Starring the NYPD
How the New York cop movies of the 1970s sculpted (and whitewashed) the public perception of the NYPD
The New York movie and the New York cop movie are inextricably intertwined – so much so that the first major studio picture of the talking era to be shot in New York, The Naked City, was a cop movie. But in the years following the protests and policing reforms of the 1960s, Gotham cop movies like The French Connection and The Seven-Ups focused on a specific kind of New York cop, who could only clean up the mean streets if he bent those pesky rules. This episode contrasts the NYPD of film and television to the real department – one that was, in the same era, rife with graft, corruption, and worse – and reexamines that messaging within the current national conversation about policing.
Our guests are MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, The Undefeated’s Soraya Nadia McDonald, and film writer Zach Vasquez, with a special appearance by Karina Longworth.