Busting (1974)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Peter Hyams made his feature-film directing debut with this clumsily paced crime film concerning two Los Angeles vice-squad detectives. Michael Keneely (Eliott Gould) is the swaggering non-conformist and Patrick Farrel (Robert Blake) is the cocky follower. The two cops live for their work and spend most of their time busting call girls, massage parlor employees, and homosexuals. Keneely and Farrel eventually come to the conclusion that every criminal act in Los Angeles is due to the efforts of crime lord Carl Rizzo (Allen Garfield). The boys begin to harass Rizzo to the point of distraction, but their singular attempts to arrest Rizzo cause them to become the targets of, not only the criminal population, but the police force as well.
Action & Adventure , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
United Artists

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Elliott Gould
as Michael Keneely
Robert Blake
as Patrick Farrel
Antonio Fargas
as Stephen
Sid Haig
as Rizzo's Bouncer
John Lawrence
as Kenfick
Ivor Francis
as Judge Simpson
Frank Farmer
as Rizzo's Connection
Danny Goldman
as Mr. Crosby
Howard Platt
as Carletti
Richard X. Slattery
as Desk Sergeant
Logan Ramsey
as Dentist
Jack Knight
as Hyatt
Mimi Doyle
as Mrs. Rosen
Jessica Rains
as Receptionist
Carl Eller
as Huge Black Man
John Furlong
as Policeman
Kai Hernandez
as Hooker
Napoleon Whiting
as Rizzo's Butler
Ron Cummins
as Keneeley's New Partner
Dee Carroll
as Nurse
Margo Winkler
as Mrs. Rizzo
John Lawrence (II)
as Sgt. Kenefick
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Critic Reviews for Busting

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

June 11, 2005

Forgettable Blake/Gould hippie generation flick

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Busting


Like so many other buddy cop films from the 70s, "Busting" is seriously misguided and bears all the trademarks of a director experimenting with social taboos. Plus, it's severely lacking in almost every aspect designed to make it an enjoyable experience. Elliot Gould and Robert Blake sleepwalk through their roles and have a laughably low amount of chemistry together, even though they do share a few great, but woefully short-lived scenes set in a public bathroom. As well, Peter Hyams' flatfooted direction cripples the film's pace, which is hurt even more by a boring and confused screenplay. "Busting" just takes way too long to get started and when it finally does, it completely unravels and falls apart when it reaches its silly, poorly executed finale, which is embarrassingly free of suspense. I usually like giving older, lesser known films a chance, but this one deserves to stay forgotten.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer


Fast paced, cynical, amusing dialog between a pair of detectives in Los Angeles. Robert Blake and Elliot Gould team up as the fast talking, witty and audacious pair of detectives neither their department nor the crime world wants. Film director debut of Peter Hyams. [img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSVZsGAFAnk9Nj9peqcaByAi2hNMOgkVD37fA3gF0SxODk4X5QZ[/img] Two 1970's L.A. undercover, vice squad detectives find all their work focuses on petty crimes when what they want to "bust" is the big criminals. Being frustrated at every turn, their superiors have been corrupted by crime bosses. The ending involves a two ambulance car chase thats less than impressive. Elliot Gould (M.A.S.H.) and his partner, Robert Blake (TVs Baretta) are presented as unconventional vice cops with humor in a very humorless area of Los Angeles. The whole movie is full of early seventies costuming, lifestyle, big cars and general retro experiences. [img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSBkj-xSltd3jLe5Ce9XfzXiSZjOnX9sSufoVhV19RBBFADsWL4nw[/img] When Gould and Blake keep pursuing a crime boss they get no support from their corrupt superiors and are reassigned rookie partners. But somehow the two get back together and continue the pursuit of the major crime figure in L.A. While the movie comes off a bit television like, Gould and Blake elevate the film above its plodding, realistic script full of ghetto buildings, boxing gyms and general low life. [img]http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRC70k6YR_4TWQ6FZbWkUr84fIGgwOdZTLtEECzBWLiNNKO0EQDlQ[/img] Pretty much a routine cops and robbers caper that has a unique ending when the credits role. The whole substance of the film comes across when we hear Gould applying for work after quitting the police force. His reason: he needed a change. REVIEWS: 1 The film is extremely cynical, strongly implying that crime does pay ... and that the biggest criminals in society are corrupt politicians and businessmen who will never be punished for their crimes. 2 Busting did not do as well at the box office as the later Freebie and the Bean, arguably due to its harder, more cynical style / tone. 3 "Busting" hardly overturns any film traditions, but it gives a little life to an exhausted genre. Mr. Hyams, who wrote and directed "Busting," brings off something of a feat by making a contemporary cop film that is tough without exploiting the sort of right-wing cynicism that tells us all to go out and buy our own guns.---- NY Times 4 Breath of fresh air This was Elliot Gould, in his brash, arrogant, early star days, and Robert Blake, pre-Baretta (when he was actually a good actor). It is no Academy winning classic by no means, but this film is a highly charged, very entertaining vehicle. Good chemistry between the stars. - AA, NJ Directed by Peter Hyams Films directed by Peter Hyams: Busting (1974) · Our Time (1974) · Peeper (1975) · Capricorn One (1977) · Hanover Street (1979) Outland (1981) · The Star Chamber (1983) · 2010 (1984) · Running Scared (1986) · The Presidio (1988) Narrow Margin (1990) · Stay Tuned (1992) · Timecop (1994) · Sudden Death (1995) · The Relic (1997) · End of Days (1999) The Musketeer (2001) · A Sound of Thunder (2005) · Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009 Produced by Robert Chartoff Irwin Winkler Written by Peter Hyams Starring Michael Keneely . . . . . Elliott Gould [img]http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQxaqVmLIl6-naKfxwNT8k_MLkiQ82q31EloSHTIgu3rTc734RN[/img] Patrick Farrel . . . . . Robert Blake Carl Rizzo . . . . . Allen Garfield Stephen . . . . . Antonio Fargas Marvin . . . . . Michael Lerner Sergeant Kenfick . . . . . John Lawrence Jackie . . . . . Cornelia Sharp Music by Billy Goldenberg Cinematography Earl Rath Editing by James Mitchell Studio United Artists Release date(s) 1974 Running time 91 min. Country United States [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/34/Bustingposter.jpg/220px-Bustingposter.jpg[/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

Pretty good cop drama/actioner. More great chases from Hyams. A little long in some sections though.

Brad West
Brad West

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