The Seven-Ups (1973)
By: Paul Ryan on June 7, 2011  | 
DVD
Bounty Entertainment | Region 4, PAL | 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 99 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Philip D'Antoni
Starring: Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Larry Haines, Victor Arnold, Richard Lynch, Joe Spinell
Screenplay: Albert Ruben, Alexander Jacobs
Country: USA
External Links
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Buddy Mannucci (Roy Scheider) leads a crack squad of New York detectives, nicknamed "The Seven-Ups" thanks to their collars routinely landing sentences of seven years or more. Mannucci and his squad are relentless in their pursuit of criminals, and have little time for issues of civil liberties and search warrants. His colleagues, Barilli (Victor Arnold), Mingo (Jerry Leon), and Ansel (Ken Kercheval) are dedicated, loyal and highly proficient. Though risking countless lawsuits in the process, they get results. The team's resolve, however, is put to the ultimate test when thugs start kidnapping mobsters for money, and one of Mannucci's men is killed during the investigation. In getting justice for their colleague (to say nothing of preventing a possible mob war), the Seven-Ups will stop at absolutely nothing.

Utilising a number of hands from the box-office smash The French Connection (Scheider, Lo Bianco, producer - and this time out, director - Philip D'Antoni, technical advisor Sonny Grosso, to name but four), The Seven-Ups is good, gritty action fare. Based on a story by Grosso (the real-life inspiration for Scheider's French Connection character), there's a ring of authenticity in the vein of other seventies police thrillers. D'Antoni, in his only film as director, shows a keen eye for local colour, and makes extensive use of NYC locations, giving a great sense of time and place to the film. The action centrepiece of the film is a city-to-country car chase, which is one of the most exciting put to film. A marvel of fine-tuned staging, editing and camerawork, it's a real rip-snorter, ending with such force that you'll feel like you've lost a couple of teeth as result.

There's a great cast of character actors on display here. Scheider, in one of his first Hollywood leads, anchors the film with a tough, charismatic performance. There's some fine work from Lo Bianco, Haines and Kercheval (later of Dallas), while eternal B-movie bad guys Richard Lynch and – in a small but memorable role - Joe Spinnel are used to good advantage. Though not as highly regarded as many of it's contemporaries, The Seven-Ups deserves a look.
Video
Barring some minor blemishes, the anamorphic video transfer is excellent. The film inevitably looks of its era but the print is largely pristine. No subtitles are included.
Audio
Mono, which is just fine.
Extra Features
No extras here. The Optimum R2 release only contains a theatrical trailer, while the R1 from 20th Century Fox has the trailer, a teaser and an eight-minute "Anatomy of a Chase" featurette. The featurette is indeed missed – as I said before, that chase is nothing short of brilliant – but probably not enough to justify an import.
The Verdict
No classic, but eminently watchable, The Seven-Ups is an engrossing and often quite exciting thriller, and has been long overdue a Region 4 DVD release. The lack of bonus material is a shame, but the fine transfer and low RRP ($14.95) make up for this.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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