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Across 110th Street (1972)

Cast: Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, more...
Director: Barry Shear, Barry Shear
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Rating:
Studio: MGM
Genre: Manhunt, Cops, Blaxploitation, Quest, Manhunt, Manhunt
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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Synopsis
Across 110th Street is a violent urban thriller about a corrupt, older white cop (Anthony Quinn) and an honest, young African-American cop (Yaphet Kotto) chasing three robbers-cum-murderers who ran away with $300,000 that belonged to the Italian mob. The police must find them before the sadistic Mafia henchman Nick D'Salvio (Anthony Franciosa) reaches them first. The film has reached a cult status; the title song, performed by Bobby Womack, was later used in Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino's extended homage to the crime flicks of the 1970s. ~ Yuri German, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Pimp slaps all others in the "Blaxploitation" genre by Lastcrackerjack May 10, 2006 - 4:18 PM PDT
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1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This effectively pimp slaps every entry in the "Blaxploitation" genre, from "Shaft" to "Coffy" to my sentimental favorite, "The Mack". It doesn't aspire to be a drive-in flick, but succeeds impressively as a strong film in every conceivable category.

The well written story - while violent - focuses on how a brazen robbery ripples through a community over a 24 hour period. Its effects are felt by the disparate robbery crew (Paul Benjamin, Ed Bernard, Antonio Fargas), the cops who investigate, the prostitutes pumped for information, the mob who struggle to retain control over Harlem and by the innocent people caught in the crossfire.

"Across 110th Street" propels forward with impressive momentum, jumping from bars in Harlem to the 27th Precinct to dingy tenements to the rooftops over New York. It doesn't stop for needless exposition or backstory, but manages to give each member of the cast something memorable to do.

The film spends forty minutes at most with the cops. Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto were actors who embodied old school/new school better than any that could have been cast at the time, and are terrific to watch work together.

Paul Benjamin stands out as the leader of the robbery crew, a thief with a soul who didn't want to kill anybody, but isn't going back to life as a janitor either. Anthony Franciosa almost steals the film as the mob boss's prick son-in-law, known to locals as a "punk errand boy", who is put in charge of finding the crew and uses the appointment to seek respect.

Instead of making this a star vehicle for Quinn, the filmmakers document Harlem, including things like kids dropping water balloons on the beat cops at the crime scene. The camera work and editing are also first rate, whether following Quinn through a calamitous precinct house as he calms the nerves of the locals, or cutting from a thug being shoved down an elevator shaft to Benjamin's character waking up in a cold sweat.

Bobby Womack provided the memorable theme song, though the version used during the opening credits of "Jackie Brown" was much funkier than the remix used here. One other highlight of the film is a scene in the 27th Precinct basement, where criminal records are accessed in a 1950s-era filing cabinet and laughably outdated even by 1972 standards.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.62)
39 Votes
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Blaxploitation
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jaxon
Max's Kansas City
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Like the legendary counter culture Manhattan club - Max's Kansas City - the hyper-gritty New York City depicted in these films is fast disappearing, for better and worse, because of changing trends, urban renewal and a constantly evolving skyline.
terryogara

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