Friday Night Videos

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The defining ’80s crime movie has yet to be made, even though the perfect treatment for one has been slinking around our stereos for over 30 years.


Outside the stadium

Special delivery

For Hoops McCann

Brut and charisma

Poured from the shadow where he stood

Looking good

He’s a crowd pleasing man

“Glamour Profession” is a Los Angeles crime saga, but it can’t seem derivative of “Heat.” It needs to bridge the end of the ’70s with the birth of the ’80s, without verging into self-parody like “Scarface.” The director needs to be slick like Tony Scott but smart like Ridley Scott. The script must be subtle but occasionally absurd — think of a Coen Brothers treatment, minus most of their wonderful tics and mannerisms. “Deep Cover” with “Miller’s Crossing” as the chaser.

One on one

He’s schoolyard Superman
Crashing the backboard

He’s Jungle Jim, again

When it’s all over

We’ll make some calls from my car

We’re a star

The lead must be of his time, but relatable to ours, like Dennis Farina in “Crime Story.” Our crew is smart and ambitious. They’ll use up-to-the-minute technology — for 1980 — but never in a way that the audience is given permission to laugh or sneer at their ancient tech. What the first half of “Goodfellas” did for the mob — make it look fun — “Glamour Profession” will do for the LA drug scene.


It’s a glamour profession

The L.A. concession

Local boys will spend a quarter

Just to shine the silver bowl

Living hard will take its toll

Illegal fun

Under the sun, boys

The sets, cold. The characters, cool. The pacing, studied. The violence, sudden. The sex, languid and bittersweet. Everything “Miami Vice” should have been but couldn’t have been on ’80s broadcast TV.

All aboard

The Carib Cannibal

Off to Barbados

Just for the ride

Jack with his radar

Stalking the dread moray eel

At the wheel

With his Eurasian bride
It’s a glamour profession

The boss and his trusted young lieutenant are poised to take over all of LA’s narcotics trade -— until the inevitable love triangle.

On the town

We dress for action

Celluloid bikers

Is Friday’s theme

I drove the Chrysler

Watched from the darkness while they danced

I’m the one
It’s a glamour profession

It might not even be a love triangle — it might all be in his head. If she’s interested in the young lieutenant, the song doesn’t say so.


I know your middle name

Who inspires your fabled fools

That’s my claim to fame

The locations must bring to mind the Los Angeles we’ve forgotten, but would love to remember — even if those memories are mostly a myth. Equal parts slick and gritty.


Jive Miguel

He’s in from Bogota

Meet me at midnight

At Mr. Chow’s

Szechuan dumplings

Now that the deal has been done

I’m the one
It’s a glamour profession

I’m the one

How does it all end? Ideally, with all the ambiguity and beguilement of a Steely Dan lyric.

This might all seem like a cheap pastiche of other, better movies — and that’s likely the way it would turn out. But in my mind, certain things happen just right. Steely Dan maestros Walter Becker and Donald Fagen keep enough power as supervising producers to keep it real. The big name director is a fan of the band and of the time. The script is smart — smarter than the guy pitching this movie to you right now. The actors are all willing to play it LA cool and close to the vest. And perhaps most of all, the score weaves that sleek Glamour Profession hook through and through, to tie everything together.

The defining ’80s crime flick was outlined by Becker & Fagen before the ’80s had hardly begun. Here we are almost 35 years later — who will finally get the deal done?


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