Fort Apache, the Bronx (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fort Apache, the Bronx (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Fort Apache, the Bronx Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Paul Newman stars as an essentially decent cop patrolling that decimated, drug-and-gang-ridden borough known on the city maps as the Bronx, but known to its denizens as "Fort Apache". While Newman tries to hold on to his basic humanity and to treat even the sorriest of the people on his beat with dignity, he can't do much to convince his superiors that blind brutality is not the answer to social blight. When he witnesses fellow-cop Danny Aiello cold-bloodedly murdering a crime suspect, Newman is advised to sweep the whole incident under the rug. He refuses to do so, and as a result becomes "persona non grata" to his former friends on the force. Ed Asner co-stars as the beleaguered captain who has given up trying to treat his job as anything but a necessary evil, while Rachel Ticotin is Newman's love interest.more
Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Heywood Gould
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 5, 2001
Live Home Video


Edward Asner
as Connolly
Ken Wahl
as Corelli
Pam Grier
as Charlotte
Tito Goya
as Jumper/Detective
Miguel Pinero
as Hernando
Michael Higgins
as Hefferman
Rik Colitti
as Pantuzzi
Irving Metzman
as Applebaum
Frank Adu
as Clendennon
Raynaldo Medina
as Detective
John Ring
as Donahue
Terence Brady
as Cops at Bar
Randy Jurgenson
as Cops at Bar
Marvin Cohen
as Cops at Bar
Paul Gleason
as Detective
Reinaldo Medina
as Detective
Daryl Edwards
as Black Rookie
Donald Petrie
as White Rookie
Thomas A. Carlin
as Man with Flat Tire
Frederick Allen
as Corelli's Brother
Dominic Chianese
as Corelli's Father
Mike Cichette
as Wild-eyed Man
Apu Guecia
as Stabbed Boy
Kim Delgado
as Suspect
as Suspect
Dadi Pinero
as Suspect
Dolores Hernandez
as Pregnant Girl
Santos Morales
as Girl's Father
Ruth Last
as Girl's Mother
Jose Rabelo
as Girl's Uncle
Gilbert Lewis
as Mob Leader
Randy Jurgensen
as Cop at Bar
Darryl Edwards
as Black Rookie
Erick Mourino
as Boy and Girl on Roof
Jessica Costello
as Boy and Girl on Roof
Gloria Irizarry
as Drug Dealer
Joaquin LaHabana
as Transvestite
Fred Strother
as Hospital Buyer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Fort Apache, the Bronx

Critic Reviews for Fort Apache, the Bronx

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Too bad the pic had such an ugly and forgettable story.

Full Review… | July 25, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A realistic, colorful and always interesting study of a veteran police office (Newman) and his a rookie partner (Wahl) patrolling the rough streets of the South Bronx. Asner is memorable as their gung-ho new commander.

October 9, 2005

Overlooked hard-boiled cop story.

April 2, 2005

Audience Reviews for Fort Apache, the Bronx

It may have been released in 1981, but this film sure has the look, feel, and sounds of the 1970s all over, and that's just fine by me. This is a gritty, cynical, yet still entertaining film about a nistly decent but burnt out veteran beat cop dealing with the continually worsening decay that has overtaken The Bronx.

The film is somewhat of a character study, and it has a very loose, episodic flow, instead of a rigidly structured plot. I think this helps the film. However, there are a few scenes that feel like they've been suddenly cut short, and the transitions between them feel really abrupt and choppy. Aside from that though, I don't have too many other issues. I mean the film is guilty of numerous genre cliches, but what film isn't?

Newman does a pretty good and believable job in the lead. As his love interest, a nurse who also happens to be a junkie, Rachel Ticotin is okay, but not really excellent or anything. Pam Grier (who sadly doesn't have as much screen time as I had hoped) has a small but memorable supporting role as a junkie prostitute/murderer. She does a really good job, and exhibits some fine method acting. Her memoir gives some intersting details about how she prepared for this movie, as well as some good information about it in general. Asner, Wahl, and Aiello are also all likewise decent.

What works best here though, is the location shooting, and the cinematography. It was shot on location throughout The Bronx, and things look quite realistic, run down and grimy. There's some really good long deep focus shots and some nice lighting and framing here as well. As much as I liked this movie, I can't say I'd want to visit that place during that time. I liked the music, but I could have used more of it.

Give this one a shot. The critics seem to miss the point with this one. Yeah, it's not really innovative, but it's pretty decently made, has great atmosphere, look, mood, and tone, the performances are good, and it's pretty watchable and entertaining. What more, really, could you ask for?

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Cynical but entertaining police drama where the real villain is 70's New York.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Paul Newman stars as a burned out cop in the neighborhood from hell in this police film that is an over the top look at typical patrol officers. Fort Apache, The Bronx is about the worst precinct in New York. Cops are killed with civilians on a regular basis and riots are a constant sore. This is where a cop goes when they go screw up and Newman plays the cynical, bitter beat cop with perfection. This isn't Serpico. It's the guys in the blue uniforms.

Even though it sports a good cast, the film slips on some of its plot points (Pam Grier as a psychotic hooker) and the way it was shot, which reminds the viewer of a '80's TV movie. It does go above and beyond at times, but Fort Apache is a good flick if you want to see more Paul Newman.

Chris Garman

Super Reviewer

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