|An Innocent Man (DVD, 2003)|
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Average review score based on 21 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I thought the movie was really good. Corrupt cops get the best of an Innocent man and in the end it all works out. I was scared for Tom Selleck in this movie where he plays "Jimmy Rae"...the prison scenes are kinda scary and makes you think...my gosh I hope cops would never do this to one person. But I had this movie on VHS and now it is all screwed up and I am unable to watch this but now it is on DVD and I am slowly replacing my entire collection of movies into DVD.
I had seen it when it first came out. I knew I liked it then. A triumph of Job-like good over Satanic-like evil. The love of a good woman to inspire the wronged man is the sub-story. The vengeance finally wrought is understood not so much as getting even, as it is undertaking a necessary evil in order to restore reasonable quality and normality to life. It's perhaps a clever bit of foreshadowing that the wife is studying for a college exam at the start of the movie, and the practice question her husband presents is about "punctuated equilibrium", a theory of evolution in which mutations occur in a sudden reaction to various environmental conditions, rather than in a gradually unfolding manner. The successful implementation of abrupt, unlikely, and unexpected actions, not in the protagonist's heretofore familiar character, are perceived by the protagonist as necessary for survival.
The acting and perhaps directing or writing is at times a bit cheesy, but this doesn't detract from the overall impressive effect of the story.
This is a very good movie about "an innocent man" who was framed by two crooked cops. They were looking for a drug dealer, and they screwed up and wrote down the wrong address. James Rainwood (Ton Selleck), was an aircraft maintenance engineering supervisor for American Airlines in Long Beach, California. He and his wife lived in a modest home, paid their taxes, and were model citizens. The only record was a minor marijuana charge from when he was in college. Yet these two crooked detectives, Mike Parnell (David Rasche) and Danny Scaliese (Richard Young), both occasional cocaine users, acting on a drug tip go to the wrong address, illegally enter and shot Rainwood multiple times. He had just exited the shower and was dressed only in a towel with a hair blow-dryer in his hand. When these cops realized their mistake, they planted drugs and a gun and Rainwood was convicted and sent to prison for six years.
Despite his pleas of innocence, his rights are ignored and he is sent to prison. His wife is threatened with violence as is Jimmy while in prison because of her attempts to discredit these two cops. In prison, Jimmie immediately realizes that the stories he had heard are true. A black gang called the "Black Guerrilla Family" takes an interest in him and he is in imminent danger of violence and sexual assault. The leader of this gang is a huge guy named Jingles. Both he and his gang are extremely violent thugs who are all doing long sentences. Jimmy is savagely beaten, and he soon figures that he has to get some help or he is dead. With the help of an older inmate, Virgil Cane (F. Murray Abraham), a piece of thick plexiglass is shaped and fashioned into a knife. Jimmy Rainwood now is in a position of having to kill this animal Jingles, or die. In a gymnasium shower he is attacked by Jingles and he stabs Jingles to death, breaking off the knife handle, leaving the blade inside his chest. He disposes of the handle down a drain. There are no witnesses and he is put into solitary confinement for three months. When released back into general population, the other prisoners treat him like a hero, and the other Black Guerrilla members leave him alone. Jimmy gets paroled after serving three years.
When Jimmy is released, he sets out to get revenge on these two cops with the help of his wife Kate, a guy he met in prison, Malcolm. With these two cops constantly harassing her, Kate meets an Internal Affairs detective, John Fitzgerald, a black man, and tells him about derogatory racist remarks made about him and his department by Parnell. Parnell then makes the mistake of telling off Fitzgerald when confronted about the Rainwood case. Fitzgerald now is determined to find the truth.
As his investigation escalates, the harassment of Jimmy and Kate also worsens. Finally in a showdown and shootout Scalise is killed. Parnell tried to kill Jimmy with a switchblade knife, but Jimmy took it away from him. He didn't kill him, but let the other cops get him.
In the end of the movie, Parnell is now in prison and in general population. Virgil Cane is still there. He was busted by Parnell years before, and now, here's his old enemy. Parnell looks up and sees Virgil, who loudly addresses him as "Officer". . .
I love this movie because it is so realistic and not so hollywood. I saw this movie at the theater when it was released in the late 80's. Tom Selleck did a fine job of contrasting the way a man comes into prison and is later changed by it, what a person does to survive it and how different life in prison is from life on the streets. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for an innocent person but it is no picnic for the guilt either. And to those that say prison is a country club, I say I don't want to join your country club.
Tom Selleck is an excellent actor and always plays his role with such great passion, but with this movie he makes you feel like he is playing more than a role, he actually makes you believe that he is living through the experience.
This is definitely an "edge of you seat" kind of movie. I have watched it three times since I've owned it and every time I watch it I find it just as enjoyable as the first time I watched it.
A must see movie!!!!!!!