Pride and Glory by Gavin and Gregory O'Connor

New Line/Warner will release their new policier, “Pride and Glory,” on October 24, 2008.

All in the Family

The sons of a New York City cop, director and screenwriter Gavin O'Connor and his twin brother, producer Gregory O'Connor, possess a special understanding of the family ties–both personal and professional–that bind police officers. In creating “Pride and Glory,” Gavin O'Connor offers, “I wanted to tell a story about the New York City Police Department and examine the alternative universe in which they exist. I also wanted to tell a story about family. As the son of a cop who had a deep sense of loyalty to his fellow police officers, I understood the internal conflicts my father struggled with. It was one way or the other; there was no in-between.”

Sons of Cops Become Cops

Gregory O'Connor adds, “On some level, we've always wanted to be part of that world, maybe because a lot of sons of cops become cops and, obviously, we never did. But we grew up with it and it's a part of who we are, so maybe this was a way for us to live in it vicariously for a time.”

Morality Tale

Edward Norton stars in the film as NYPD Detective Ray Tierney, whose investigation of a police homicide involving his own family becomes a serious test of loyalty. There are no easy answers and whatever choice he makes will inevitably hurt the people Ray loves most. “I thought the story had an interesting morality tale at its heart,” Norton says. “It is about people confronting the necessity of telling the truth, and the difficulty of doing that at times. Ray's core dilemma was a compelling one–having to decide between family loyalties and institutional loyalties, between the law and a kind of higher law. Without offering any judgments, it's a fascinating dilemma for someone to have to confront. The main question that is raised is what is the tipping point When is he no longer going to stand for things he knows are not right When does he reach that moment when the scales tip in favor of telling the truth, despite the cost and the pain to his own family”

Both Sides of the Law

Colin Farrell stars as Ray's brother-in-law, Jimmy Egan, who straddles a dangerous line as a cop working both sides of the law and whose actions set the story in motion. The actor says he can understand the frustration of cops who “are fighting an uphill battle. There's always going to be drugs, there's always going to be violent crimes, and there's always going to be criminals. And there's always going to be police who are getting paid not a lot of money to put their lives on the line every day. I would imagine that if I were a police officer, it would get very frustrating to bust someone one day, and a week later they're out on the street doing the same damn thing. That is part of the reason Jimmy does what he does.”

Good People Doing Terrible Things

“There are many examples of good people who do really terrible things in the name of an institution,” Greg O'Connor asserts. “The institution itself is not evil, but by virtue of trying to protect its own, the people within are capable of bad things, even if it is ostensibly for the right reasons.”

Rampant Corruption

Gavin O'Connor emphasizes that, despite the characters and setting of “Pride and Glory,” the police have no monopoly on closing ranks against those on the outside, especially in the face of corruption. He notes there have been many examples in major institutions apart from law enforcement, including those in governments and big business. “Institutions often define their own rules. I wanted to use the police department as a metaphor to explore that idea,” he explains.

“Growing up, we always heard about the 'blue wall of silence.' I wanted to explore the idea of that impenetrable code of honor between cops, and how words like pride and glory can be used to co-opt a good cop into participating in things he knows aren't right. They say 'cops bleed blue,' because they have their own blood ties. But outside of that blue wall, within their own families, they bleed red. If those two entities clashed, what would happen Where would your loyalties lie That was the genesis of the story.”

Consultant Detective Robert Hopes

The O'Connor brothers worked with retired New York City Detective Robert Hopes to craft the story of “Pride and Glory.” Hopes also served as an associate producer and technical consultant on the film, noting, “Gavin wanted it to be authentic. He wanted the terminology and the look to be right on the mark.”

Gavin then collaborated with his friend Joe Carnahan, the writer-director of such films as “Narc” and “Smokin' Aces,” to write the screenplay about a multi-generational cop family who become embroiled in a murder/corruption scandal that rocks the entire New York City Police Department.