Across 110th Street (1972)
This violent seventies film jump starts very quickly as 3 men out to make a quick score take down a money exchange between the Harlem mob and the local Italian Mafia. It turns into a bloodbath over a theft of 300K. Not only are cops Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto looking for the killers/thieves but the Mafia has assigned Anthony Franciosa to handle it in their own customary way which involves anything from a savage beating to crucifying a member of the heist gang.
Quinn is an aging cop who has been forced to play second fiddle to rising star detective Yaphet Kotto and it doesn’t sit well with him. Kotto doesn’t like Quinn’s methods of questioning suspects and of course Quinn thinks Kotto is far to soft to get anywhere when results are needed. The film is sprinkled with familiar faces including everyone’s favorite colorful dresser Antonio Fargas from Starsky and Hutch fame as well as Ed Bernard who was a member of Angie Dickinson’s crew on Police Woman. This should come as no surprise as the director of the film Barry Shear would direct episodes of both 70’s cop shows. Quinn also landed a producing credit on the film which is 1 of only 6 throughout his illustrious career. Turning in a very intimidating performance is Anthony Franciosa who borders on the psychotic as he doles out plenty of punishment in order to set an example of what happens when stealing mob money. It’s Franciosa that brings the film it’s edgy appeal especially when his character appears threatening.
The 1970’s offered us a wide range of violent cop films from The French Connection and Dirty Harry to Death Wish and the blaxploitation films such as Shaft and the films of Pam Grier. This one is a bit of a hybrid film between the two as we have Kotto present and the Harlem locations but we have also brought in a heavyweight in the acting profession with Anthony Quinn and a highly respected Franciosa as well. Making an early career appearance in the film as well is baby faced Burt Young. The title song showed up in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown which should come as no surprise if you have followed his output. Should you be a fan of those gritty films of the streets from the seventies or if like me all things with Anthony Quinn must be seen, check it out.