(director: Philip D’Antoni; screenwriters: Albert Ruben/Alexander Jacobs/ based on a story by Sonny Grosso; cinematographer: Urs Furrer; editors: Jerry Greenberg/John C. Horger/Stephen A. Rotter ; music: Don Ellis; cast: Roy Scheider (Buddy Manucci-Seven-Up), Tony Lo Blanco (Vito Lucia-informer), Ken Kercheval (Ansel – Seven-Up), Jerry Leon (Mingo – Seven-Up), Victor Arnold (Barilli – Seven-Up), Larry Haines (Max Kalish), Richard Lynch (Moon), Bill Hickman (Bo), Joe Spinell (Toredano); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Kenneth Utt/Barry J. Weitz/Philip D’Antoni; Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment; 1980)
“The plot is skimpy, but the action is generous.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This is the only time Philip D’Antonidirected a film. He was producer of the superior action pics The French Connection and Bullitt. This film was considered the unofficial sequel to The French Connection. Writers Albert Ruben and Alexander Jacobs base the police drama on a story by Sonny Grosso. A group of maverick NYPD detectives– Buddy Manucci (Roy Scheider), Ansel (Ken Kercheval), Mingo (Jerry Leon) and Barilli (Victor Arnold) — call themselves the Seven-Ups because their task force only goes after criminals who served at least a seven year stretch. The detective leader is Buddy, who gets leads from the informer Vito (Tony Lo Blanco ). He’s Buddy’s childhood pal. The plot, which lacks suspense, has a number of major crime figures kidnaped and held for ransom with the kidnapers posing as detectives. Buddy discovers his informer has double-crossed him by using the cop’s secret list of Mob loan sharks to kidnap the crooks on the list and hold them for ransom. It results in the death of Ansel, which turns the task force team against the sly snitch. The plot is skimpy, but the action is generous. There’s also a great car chase scene along the Hudson River.
REVIEWED ON 6/5/2016 GRADE: B