Onion Field, The
The Onion Field is a 1979 feature film that recounts the infamous incident where two plainclothes LAPD officers were kidnapped in the 60’s by criminals during a traffic stop and one officer was subsequently murdered. The movie screenplay was based on the book of the same name written by acclaimed author Joseph Wambaugh, the former LAPD officer whose adapted works included The New Centurions and The Choirboys.
The following weapons were used in the film The Onion Field:
Smith & Wesson Model 14
Both LAPD detectives, Det. Karl Hettinger (John Savage) and Det. Ian Campbell (Ted Danson) carry 6-inch barreled Smith & Wesson Model 14 revolvers in cross-draw holsters. The 6” barrel model 14 was a common LAPD gun during the 50’s and 60’s decades, and even plainclothes officers carried it. In real life, according to Joseph Wambaugh, Detective Campbell carried a model 14 (then known as the “k-38 target masterpiece”), while Det. Hettinger carried a 6”-barrel Colt.
Gregory Powell (James Woods) buys an Astra Constable in a pawn shop for Jimmy “Youngblood” Smith (Franklyn Seales). This is not totally accurate. According to Wambaugh’s book, the gun used by Smith was indeed an Spanish Pistol, but it was a .32 auto Star, not an Astra.
Colt Official Police
Powell uses a Colt Official Police as his personal gun. Some LAPD officers also use this revolver.
Smith & Wesson Model 10
The officer who arrests Powell uses what looks like a 6”-barrel Smith & Wesson Model 10