Coogan’s Bluff

Director: Don Siegel

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Lee J. Cobb, Susan Clark, Tisha Sterling, Melodie Johnson, Don Stroud, Betty Field, Tom Tully, James Edwards, Rudy Diaz, David F. Doyle, Louis Zorich, Meg Myles, Marjorie Bennett, Seymour Cassel, John Coe, Skip Battyn, Albert Popwell, Conrad Bain, James Gavin, Albert Henderson, James McCallion, Syl Lamont, Jess Osuna, Jerry Summers, Antonia Rey, Marya Henriques

In the Arizona desert, a loincloth-attired Indian scampers over a rocky rise. A jeep approaches rapidly, driven by a man wearing a Stetson, Deputy Sheriff Walt Coogan (Eastwood). Coogan hunts down and subdues Running Bear (Diaz) and visits his girlfriend, Millie (Johnson). Coogan is effective at his job, but is arrogant and does not always do things by the book. He antagonizes his boss, Piute County Sheriff McCrea (Tully), who seizes the opportunity to send him to New York to get a criminal being extradited. Coogan expects a brief stay in New York City, but Police Lieutenant McElroy (Cobb) tells him that his prisoner has been relocated and is not ready to be transported. Forced by circumstances to remain in the city, Coogan makes the acquaintance of attractive probation officer Julie Roth (Clark). The two go out together, but their date is interrupted when she must answer a work emergency. Impatient, Coogan bluffs his way into the Prison Ward at Belleview and tricks one of the attendants into transferring his prisoner, James Ringerman (Stroud) into his custody. With his prisoner in tow, Coogan heads for the airport, but Linny Raven (Sterling), Ringerman’s girlfriend, arranges an ambush and frees Ringerman, leaving Coogan lying unconscious on the airport floor. Arrested for impersonating a Police officer, Coogan is told by Lieutenant McElroy to return to Arizona, as the recapture of Ringerman is a New York City responsibility. But Coogan is too proud to return home empty-handed, and sets out to find Ringerman. Resuming his relationship with Julie, Coogan looks through her files and finds Linny Raven’s parole record. Further investigation leads Coogan to locate Linny Raven at a psychedelic nightclub called the Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel. Out of place in the urban hippie nightlife, Coogan makes the acquaintance of spaced-out denizens and dangerous characters such as Omega (Battyn) and Wonderful Digby (Popwell). Coogan willfully submits to Linny’s seductive ways, hoping to learn from her Ringerman’s whereabouts. But behind her screwball façade Linny is smart and devious. She leads Coogan to Pushie’s Pool Hall, a place where she has set up a deadly trap. Coogan is not totally unprepared when he is attacked and he fights well, but he is outnumbered and barely manages to escape the place before the Police arrive. Now really upset, Coogan must track down Linny, force her to lead him to her boyfriend, and arrest Ringerman before Lieutenant McElroy catches up with him and sends him home empty-handed to an angry Sheriff McCrea. Bud Thackery’s fluid cinematography captures the ambiance of late-1960’s New York City. Music by Lalo Schifrin. Story by Herman Miller.

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