The Seven-Ups might not be one of the more well-known crime-dramas that came out of the 70s and although the filmmaking aspects weren’t exactly top-notch when compared to its counterparts, the chase scene alone was worth the admission.
— The Limited Edition Series —
Genre(s): Drama, Crime, Thriller
Twilight Time | PG – 103 min. – $29.95 | March 20, 2018
Date Published: 03/24/2018 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE — 4.0/5
Plot Synopsis: The plot surrounds NYPD Detective Buddy Manucci (ROY SCHEIDER), the leader of a sanctioned renegade faction within the department known as “The Seven-Ups” due to their arrests and convictions result in sentences of 7 years and up. Buddy has a confidential informant, and childhood best friend, Vito Lucia (TONY LO BIANCO), who feeds information from the streets. Unbeknownst to Buddy, Vito is in fact a low-level crime lord and has targeted local crime bosses, perpetrating kidnappings of organized crime officials, which only raises their ire, including Max Kalish (LARRY HAINES), intending on striking back, results in consequences that targets Buddy’s crew.
Review: The Seven-Ups is one of the little known crime-dramas that came out of the 1970s as movies like The French Connection, Dirty Harry, Mean Streets and even Death Wish taking center stage in one fashion or another. I personally had never heard of this film but it sounded like it was right up my alley, and it certainly lived up to it.
The Seven-Ups isn’t exactly a well crafted movie as some of the editing did feel off and the writing never was anything top-notch, and yet the performance from Roy Scheider, who two years prior was in a supporting role to Gene Hackman in The French Connection, was fantastic and a lot of fun in a dark and gritty way.
Adding to the performance, the car chase sequence was absolutely amazing and showcases how it relied on the thrill of the chase versus being aided by some “suspense-filled” score and instead we get to hear the squealing of car wheels in conjunction with Scheider basically saying “Jesus Christ” over and over, plus avoiding the numerous movies where the driver would merely yell “Get out of the way!” or some such nonsense.
In any case, it’s just one finely directed scene that highlighted an already pretty good flick that might not measure up to its 1970s counterparts, or Bullitt a few years prior, but still worth checking out what was a forgotten crime-drama.
The Seven-Ups was helmed by Philip D’Antoni who marked his one and only feature film and more well known as a producer on Bullitt and took home the Academy Award for producing The French Connection. Outside of those two movies, and this one, his career has been limited, with a writing credit on the television series, Movin’ On. His direction isn’t great and probably could’ve used the touch of a William Friedkin, John Badham or Michael Cimino. Still, it was a passable job.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
|This comes with 8-page essay booklet. There’s a fair amount of features here, especially for a Twilight Time release (as of recent anyway).
Audio Commentary – Film Historian Richard Harland Smith, for Turner Classic Movies, provides a well detailed if not tad dry academic track. Still worth listening to for fans of the movie especially since you do get background not only on the movie, but on New York City from the era.
Introduction by Director/Producer Philip D’Antoni (0:10; HD) is a simple, and frankly pointless, intro hoping viewers enjoy it as much as he had making it. Alrighty then.
The Seven-Ups Connection (21:32; HD) is an interview with D’Antoni discussing his career, how he got into filmmaking from Bullitt (which he didn’t like) to The French Connection and ultimately The Seven-Ups where he recounts the various actors.
A Tony Lo Bianco Type (18:07; HD) – This interview with the actor chats about his own career and how he came to the movie.
Real to Reel (24:48; HD) looks at translating real-life cops into cinema from the technical adviser, Randy Jurgensen.
Cut to the Chase (13:51; HD) examines the key car chase sequence and has some more interview footage with D’Antoni, Jurgensen and Bianco on how it was accomplished. Actually includes some behind-the-scenes footage and archival photos. Let’s put it this way: there’s some sh** they did then that would not fly today…
Anatomy of a Chase: Behind the Scenes of the Filming of The Seven-Ups (8:18; SD) features some archive footage and on-set interviews and focuses on the car chase. This honestly was great as I enjoy these older and original featurettes.
Randy Jurgensen’s Scrapbook (2:58; HD) features some archival photos from his personal collection.
Super 8 Version (16:19; SD) is, from my research, was used for collector’s that featured highlights.
Rounding things out are Lobby Cards, Stills and Media Gallery (2:10; HD), the Original Theatrical Trailer (2:18; HD) and the Teaser (1:10; HD).
VIDEO – 4.0/5, AUDIO – 3.75/5
|The Seven-Ups makes its North American debut on Blu-ray through Twilight Time presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Although it’s doubtful this received some major restoration work, I did find this looked pretty good with sharp, well defined, detail and colors do seem to be in keeping with the gritty, 1970s New York City vibe so colors aren’t exactly vibrant. The transfer itself did appear clean, free of any noticeable or apparent dust marks or other flaws.
The included DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track is fine outputting clear dialogue levels from the center channel and there was some modest depth with the different action scenes, culminating with the car chase and the squealing of the car wheels. It’s nothing outstanding, but still mostly notable.
There are also options for the Isolated Music Track and an Isolated Music Track of the Unused Johnny Mandel Score.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, The Seven-Ups might not be one of the more well-known crime-dramas that came out of the 70s and although the filmmaking aspects weren’t exactly top-notch when compared to its counterparts, the chase scene alone was worth the admission adding in a rather imposing performance from Roy Scheider. The Blu-ray release offers up good video/audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus material.