10
votes

I saw this one on TV while I was sitting in a motel room in the mid-1990s. I was in the USA, and the movie was in English and set in an American city. I think I only saw the first 30 or 40 minutes' worth of the movie before I had to go do something else, and now I don't even remember the title.

Here's what I remember, roughly 20 years later:

  1. At first, the focus is on a clergyman (specifically a Roman Catholic priest, I think) who seems to be a middle-aged white guy with dark hair. He works in an American city. He may have spoken English with enough of an accent to suggest he was an immigrant from somewhere in Europe. (Don't ask me what kind of accent; it's been too long and I'm no expert on accents, anyway. And for all I know, the accent may have been something he faked for this role.)

  2. I forget just how he first gets involved in this mystery, but something happens which prompts him to start doing some amateur detective work which touches upon the subject of a big robbery which had taken place well before the opening scenes of the movie -- say, at least a year before? Something like stealing lots of cash (or jewels, or other valuable commodities?) from an armored car when it was carrying a lot more loot than it would on a typical day. Apparently this was a well-planned heist which remains unsolved as the movie begins. None of the gang were ever caught; none of the loot has ever been recovered.

  3. At some point, the priest is asking questions in a rough part of town, and ends up being attacked by some young punks from a street gang. This is when we see solid evidence that the priest knows something about hand-to-hand combat -- more than these young thugs do, at any rate! I think it was stated that he had received some special training from the military before he decided to become a peaceful man of the cloth. (Or I may have just assumed that. I don't remember if any specific military program was named in that context. It might not be the U.S. military, for that matter.)

  4. I believe that in this fight scene with the street gang, there's a black man who is just watching from a distance (unseen by the priest at the time). He doesn't interfere; doesn't say anything in this scene; initially comes across as a man of mystery. (In other words, I had no idea, at this point, whether he was a "good guy" or a "bad guy" or somewhere in between!)

  5. In a later scene, the black guy finally sits down for a serious talk with the priest. It turns out that the black guy is a former cop. He was disgraced because of what happened in the big robbery I mentioned. He was supposed to be part of the security detail for something important (escorting an armored car, maybe? I'm not sure of his exact assignment), but that day he got a frantic phone call from the woman he loved, and so he took off in the middle of his shift to go to her and comfort her.

  6. While he was neglecting his duty, the robbery took place (and I think at least one person was killed by the thieves), and so this black cop was disgraced and lost his badge. I think there may have been suggestions (never proved) that he could have been bribed to cooperate with the robbers, tipping them off and then getting out of their way, which he swears is not true. (I can't remember whether or not there was any reason to believe that the call from his girlfriend had been arranged by the thieves, though. I do remember that I was wondering about this as I listened to him telling his side of the story.)

That's about as much of the movie as I ever saw. I got the strong impression that the priest and the ex-cop were going to work together to finally crack open this old case and see the perpetrators brought to justice, but I have no idea how they actually did it. Since I saw the movie on TV in the mid-1990s, I'd say that anything produced before, say, 1997, is a possible candidate. Can anyone help?

3
votes

Three Tough Guys, a.k.a Tough Guys

IMDb:

Isaac Hayes plays as Lee in his feature film debut, as Father Charlie and himself solve a bank robbery mystery that stretches across the city. After Lee is removed from the force due to $1,000,000 being stolen from the bank Father Charlie helps him to gain revenge for the loss of one of his friends. It is an action blast Blaxploitaion ride that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

Italian actor Lino Ventura plays Father Charlie, he is the middle-aged white clergyman/priest with the dark hair and foreign (Italian) accent, and Isaac Hayes plays the black ex-cop.

Trailer:

  • Thank you; this sure looks like it. (I'm afraid the names "Lino Ventura" and "Isaac Hayes" don't even ring any bells in my memory.) – Lorendiac Dec 15 '16 at 23:44

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