Copland

Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) has always wanted to be a policeman, but due to deafness in one of his ears, he has been limited to becoming the town sheriff. After a botched attempt to cover-up the murder of two black juveniles, a New York cop commits suicide, and his uncle Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel) tries to bury the evidence. With the aid of Internal Affairs Investigator Moe Tilden (Robert De Niro) and bummed out, friendless NYPD Officer Gary Figgs (Ray Liotta), Freddy begins to investigate a corruption within the NYPD, when the proper authorities fail to find the body of the dead cop.

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Continuity mistake: There's a scene after Superboy jumps from the bridge with a paramedic smoking a cigarette close to the butt. The camera switches and suddenly his cigarette is a freshly lit one.

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Trivia: In the trailer, there is a scene in which a purple Geo Tracker is doing a 180 degree turn. This scene is not in the film.

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Question: Harvey Keitel was supposed to have been a highly respected veteran officer with the NYPD with connections within the department and other agencies as stated in the movie. With all that power and connections, it puzzles me why his character is still a patrol officer working beat shifts as shown in the scene when he intentionally let Joey fall to his death on the roof. He shows up in uniform in a patrol car with his other crooked partner responding to the call.

Answer: Yes that's correct but in actuality it's highly unlikely a veteran officer would stay in patrol their entire career, crooked cop or not, unless they work for a very small department and there are no opportunities to move up.

Yes, in the real world, it is indeed highly unlikely he would spend his entire career on patrol. For the purpose of the movie, it serves the plot to have the Donlan character written as a mobile beat cop for the reasons stated. It also allows for more action and sets up the final confrontation between Stallone and the crooked cops. Movies just do not reflect reality.

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Answer: Being a higher-up not only means more responsibility, but also closer scrutiny. As a low-level beat cop, it allows Donlan a lesser profile, greater mobility out on the street, to be at crime scenes without suspicion, and he can more easily and covertly interact with his criminal accomplices and contacts. Being tied to an office would be a hindrance; he can wield his corrupt power more effectively this way.

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