Paul Newman stars as an essentially decent cop patrolling that decimated, drug-and-gang-ridden borough known on the city maps as the Bronx, but known to its denizens as "Fort Apache". While Newman tries to hold on to his basic humanity and to treat even the sorriest of the people on his beat with dignity, he can't do much to convince his superiors that blind brutality is not the answer to social blight. When he witnesses fellow-cop Danny Aiello cold-bloodedly murdering a crime suspect, Newman is advised to sweep the whole incident under the rug. He refuses to do so, and as a result becomes "persona non grata" to his former friends on the force. Ed Asner co-stars as the beleaguered captain who has given up trying to treat his job as anything but a necessary evil, while Rachel Ticotin is Newman's love interest. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
I was about twelve years old when this movie came out in 1981, so I was not allowed to watch it. I had managed to see bits and pieces of it over the years, and had always wanted to watch it in full.
I can say that this movie packs a lot of punch. The movies from the 70's and very early 80's had a grittiness and rawness that was always present and that holds true here.
In addition to quality acting and action, the movie also serves as a time capsule of what the Bronx was like entering the 1980's.
Its essentially the story of a veteran cop who is forced to make a decision on what is right vs wrong.