The Police Tapes (1977)
South Bronx, New York. 1976. During one of the most chaotic periods in New York City's history, two filmmakers ride along with the police to document a city wracked by rape, gang warfare, murder, arson and petty revenge. Winner of three Emmys, a Peabody and the duPont Award, THE POLICE TAPES is a harrowing, real-life autopsy of the dangerous nighttime work of beat cops as they try to contain a community coming unraveled. In dramatically raw scenes, the officers of the 44th precinct let the camera "in on every secret of society," capturing explosive footage of a hostage situation, gangs strutting brazenly down the street, and murders impossible to solve. At the squad station and in the patrol car, cops speak candidly about their frustrations and fears in policing violent, crime-ravaged neighborhoods filled with angry, downtrodden people. From Hill Street Blues to Cops, the immediate and uncensored style of directors Alan and Susan Raymond influences a generation of police drama and reality shows. Perceptive and probing, THE POLICE TAPES is genius verité--a harrowing peek into the dark underbelly of society.