The Onion Field

The Onion Field is a 1979 American neo-noir crime drama film directed by Harold Becker and written by Joseph Wambaugh, based on his 1973 true crime book of the same name. The film stars John Savage, James Woods and Franklyn Seales, as well as Ted Danson in his film debut.


In 1963, LAPD detectives Karl Hettinger and Ian Campbell are kidnapped by criminals Greg Powell and Jimmy "Youngblood" Smith. They are driven to an onion field near Bakersfield, where Campbell is shot and killed before Hettinger narrowly escapes as a cloud passes in front of the moon, plunging the onion field into darkness.