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The Seven-Ups

By Sean Axmaker

The Seven-Ups of the title are a hot-dogging special unit of the New York Police Department led by street smart Roy Scheider, who applies unconventional techniques to crack tough cases and nab untouchable criminals. When a pair of police impersonators pulls a series of mob kidnappings, the local hoods get very nervous and Scheider's boys investigate, leading to a squad member's death that turns the case personal. Director Philip D'Antoni previously produced Bullitt and The French Connection and learned the importance of a good car chase: with craftsmanlike efficiency he delivers a textbook example of the inner-city chase, lacking style but chock full of squealing tires, careening cars, fleeing pedestrians, and dynamite crackups. The New York City street shooting and the ever-present street sounds give the film a solid sense of place, and Scheider applies his usual thoughtful intensity as the vengeful cop, but the rest of the cops are woefully undeveloped. Only Tony LoBianco, as Scheider's childhood buddy turned hustler and street snitch, has any real presence next to Scheider. In the pantheon of Super70s cop thrillers, The Seven-Ups ranks below the more vigorous and ambiguous classics like Serpico and The French Connection, but excellent stunt work and gritty action raises it above the pack.

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"I first saw this movie in a hotel room shortly after its release and of course a 100 times on tv since. The story line is poorly put together, things happen for no apparent reason such as the car wash scene with the cop in the trunk. In the first wash scene how did they know the mob guys would show up in a suicide door Lincoln so they could cuff the doors?

Some good acting and being a New Yorker, I appreciate the location shots showing NY as it was when I was 21."

--"New Yak" Mike

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Philip D'Antoni

Stars: Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco

Released: December 14, 1973

Availability: DVD VHS


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