Number One with a Bullet (film)

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Number One with a Bullet
Number one with a bullet poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJack Smight
Produced byYoram Globus
Menahem Golan
Written byGail Morgan Hickman
Andrew Kurtzman
Rob Riley
James Belushi
Music byAlf Clausen
CinematographyAlex Phillips, Jr.
Edited byMichael J. Duthie
Distributed byThe Cannon Group
Release date
  • February 27, 1987 (1987-02-27)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States

Number One with a Bullet is a 1987 American police detective film directed by Jack Smight and starring Robert Carradine, Billy Dee Williams, Valerie Bertinelli, Peter Graves, Doris Roberts, Bobby Di Cicco, Ray Girardin, Barry Sattels, Mykelti Williamson and Jon Gries.[2]


Nick Barzack ("Berserk"), an irrational, unkempt and unpredictable cop, and Frank Hazeltine, his cultured, polite, and suave partner, follow a circuitous and highly circumstantial trail of clues, evidence, witnesses, and accomplices through Los Angeles. Barzack pauses only briefly for his mother, but repeatedly for his ex-wife. Hazeltine is almost too busy with every attractive woman he sees to pay attention to the thugs trying to kill him and his partner. But despite these distractions, Nick's dogged determination to get the man behind the dope scene eventually pays off.

The ladies' man Hazeltine and the borderline psychotic Berzack are narcotics detectives with a long history of wild behavior and effective work. Following Nick's hunch, they attempt to trace a new drug "black tar" to its source, beginning at a church fair which ends with Nick and his suspect in an armed standoff in drag. To calm the community, Nick and Frank are sent out of town to pick up a snitch, who is killed en route before naming his boss.

Nick tries to relieve his own stress by beating up a street pusher, then ends up in his ex-wife's arms, but she wants nothing to do with him. His mother's nagging only serves to remind him of why he's so driven. Frank relaxes with Zen and random women, but is inevitably interrupted by Nick's sick sense of humor and drive to get his man.

Following a lead from a fence, they use an addict to locate the hit-man who killed their snitch (and then the addict), but another hitter puts an end to their investigation. While on forced vacation, they interrogate the pusher Nick encountered earlier, who puts them onto a big deal going down soon. When their surveillance is interrupted and the kingpins nearly escape, followed by attempts on both of their lives and Nick's ex, they realize they're fighting a mole in their own department. Nick cracks, and threatens his suspected drug lord without evidence, and is suspended. But with help from Nick's mom and the fence, they set a plan in motion to expose the mole and the real ringleader.



Jack Smight said he wanted to cast Denzel Washington but Cannon were not interested. He says the film "never saw the light of day."[3]


  1. ^ Number One with a Bullet at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Number One with a Bullet". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  3. ^ Myers, JP (March 8, 2018). "This is the story of Director Jack Smight's life in entertainment written by himself". Medium.

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