Despite fine performances from its lead actors, THE BORDER fails to involve the viewer at more than a perfunctory level. Jack Nicholson is married to Valerie Perrine, a money-hungry shrew who convinces him to take bribes in his job as a border guard in El Paso, where he unwillingly
patrols the US-Mexican border with Harvey Keitel to catch illegal aliens. THE BORDER, like several other films of the early 80s, attempts to deal sympathetically with the plights of the guards and of the Mexicans who want to find employment in the US. However, it fails to tell a coherent tale
under the jumpy direction of Tony Richardson.