Megan Carter is an ambitious investigative reporter for the Miami Standard trying desperately to get a lead on the headline story of a local longshoreman labor leader’s disappearance. Elliot Rosen, the scheming head of a federal “strike force,” investigating the same disappearance case has come up empty and to save his job tries illegal tactics. He leaks the story to Megan by unethically leaving a file on his desk while he walks out on a meeting with her. The file Megan naturally reads says that Michael Gallagher, the Florida businessman liquor distributor, the son of a dead bootlegger mobster Tommy Gallagher, is under a federal investigation as a key suspect in the case. Rosen’s thinking is that this will smoke out Michael to make contact with his father’s mobster friends to clear his name. This is a premise I found hard to swallow.
Without checking the story to see if it’s true or corroborating it with another source like they teach in Journalism 101, Megan is pressured by her sleazy editor to go with the story because there’s no chance Gallagher can sue for libel under the Absence of Malice rule for slander. But the slanderous story makes things difficult for the innocent Michael, whose father kept him out of the rackets completely and he has been clean his entire life. It also causes a problem for Michael’s childhood friend Teresa Perrone, a devout Catholic, whom he accompanied to Atlanta to arrange her secret abortion during the time of the disappearance. Teresa is afraid her traditional parochial school and her old-fashioned parents would not understand the abortion, but her dilemma is that she wants to return the favor that Michael did for her since she’s his best alibi. —Ozu’s World Movie Reviews
Sydney Pollack was born to first generation Russian-Jewish Americans on July 1, 1934. After graduating from his Indiana high school, he went to New York and became a student at the Neighborhood Playhouse, a celebrated Greenwich Village school, where he studied under Sanford Meisner. He served two years in the army before returning to the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1958 as a teacher, and began appearing as an actor in live television dramas. His appearance in a John Frankenheimer-directed television production led him to a job as dialogue coach in the filmmaker’s 1961 crime drama The Young Savages. He quickly moved into television, directing on programs such as “The Defenders,” “The Naked City,” “The Fugitive,” “Dr. Kildare,” and “Ben Casey” during the early and mid 1960s, and in 1965 made his feature film debut in the director’s chair with The Slender Thread.
Pollack established himself as a competent, if unexceptional, director in such works as This Property Is Condemned, and… read more