Friday, December 18, 2009

Acroos 110th Street (1972)

Director: Barry Shear

This is a film I have watched before but had been wanting to revisit. I had fond memories of it and thankfully it holds up exceptionally well. Although Shear and the rest of the production crew were mainly television veterans, this is a masterful example of crime cinema. It's tense from beginning to end, appropriately brutal, and has a tight script with sharp dialog. The story starts with a mob number's bank being robbed by three guys. Things go wrong and they kill five criminals and two cops in the getaway. The mob then sends Anthony Franciosa to find the robbers and the police send in Anthony Quinn (the aging vet) & Yaphet Kotto (the up and comer). The movie also takes on an interesting social context here as Kotto has trouble getting respect from his peers because he is black and a hard time with the community because he's a cop. Paul Benjamin gives an excellently seething performance as the lead robber whose speech to his girlfriend is a shockingly honest take on the nature of crime. This is a movie that deserves to be more well known.


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