The Big Easy says a lot about the peculiar problems and exhilarations which are the daily fare of law enforcement officers. Dennis Quaid is Lieutenant Remy McSwain, a smart, tough, and proud New Orleans cop from a long line of policemen. Like his familial predecessors and most of his peers, he receives pay-offs, the city's long-accepted way of operating with men and women in blue. Then he meets Anne Osborne, depicted colorfully by Ellen Barkin in a smashing performance. She's a no-nonsense, play it by-the-book assistant district attorney from the East who is investigating allegations of police corruption. McSwain manages to seduce the uptight outsider, but she refuses to abandon her mission. The sparks fly in their volatile love affair which is kept heated throughout by director Tim McBride. Veteran cop writer Joseph Wambaugh once commented that "an unlucky policeman's life passes through four phases — cockiness, care, compromise, and despair. The lucky ones don't reach phase four." All of these phases — and perhaps a few more — are convincingly brought to life in The Big Easy, a movie with moral clout and dramatic spunk.