A cop (Liotta) with a gambling addiction plots a theft from the bookies who are putting pressure on him to pay off or else.


Danny Cannon


Eddie Richey





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Liotta ... Harry Collins
Anthony LaPaglia ... Mike Henshaw
Daniel Baldwin ... James Nutter
Jeremy Piven ... Fred Shuster
Royce D. Applegate ... Dickerman
Xander Berkeley ... Lt. Clyde Webber
Tamara Clatterbuck ... Waitress
Vanessa Munday Vanessa Munday ... Betsy
Al Sapienza ... Cop
Yvette Cruise ... Maria
John Henry Whitaker ... Husband
Glenn Morshower ... Anti-Abortionist
Brittany Murphy ... Veronica
George Murdock ... Sid
Kathryn Joosten ... Esther


In Phoenix, Arizona, all is not well at the local police station as some of the colleagues are not good of heart. Superstitious cop Harry Collins is on the take. He a compulsive gambler who is forced to plan a heist with fellow cops Mike, James, and Fred to rip off local pimp and overall bad guy, Louie, to pay off gambling debts run up with "bookie" Chicago. Written by Chris Foster <cf@chrisfoster.prestel.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In this town, the heat can kill you.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Ray Liotta has worked with a Baldwin brother twice. In this film, he worked with Danny Baldwin, in The Last Shot, he worked with Alec Baldwin. See more »


Harry Collins: Veronica.
Veronica: Harry stay the fuck away from me, alright?
See more »


References King Kong (1933) See more »


Written by Daniel Riddle & David Parks
Performed by Hitting Birth
Courtesy of Will Records
See more »

User Reviews

Somehow crept under the radar...
13 May 2007 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

This is one of those films that somehow falls under the radar and languishes undeservedly in obscurity. In a fairly convoluted plot, Ray Liotta plays an honest cop with a gambling addiction who comes up with a plan to rob a loan shark in order to pay off his debts. He enlists the aid of three of his colleagues (Daniel Baldwin, Jeremy Piven and the unappreciated Anthony LaPaglia, who gives a film-stealing performance here) unaware that one is sleeping with another's wife and is under investigation.

Although the story unfolds a little too slowly at times, writer Eddie Richey's script has a lot of depth, lending some diversity to a bunch of what could otherwise have been genre-stereotypical tough guys. The quality of the writing is high, with some off-the-wall dialogue and unique insight into such diverse subjects as King Kong, Three-on-a-match, Looney Tunes cartoons, and Dostoyevsky's gambling addiction. Brit director Danny Cannon creates some arresting images (an alternately sun-scorched and rain-sodden Phoenix in monsoon season) and manages to create loads of atmosphere despite often selecting extreme close-ups to emphasise the thoughts and emotions of the characters. There are no weak performances but, together with LaPaglia, the ever-dependable Ray Liotta stands out in the lead role.

The ending is probably weaker than it should be because it takes a little too long for all the strands to be neatly tied, but this is still an impressive piece of entertainment that deserves to be better known.

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Release Date:

4 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phoenix See more »

Filming Locations:

Phoenix, Arizona, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,579, 7 September 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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