady and The Naked Gun 2 ½), but gets nowhere. Later on, Leland breaks into Dr. Roberts' office and listens to some of MacIver's session tapes. They reveal that MacIver was a bisexual. Leland begins to realize that his two cases are related somehow he just has to figure out how.
While watching this movie the viewer has to keep in mind that the film was released in 1968 and will seem a bit dated. The homosexual themes are quite laughable now, but were realistic for the times. The problem with this film is not that it is dated but that the direction and cinematography are weak. The director, Gordon Douglas (who worked with Sinatra on the Tony Rome series) has tried to make the film gritty, raw and edgy and was not successful; it ends up looking a bit ludicrous. One interesting aspect of the cinematography is that it was shot in Panavision, which is like widescreen. Sinatra gives a strong performance, but Lee Remick is kind of wasted in her role. Though audiences today will probably find much to pick apart about this film, it is an interesting look at the mindset of the 1960s.
Special CD Features:
-Trailers of Fox films: Bandolero!, Fantastic Voyage, Fathom, Lady in Cement, Mother, Jugs and Speed, One Million Years B.C., and Tony Rome.