In a world full of crime and sleaze, Burt Reynolds puts in a decent shift as a weary LA cop whose investigation into the death of a call girl makes him reassess his previously laid-back relationship with prostitute girlfriend Catherine Deneuve. Typically hard-boiled, cynical fare from Dirty Dozen director Robert Aldrich.
You can always rely on Robert Aldrich to take the spring out of your step. But this is a director who rarely fails to keep you interested and this exploration of LA's seedy underbelly is a case in point.
Gradually worn down by the crime and misanthropy he sees every day, seasoned cop Gaines (Reynolds) finds his laissez-faire attitude tested by a bereaved father (veteran Ben Johnson) who refuses to believe his estranged daughter committed suicide.
Gaines' partner (Paul Winfield) is forced to agree. As the pair work the case, Gaines finds a trail of corruption that leads back to his girlfriend (Deneuve) - another hooker; high-class, but a hooker none the less.
Unsurprisingly, Gaines begins to take a less accepting attitude to their open relationship.
As bleak, misanthropic and absorbing as a Jim Thompson novel, Hustle occasionally jars everyone from their grim reverie with sharp bursts of violence. But Lethal Weapon this is not.
Look out for the young Robert Englund - the man who would be Freddy Krueger - in an early appearance as a hold-up man.