Legendary for one of the best car chases ever put on film, 1973's THE SEVEN UPS is a worthy unofficial "sequel" of sorts to The French Connection.
Directed by French Connection's producer Philip D'Antoni, it has a lot of the same gritty New York street appeal as that film and stars Roy Scheider as Buddy, leader of a tough group of undercover cops that only go after busting criminals whose mandatory sentences will be longer than 7 years.
Almost by accident, Sonny and his team get drawn into an elaborate plan in which two thugs posing as detectives kidnap mobsters and hold them for ransom. As the plot unfolds, Sonny realizes some people very close to him are very deep into the scheme.
About two thirds into the film, Sonny has the chance to catch the thugs responsible after they attack one of his team and the ensuing ten minute car chase is fantastic.
Starting in the boroughs of NYC and flying outside the city with a violent chase ending that makes the conclusion of the chase scenes in Bullitt and French Connection look peaceful by comparison, its a fantastic action sequence.
Scheider appears to be doing a lot of his own driving as Gene Hackman did in "French" and it adds a lot of realism to the screaming tires and crunching metal.
This is a tough, violent seventies cop film that has no problem blurring the lines between cop and criminal in a way that would be very hard to imagine seeing on film in today's overly PC world.
NYC hasn't looked this dirty and rough in years. Don Ellis wraps the whole film in a haunting, somber, dark music score that is spare but powerful.
They rarely make 'em this dark anymore.
The Seven Ups burns rubber to an solid A+ and a nostalgic, gritty seventies parking spot right next to my all-time Top 100. I remember seeing this in the theatre in a double bill with McQueen's "The Getaway". What a one-two punch!!