The Seven-Ups Philip D'Antoni

Someone in New York is kidnapping gangsters and ransoming them off. Buddy Manuchi (Roy Scheider), who leads a group of policeman nicknamed the Seven-Ups, discovers it while investigating businessman Max Kalish (Larry Haines). With the aid of his men and his childhood-friend-turned-informant Vito Lucia (Tony Lo Bianco), he begins to close in on the kidnappers (Richard Lynch and stunt-driver Bill Hickman). However, the problem may lie closer to home than Manuchi anticipates. Director D’Antoni’s action-melodrama seems to exist in Sam Peckinpah’s discontinuous universe, where attention to narrative and character structure are neglected in place of tonal intensity. That this is D’Antoni’s only directorial credit is a shame. His other work, as producer of Bullitt and The French Connection, brings to this movie the promise of an outstanding car chase. With that sequence, which took four weeks to film, D’Antoni achieves a supreme demonstration of craft, where stunt-driven cars obstructing city roadways become an extension of the film’s emotional landscape. Though the film lacks the severity of The French Connection’s class consciousness, it stands on its own as a strong police procedural with universal values of trust and brotherhood. Fox’s reissue looks great and the only extra feature, a contemporaneous featurette entitled "The Anatomy of a Chase,” is great entertainment. (Fox)