Los Angeles Times:
"Director Bobby Roth captures expertly the escalating tensions that evolve when a
local crusading columnist (Coyote) arrogantly eggs on the unknown killer... Ever the
resourceful craftsman, Roth and his cinematographer, Shelly Johnson, did a good job of
matching establishing shots filmed in Chicago with L.A. area locales. A Craftsman cottage
in South Pasadena passes nicely for a Prairie-style home of the kind found in the Chicago
suburb of Oak Park. Keeper of the City benefits, too, from a fine Leonard
"Coyote has impressed his, shall we say, 'distaste' for the press in the past, so he
undoubtedly enjoys playing a particularly loathsome columnist who believes he is the moral
voice of the city."
"Religious fanaticism, contemporary journalistic integrity, the policeman as
pragmatic realist and woman as the essential survivor are the themes dealt with in this
film. Thanks to exceptionally believable performances by the major players and a competent
script, they are integrated surprisingly well."
"Besides style - Chicago exteriors, cathedral interiors, blue Pontiacs, and a snappy
script by Gerald DiPego that includes a joke about Woody Strode in Spartacus, what Keeper
has going for it is a refreshing insouciance about race relations."
"The story and relationships are thoroughly credible, and the columnist's actions
provide the basis for what should be part of a mandatory class in ethics in journalism
schools. Director Bobby Roth extracts the best from his script and actors, with Gossett,
Coyote and Soutendijk operating at perfect pitch. Also, the camera makes the urban setting
seem fresh and interesting. Keeper is thoughtful, but muscular, rendered with
a quality and originality that eludes so many efforts in this familiar made-for-television
genre... It is rewarding to see an action film carried by quality, not the exhausted
yeomen of nudity, sex and gore."
San Jose Mercury News:
"Keeper of the City is a tautly made and tense police thriller that
gives us not only an intriguing new hero-type in Lt. Dela but also a frighteningly
realistic psychopath in Vince Benedetto...Novelist DiPego has adapted his own book for the
screen, and he handles it well, creating an offbeat thriller with something for everyone
who appreciates the police-procedural genre... Keeper of the City is highly
"Besides featuring some good name actors, it credibly explores its characters,
villains as well as the heroes, and the society they exist in... A scene late in the move
in which Dela assails the newspaper man (Coyote) for validating gunplay and murder in his
overheated columns is powerfully dramatized punctuation of the film's serious purpose... A
good movie, laudable for its capacity to entertain without cynically exploiting its
violent themes. The movies takes on the issue of violence responsibility and with far more
intelligence than most bang-bang box-office hits."
The Hollywood Reporter:
"Good characters, great plot development and an exciting story combine to make
Showtime's original movie presentation of Keeper of the City a true keeper.
It's a well-played and extremely well-made contemporary drama that's high on suspense and
intrigue that works because it uses those elements to propel the story rather than
replacing one... There is profanity and brutality depicted in this film, but it is
delivered with just the right mix to make it real and still palpable. Fans of the genre
will love it."
"At the end Frank realizes
he is part of the problem. He's not only building a career and selling newspapers, he's
promulgating the bypassing of checks and balances that grind slowly. Without it, it's just
chaos... "I'm cranky about the media. Give me a chance to play a guy like Frank, and
I'll jump on it."
Did you know?
Coyote received a CableACE nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Bobby Roth has directed Coyote in four feature films - Heartbreakers, Baja
Oklahoma, The Man Inside and Jack the Dog, plus an
episode in the ABC TV series, The Insiders, called "All This and the Old
The film was shot on location in Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles.
The now-defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner was used for Nordhall's
fictional newspaper, the Chicago Times, and the Ambassador Hotel, the Los
Angeles hotel where Robert F. Kennedy was shot, was used for the Harrison Hotel, site of
the climactic scene."
Coyote Web Site ]