Friday, November 30, 2012

"The Seven-Ups" with Roy Scheider (1973)

A terse police drama set against the backdrop of New York in the early 1970’s, “The Seven-Ups” is the story of an elite police anti-crime unit in the days before cell phones. Roy Scheider plays Detective “Buddy”, who, along with partners Mingo, Barilli and Ansel, comprise the special unit who wage a war against everyone in their path, and rack up some good “collars” in the bargain. (These characters have no last names except for the cryptic “Seven-Up” which is used to describe the minimum sentences each of the crooks will receive if found guilty of their crimes.)

While battling a counterfeit money laundering scheme, they inadvertently stumble upon a plot by one of their informants to kidnap, and hold for ransom, some of the city’s biggest loan sharks. The kidnappings are done by men in police uniform, who pose as cops and get the loan sharks to accompany them to “headquarters.” When one of the “seven –ups” is killed after being “outed” as an undercover officer, suspicion quickly falls upon the team itself as the source of the fatal leak.
Beautiful scenes of New York before it got cleaned up in the 1980’s; and a hair raising car chase through the city’s streets; round out this thriller. Victor Arnold, as Barilli; Jerry Leon as Mingo; and Ken Kercheval as Ansel; all give realistic performances in this story by Sonny Grosso, adapted for the screen by Albert Ruben and Alexander Jacobs.  Careful direction by Philip D'Antoni keep this film rolling without letting the plot become overly complicated.

No comments:

Post a Comment