The Big Easy is a crime-drama starring Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin. Quaid is detective Remy McSwain who comes from a long line of relatives who served on the New Orleans police department. McSwain knows the ins and out and the perks of being part of the police department. Ellen Barkin plays assistant district attorney Ann Osborne who is sent to New Orleans to investigate possible corruption within the police department. There have been a series of murders in New Orleans among the mob bosses in the area, but some of the locals have reported that the mob wasn't involved, but the police department was.
McSwain, who is known as a ladies man, is told by the police chief played by Ned Beatty (who will also soon be his father-in-law) to distract the ADA with his charms. There is an instant attraction between the two and McSwain tries his best to convince Osborne that the so-called corruption by the police department is unfounded and untrue, but as he soon finds out, Osborne was right about the NOPD.
McSwain finds himself set up by his fellow officers and being sent to jail for taking a bribe from a local bar in town which complicates the relationship that develops between he and Osborne. Although he gets off, Osborne thinks that McSwain is like his fellow officers; just as corrupt as they are.
McSwain finds out later that two of his best friends in the department and the police chief are part of the corruption taking place. When he decides to join Osborne in the investigation, he not only puts himself in danger, but his friends and family in danger as well. McSwain's brother is mistaken for him and was shot at as he was coming out of his home. McSwain and his fellow corrupt officers have a final showdown at the boating docks which leads to their deaths. The two lovers unite and are married at the end of the film.