Saturday, December 11, 2010

1973 - THE SEVEN UPS, sort of a sequel/follow up to The French Connection

The Seven Ups, is an elite team of cops who use "dirty tricks" to "get the job done."  When one of their team gets killed, The Seven Ups goes rogue to get revenge.

The producer Philip D'Antoni and a lot of the same production crew of The French Connection along with the star Roy Scheider are back but everything's a little lame this time, the script really isn't very good, and D'Antoni may be a good producer of 1970's cop films but as a director he leaves a lot to be desired. 

Roy Scheider is again playing his French Connection cop Buddy Russo this time he's called Buddy Manucci.  Scheider looks like a New York cop with the nose and the attitude, but the rest of the cast is a bunch of stereotypes with names like Rocco and Vincenzo.  The Seven Ups used a lot of New York actors however D'Antoni seemed not to know how to keep them under control, there is a lot of hamming it up with typical Italian ethnic stereotypes. 

The selling point with The Seven Ups was a big car chase in the middle of the film.  In the 1970's no self respecting mainstream film could be released without cars chasing each other around.  As a producer D'Antoni was responsible for starting the trend with Bullitt and The French Connection. The Seven Ups has an exciting chase which is also kind of lame.  The streets are a little empty and in a couple of shots you can see roped off areas with people standing around watching the filming.  One scene has lots of skid marks on the road where the stunt driver had clearly been practicing. 

After all this commotion Scheider's car rams into the back of a semi, which is a pretty impressive stunt.  Incredibly, the only injury Scheider receives is a bloody nose. 

The Seven Ups looks like it was mostly filmed on location, it does have the authentic grimy New York City look.  It also looks like it was filmed in late fall or early winter and it looks mighty cold.  The Seven Ups is worth a look for the car chase which back in the good old days was done with real cars and real drivers.

103 minutes.

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