The Seven-Ups (1973)

Philip D’Antoni directs Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco and Bill Hickman in this cop thriller were a tough unit of NYPD detectives uncover a kidnapping ring who focus on wealthy mob bosses

If you like car chases then this is the retro-flick for you. At the centre of the hard and gritty The Seven-Ups is a full reel car chase weaving around real New York traffic. The brief was clearly “Top The French Connection!” and this is definitely on a par. The story around it is pretty standard tough cop stuff. Scheider stands around on street corners in lovely winter coats, gets balled out by superiors with a resigned “Go fuck yourself” on his face and masters shoot-outs with convincing panache. He’s a great Seventies movie star – wryly humorous and emanating intelligence. The cinematic storytelling is abysmal though. The plot jerks forward and lurches off into subplots with no flow. You constantly feel left adrift in the first half, only really understanding who is who, what is what and why is why after scenes have finished. It boils down to a pretty simple story with lots of cliches but why the tale is spaffed out in such obtuse clunks is anyone’s guess?
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