Code of Silence (1985)

Code of Silence (1985)

“You want to take on the whole world by yourself? Now you’re gonna get your chance, Cusack!”

An honest Chicago cop (Chuck Norris) tries to protect a teenage girl (Molly Hagan) who is caught in the middle of her Italian family’s gang warfare with Colombian drugpins. In the meantime, Norris breaks the “code of silence” in his police force by testifying against a crooked fellow cop, and finds himself without backup.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Chuck Norris Films
  • Corruption
  • Gangs
  • Police

Response to Peary’s Review:
Chuck Norris’s “breakthrough” film (which, as Peary notes, got good reviews upon its release) is a surprisingly entertaining action flick with decent performances and fine production values. Interestingly, the title’s “code of silence” doesn’t even become an issue until more than halfway through the film, at which point it simply provides a convenient excuse for Norris to take on an entire gang of Colombians on his own. As Peary notes, Molly Hagan “is the picture’s real plus” — we genuinely care about this resilient young woman, who never asked to be caught up in her family’s fatal troubles.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Molly Hagan as the young woman Norris is determined to protect
  • Several scenes of unexpected humor — including one in which two utterly incompetent burglars attempt to hold up a police bar
  • Many excitingly choreographed action sequences
  • The toe-tapping synthesized “80s score

Must See?
Yes, simply to see Chuck Norris in what may be his finest film role (though I haven’t seen enough of his other movies to say for sure).


  • Historically Relevant


One thought on “Code of Silence (1985)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see (though it’s not a bad film of its type).

    I suppose I generally have an issue with films about drug wars, mainly that they have no element of surprise because there’s nothing inherently interesting about the selling of drugs. Each film about the sellers vs. the cops – while affording lots of action for audiences who like to watch people being shot – essentially comes down to the same thing. We know how it will play out.

    But this film is also about police wars. Watching it today – in light of all that’s going on now about police departments – it’s a harsh reminder of police corruption. However, much of what is shown in this film echoes from ‘Serpico’, which handles the same territory but in a true story that’s more realistic.

    I say ‘realistic’ because of where ‘COS’ ultimately ends up – with Norris almost alone (except for a police robot / tank) against an immense amount of guys (a situation shown once before in the film).

    I’m a little stumped re: Peary’s praise for Hagan as “the picture’s real plus”. Not that she’s bad but c’mon… she’s hardly in the film and has at most 10 lines of dialogue. Of course, she’s cute and has some spunk, so maybe that’s it. (In fairness to Hagan, she went on to have a solid career and still works today – mostly in tv but once in a while in film, i.e., Alexander Payne’s ‘Election’.)

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