James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
Wambaugh, cop turned writer, specializes in the background detail and hellish side of police work. This, the best of the movies from his books, takes a true case and bleakly documents it. Two LA policemen apprehend two hoodlums who turn the tables on them, drive them into the country and shoot Campbell (Danson), as Hetlinger (Savage) gets away. They bury the half-dead cop in the onion field of the title. The story concentrates as much on the devastation of Hettinger as on the trial and incarceration of the psychopathic Smith (Seales) and the compliant Powell (Woods).
Brutal, even sordid, but compulsive viewing.
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