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The Seven-Ups (1973)

Producer Philip D’Antoni was responsible for two of the most iconic chase films of the 1960s: William Friedkin’s The French Connection (1971) and Peter YatesBullitt (1968) — but as a producer, not a director.

Thus, D’Antoni decided to try his hand at making a film himself, The Seven-Ups (1973), starring Roy Scheider – the only film D’Antoni made as a director – which is uneven as a film, but contains one of the most kinetic and well-executed chase sequences in motion picture history. Some people like it even more than its predecessors.

As Michael Kabel wrote of the film,

“as much as Bullitt presaged and The French Connection ushered in a new era of violent, realistic police procedural movies, 1973′s The Seven-Ups took that gritty baton and ran with it, bringing a depth of character and dramatic pathos to its narrative that, by and large, those earlier films had little interest in developing. A tough and morally complicated story with a deep melancholy at its heart, the film isn’t just a copy or derivative of its predecessors’ more successful tropes (though it shares many of them), it’s also a more mature and well-rounded work of filmmaking. And for those reasons, many will find it a more rewarding viewing experience.”

You may or may not agree with this assessment, but no matter what else you might think, The Seven-Ups is an effective piece of action filmmaking, especially the 10 minute chase scene that highlights the film.

And here it is.

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About the Author

Headshot of Wheeler Winston Dixon Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. All comments by Dixon on this blog are his own opinions.

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Wheeler Winston Dixon has been quoted by Fast Company, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the BBC, CNN, The Christian Science Monitor, US News and World Report, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, The PBS Newshour, USA Today and other national media outlets on digital cinema, film and related topics - see the UNL newsroom at http://news.unl.edu/news-releases/1/ for more details.

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