Thursday, March 28, 2019


A recent TCM-er that I happened to catch on Bill Shute's advice, McQ's got alla the same big blasts that made mid-seventies moom pitcher viewing so boff. Loadsa action, heavy-duty violence, a wild car chase, tension, general chaos. No bared suckems tho. Like you'd see that in a John Wayne moom pitcher.

McQ looks like he shoulda been collecting his pension for a good decade or so but wha' th' hey as the guy rages on in this "gritty urban crime drama" as they usedta call 'em doin' the ol' vendetta bit like it's never been bitten before. The moom starts off fine what with this guy drivin' 'round shootin' policemen before he gets a good 'un right inna back. The biggest surprise about it is that this guy turns out to be none other'n McQ's partner. Naturally Our Hero goes on a rampage tryin' to find the badskis who did 'im in, at first going after the local bigtime drug supplier Santiago before discovering that the real root of the whole deal was a corrupt narcotics division who was pilfering confiscated goodies and sellin' 'em back onna street! Wayne's partner included 'n boy does that throw him for a loop!

In between alla the hoopla McQ has to put up with his irritating play-it-straight boss played by Eddie Albert who does it so stuck up to the point where he woulda been run outta Hooterville on a rail. Things get so bad for McQ due to Albert (who wants the guy outta the way and confines him to desk duty) that the guy actually does the right thing, quits the force and handles it all on his lonesome with none of them rules that these moom pitcher cops inna seventies never followed anyway. There's also the cop widow played by Diana Muldair who you kinda think woulda been set up for a role that woulda led to a heavy duty bedroom scene with The Duke but it turns out she's just as deep inna turds as all of the other nogoodniks. And who'd wanna ball that? And, in a rather needless cameo scene that coulda been worked a whole lot differently, Julie Adams play's McQ's ex whose zillionaire hubby gladly gives the guy a huge load of moolah for him to pay off the local pimp for important info. Sorta like a high-stakes PETER GUNN so to speak.

'n like, who can forget the REAL GUEST STAR of this flick, that cannon of a gun that makes Lucas McCain's rifle look like a prostate-inhibited pee. One pull of that trigger could knock out the entire seventh grade class 'n I'll bet ya wish ya had one to mow down alla 'em enemies that still plague ya even this late inna game. Tell ya what, if """""I""""" was in possession of one you could bet that places like Simi Valley and Melbourne would have been laid to waste long ago!

'n with some pretty downhome cool scenes like the one where Wayne belts this loudmouth hippie or escapes from the hospital while the stoopid nurse is rattling on about somethingorother totally oblivious to the reality of it all ya know yer gonna be in for a hotcha time. And if you went for everything cop-related from the DIRTY HARRY mooms to THE NEW CENTURIONS and THE SEVEN UPS to THE FRENCH CONNECTION and all those seventies tee-vee series featuring them men in blue you'll probably get a bigger kick outta this'n you would any Marlo Thomas film that was ever created. Next stop, BRANNIGAN.

1 comment:

Bill S. said...

Glad you enjoyed this.

There's nothing like the experience of seeing John Wayne strutting down a grimy and threatening urban street while hearing 70's "cop show funk" with scratch guitar pumping away in the background.

If I had my own Alamo Drafthouse-style theater where I could book whatever I wanted and not worry that only 6 people would come to my theater, and half of them would be family and friends, I would book a double bill of 70's Wayne crime films, McQ and BRANNIGAN.

I actually saw both of these Wayne cop films theatrically when they were out, and in the post-Death Wish, post-Walking Tall world of 1974-75, the audience was hooting and cheering and stamping their feet (even fist-pumping, even though it was in a darkened theater!) every time The Duke kicked someone's ass, chewed out someone, or fired his gun. These also played the drive-in circuit, at least in Denver, back then, and I remember cars being lined up on the street for one of these at the drive-in in my neighborhood!

I wish The Duke had made more of these police films. I could watch him manhandle and threaten sleazy punks all day!

Bill S.