Film Review – SUDDEN IMPACT (1983)

Image result for sudden impact 1983SUDDEN IMPACT (USA, 1983) ***
      Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures; Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures / The Malpaso Company; Release Date: 8 December 1983 (USA), 27 January 1984 (UK); Filming Dates: 3 May 1983; Running Time: 117m; Colour: Technicolor; Sound Mix: Mono | Dolby Digital (5.1); Film Format: 35mm; Film Process: Panavision; Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1; BBFC Cert: 18.
      Director: Clint Eastwood; Writer: Joseph Stinson (based on a story by Earl E. Smith & Charles B. Pierce and characters created by Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink); Executive Producer: Fritz Manes; Producer: Clint Eastwood; Associate Producer: Steve Perry; Director of Photography: Bruce Surtees; Music Composer: Lalo Schifrin; Film Editor: Joel Cox; Casting Director: Marion Dougherty; Production Designer: Edward C. Carfagno; Set Decorator: Ernie Bishop; Costumes: Glenn Wright; Make-up: Barbara Guedel; Sound: Bub Asman, Alan Robert Murray, Donald F. Johnson; Special Effects: Chuck Gaspar.
      Cast: Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan), Sondra Locke (Jennifer Spencer), Pat Hingle (Chief Jannings), Bradford Dillman (Captain Briggs), Paul Drake (Mick), Audrie Neenan (Ray Parkins), Jack Thibeau (Kruger), Michael Currie (Lt. Donnelly), Albert Popwell (Horace King), Mark Keyloun (Officer Bennett), Kevyn Major Howard (Hawkins), Bette Ford (Leah), Nancy Parsons (Mrs. Kruger), Joe Bellan (Burly Detective), Wendell Wellman (Tyrone), Mara Corday (Loretta – Coffee Shop Waitress), Russ McCubbin (Eddie), Robert Sutton (Carl), Nancy Fish (Historical Society Woman), Carmen Argenziano (D’Ambrosia), Lisa Britt (Elizabeth), Bill Reddick (Police Commissioner), Lois De Banzie (Judge), Matthew Child (Alby), Mike Johnson (Assassin), Nick Dimitri (Assassin), Michael Maurer (George Wilburn), Pat DuVal (Bailiff), Christian Phillips (Hawkin’s Crony), Steven Kravitz (Hawkin’s Crony), Dennis Royston (Young Guy), Melvin Thompson (Young Guy), Jophery C. Brown (Young Guy), William Upton (Young Guy), Lloyd Nelson (Desk Sergeant), Christopher Pray (Detective Jacobs), James McEachin (Detective Barnes), Maria Lynch (Hostess), Ken Lee (Loomis), Morgan Upton (Bartender), John X. Heart (Uniform Policeman), David Gonzales (Gang Member), Albert Martinez (Gang Member), David Rivers (Gang Member), Robert Rivers (Gang Member), Harry Demopoulos (Dr. Barton), Lisa London (Young Hooker), Tom Spratley (Senior Man), Eileen Wiggins (Hysterical Female Customer), John Nowak (Bank Robber).
      Synopsis: A rape victim is taking revenge on her aggressors in a small town outside San Francisco. Inspector Harry Callahan (Eastwood), on suspension for angering his superiors (again), is assigned to the case.
      Comment: Fourth DIRTY HARRY film is heavy-handed, but entertaining nonetheless. The action has become more violent and cartoonish with the set pieces also increasingly formulaic, but Eastwood’s screen presence is more than enough to carry the movie. Eastwood directs efficiently and the only real weakness is a by-the-numbers script. Locke gives a good portrayal of the victim exacting revenge on her attackers.
      Notes: The screenplay was originally written for a non-Dirty Harry film with Sondra Locke. However, the script, by Earl E. Smith and Charles B. Pierce, was later re-written by Joseph Stinson into this Dirty Harry movie. Fourth in the series following DIRTY HARRY (1971), MAGNUM FORCE (1973) and THE ENFORCER (1976) and followed by THE DEAD POOL (1989).

Film Review – THE GAUNTLET (1977)

Image result for the gauntlet 1977THE GAUNTLET (USA, 1977) ***
      Distributor: Warner Bros. (USA), Columbia-Warner Distributors (UK); Production Company: Warner Bros / The Malpaso Company; Release Date: 21 December 1977 (USA), 22 December 1977 (UK); Filming Dates: 4 April – June 1977; Running Time: 109m; Colour: DeLuxe; Sound Mix: 4-Track Stereo; Film Format: 35mm; Film Process: Panavision (anamorphic); Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1; BBFC Cert: 18.
      Director: Clint Eastwood; Writer: Michael Butler, Dennis Shryack; Producer: Robert Daley; Associate Producer: Fritz Manes; Director of Photography: Rexford L. Metz; Music Composer: Jerry Fielding; Film Editor: Joel Cox, Ferris Webster; Art Director: Allen E. Smith; Set Decorator: Ira Bates; Costumes: Glenn Wright; Make-up: Don Schoenfeld; Sound: Bert Hallberg; Special Effects: Chuck Gaspar.
      Cast: Clint Eastwood (Ben Shockley), Sondra Locke (Gus Mally), Pat Hingle (Josephson), William Prince (Blakelock), Bill McKinney (Constable), Michael Cavanaugh (Feyderspiel), Carole Cook (Waitress), Mara Corday (Jail Matron), Doug McGrath (Bookie), Jeff Morris (Desk Sergeant), Samantha Doane (Biker), Roy Jenson (Biker), Dan Vadis (Biker), Carver Barnes (Bus Driver), Robert Barrett (Paramedic), Teddy Bear (Lieutenant), Mildred Brion (Old Lady on Bus), Ron Chapman (Veteran Cop), Don Circle (Bus Clerk), James W. Gavin (Helicopter Pilot), Thomas H. Friedkin (Helicopter Pilot), Darwin Lamb (Police Captain), Roger Lowe (Paramedic Driver), Fritz Manes (Helicopter Gunman), John Quiroga (Cab Driver), Josef Rainer (Rookie Cop), Art Rimdzius (Judge), Al Silvani (Police Sergeant).
      Synopsis: A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won’t make it into town alive.
      Comment: Preposterous, ludicrous, but entertaining if taken in the right spirit and you are willing to condone its black humour as well as ignore the numerous plot holes. The movie must have set the record for the most gunshots on film. Eastwood and Locke make for a sparky team of misfits brought together by fate and a desire for the villains to remove them both from the scene. A long chase ensues with cartoon violent action sequences and barbed dialogue keeping things interesting. It’s hard not to smile at the absurdities or be impressed by Locke’s confident performance and Eastwood’s atypical dim-witted detective.
      Notes: The premise was reworked as the Bruce Willis vehicle 16 BLOCKS (2006).

Film Review – HANG ‘EM HIGH (1968)

Image result for hang em high 1968Hang ‘Em High (1968; USA; DeLuxe; 114m) ***  d. Ted Post; w. Leonard Freeman, Mel Goldberg; ph. Richard H. Kline, Leonard J. South; m. Dominic Frontiere.  Cast: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Ed Begley, Pat Hingle, James MacArthur, Arlene Golonka, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper, Ruth White, Ben Johnson, Charles McGraw, Alan Hale Jr., James Westerfield, L.Q. Jones, Joseph Sirola. When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice. Well-meaning morality tale doesn’t always hit the right notes after an engrossing opening. The tale meanders to a conclusion that isn’t. Issues are left unresolved, which may have been the intended message but leaves the viewer feeling unfulfilled. Eastwood looks comfortable in the lead and Hingle adequately conveys the pressures of the hanging judge. Stevens completes a trio of characters scarred either mentally or physically. Frontiere’s overly melodramatic score is often at odds with the complexity of the material. A flawed but worthy effort. The first film produced by Eastwood’s Malpaso Company. [18]

Film Review – THE PRICE OF JUSTICE (TV) (1989)

Image result for kojak the price of justicePrice of Justice, The (TV) (1987; USA; Technicolor; 95m) **½  d. Alan Metzger; w. Albert Ruben; ph. Victor J. Kemper; m. Patrick Williams.  Cast: Telly Savalas, Kate Nelligan, Pat Hingle, Jack Thompson, Brian Murray, John Bedford Lloyd, Jeffrey DeMunn, Tony DiBenedetto, Ron Frazier, Stephen Joyce. When the bodies of two young boys are discovered in a Harlem river, their mother is the obvious suspect, particularly with her scandalous past. But Kojak believes that she is innocent. This did she/didn’t she mystery never really catches fire and is little more than a routine addition to the Kojak series. Savalas, here lacking his support cast from the series, gives a subdued performance but Nelligan conveys effectively the confused emotional state of the mother. Hingle and Thompson are good in support, but the script is unconvincing.  Based on the novel “The Investigation” by Dorothy Uhnak. [15]

Film Review – SHARKS! (TV) (1975)

Sharks! (TV) (1975; USA; Technicolor; 98m) **½  d. E.W. Swackhamer; w. Lou Shaw, Stephen Lord; ph. Ben Colman; m. Stu Phillips.  Cast: Dennis Weaver, J. D. Cannon, Terry Carter, Christopher George, Lynda Day George, A Martinez, Dick Haymes, Herb Jefferson, Jr., Pat Hingle. McCloud disobeys a lieutenant to investigate a loan shark he suspects of murder. Good use of NYC locations in this McCloud entry. Story runs out of steam in its final act with protracted plane chase, but Weaver’s easy-going charm and a strong cast make the most of the routine situations. [PG]