Badge 373 (1973) is a English movie. Howard W. Koch has directed this movie. Robert Duvall,Verna Bloom,Henry Darrow,Eddie Egan are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1973. Badge 373 (1973) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama,Thriller movie in India and around the world.
After a suspended New York City cop's ex-partner is murdered, he vows to clean up the streets.
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As long as there are criminals, films will be made about their exploits.. Though what we call "a gangster film" in the 1970's bears little resemblance to the classics of the 1930's, it is still a film about big-time criminals and organized crime Only the baddies have been changed to assist identification "Badge 373" is a case in point It is a simple story, based on the exploits of Eddie Egan, a real New York policeman who also, for good measure, plays a part in the film Ryan, a New York detective, is suspended for causing the death of a Puerto Rican dope runner Taking a job as a bartender, he learns that his old partner on the force has been killed Then, with the law against him because he is no longer a policeman, and harassed also by the villains, he sets out to avenge his friend's murder The twist is that these villains are no longer liquor and heroin smugglers, big-time gamblers or bank robbers They are Puerto Ricans Some of them are men who seek to foment a revolution on their island; others, led by a sinister figure in dark glasses called Sweet William, are the crooked element who will supply the necessary guns and ammunition Ryan, played by Robert Duvall, wages his own solitary war against both parties It's a rough, tough and ruthless film, in which Duvall is as brutal as his adversaries; towards the end, he callously chops down a night watchman in order to gain entrance to the Brooklyn docks In fact, it is very difficult to have sympathy for any of the characters in "Badge 373." Perhaps this is intentional Perhaps cinema audiences of the future will not require to identify sympathetically with the characters they watch Certainly, this was true in "The French Connection." No one could deny that it is a tremendously exciting film ... but could anyone have a feeling of sympathetic identification with the central cop character? Gene Hackman stirred the blood, but it was difficult to be concerned about whether he lived or died
There is only a certain window of time (around the late 60s to the early 80s) that a police film of this type would have been made with the kind of gritty, deliberately ugly, murky, downbeat sort of verisimilitude that's on display here. Before that, studio craftsmanship and censors would have prevented it and after that the gaudy style of the 80s and then the refusal to accept "under the top" action and effects made it impossible. Here, Duvall plays a paunchy, tough, New York City police detective who is suspended following the questionable death of a suspect who fell from the top of a building during a drug raid. Soon after, his partner is killed and, despite not officially being on the force, Duvall sets out to determine who has murdered the man, who may or may not have been on the take. His investigation takes him into a world of revolutionary Puerto Ricans who are interested in rising up against the oppression of their "rulers," the United States. Meanwhile, his new lady love Bloom is having trouble accepting the dangerous, rough and tumble lifestyle of Duvall. With the occasional aid of his superior Egan (whose real life exploits as a cop provided the basis for this and other stories), Duvall winds his way through a minefield of murder, hate, gunrunning and racial unrest (with antihero Duvall himself portrayed as intolerant of Hispanics and pretty much any other minority.) Duvall, gut on display and frequently disheveled, is excellent in his portrayal of this common, insensitive, driven man. It's a warts and all performance in which he lets loose with any variety of foul language and slurs with little regard for his own vanity. Nonetheless, the audience is on his side because the enemy kills anyone who takes his part. Bloom hasn't got a large role and it isn't really a rewarding one, but she manages to make the most of it. Darrow makes a late film appearance as a criminal kingpin and, for some reason and to his detriment, wears dark glasses for 98% of his screen time, day or night. Egan is hardly a stunning actor, but does help in the way of authenticity as he sprang from this environment prior to working in films. Few other performers make a particular impact as the film is mostly concerned with Duvall and his quest through the mire of a dank NYC, though fans of "The Electric Company" may be interested in seeing Avalos as an arrestee trade epithets with Duvall. The city as presented here mirrors the dreary, dirty New York of so many movies from this era, something that prompted the city to reinvent itself as much as possible and take a turn towards a cleaner and more user-friendly town. Enough can't be said of the bleak, drab atmosphere (offset by the sunny and green surroundings of a cabin that Duvall retreats to after being assaulted.) There's a set piece, involving a wild chase in which Duvall commandeers a public bus in order to escape a gang of thugs, which is audacious and realistic at the same time. The same type of scene would today be shot with frantic editing, overwhelming speed and lots more destruction, though it's far more believable the old way. The script is riddled with (now) politically incorrect putdowns and plentiful foul language (kudos to TCM for recently airing the film unedited, albeit overnight!), which may offend some viewers, but American films were enjoying a new freedom in those and other areas and the envelope was forever being pushed. Hardly a perfect film, it is at least a thought-provoking one. There is a rally included in which real-life activist Luciano presents a diatribe against Puerto Rican oppression and raises some interesting questions (it's a shame, though, that so many people portraying Puerto Ricans in this movie keep pronouncing it the incorrect "Porto" Rico, which is jarring to those who know better.)
This film is over 30 years old,its attitudes are disgracefully non - PC. That is a given.It's not like today when everybody loves one another and we all live in harmony in a Rainbow Nation and all creeds and races co - exist in an atmosphere of mutual respect.Well,don't they? Things aren't a lot different in 2006,it's just that Hollywood likes to make us think they are.I'm not saying for a minute that it's right that things have barely changed in 30 years,but no amount of wishing will make it so.Professional criminals still hide their activities behind the poor and disenfranchised of their own communities,ferment trouble for their own advantage and cops like Eddie Ryan still hate them bitterly for doing it.Laws meant to protect the weak and vulnerable still shelter the cruel and ruthless.If Eddie Ryan,like Harry Callaghan before him,feels like chucking in his badge then he cannot altogether be blamed.Not that he gets a chance as his bosses pre-empt him. Clearly certain members of the Hispanic community are not shown in an exceptionally positive light in "Badge 373" and Mr Ryan is a baad baaad man,homophobic,racist,sexist and probably several other ists as well.but he does not exist in a vacuum,he merely reflects the society he lives in.I would suggest that a significant proportion of the population held attitudes not a thousand miles away from his and considered them to be perfectly acceptable. So here we are in 2006 tsk tsking about a film that shows a society whose views we don't approve of.They were times of social unrest,when there appeared to be a real threat to the status quo.Criminals took advantage of the turmoil and it was difficult to tell the man with a grievance from the man with a gun. "Badge 373" occupies quite an important position in the "Cop Movie" pantheon.It has obvious similarities to "The French Connection" but lacks TFC's sheer energy and inventiveness.It broke new ground in showing the cop / hero as a distinctly unpleasant person - something "The Shield" has made a virtue of.Your cop could now be dirty(Dirty Harry wasn't actually "dirty" was he),unprepossessing,inarticulate and amoral.Mr Robert Duval created a pugnacious objectionable ignorant cop we aren't supposed to admire,but one that we can believe in.He has been corrupted by the world he moves in and works by its rules,not those of respectable society.He is a wreck of a man,like "The Bad Lieutenant". "Badge 373"'s influence reaches a long way,you can't make a cop movie today without at least sub-consciously referring to it. It may look a bit cheap and shoddy by today's mega-budget standards and much of it may seem familiar,but remember you are looking at it from the wrong end of time's telescope.
Badge 373 is an excellent movie that features Duvall at his best. He's better in this outing than he was in Let's Get Harry and Falling Down, which were also, arguably, some of Duvall's best works (that some could say were ruined by bad direction and a bad supporting cast). Not this time, though! The writing and direction are brilliant. The pace is a little bit too slow for an early 70s "cop" flick, but it's still above-average and a good find. Check it out and be amazed.
Possibly THE most neglected movie of the 70s, BADGE 373 is, simply, the greatest movie ever made!!! Witty dialogue, excellent action scenes, touching characterization and a shatting climax. Do what ever you can to see BADGE 373...unstoppable!!!