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 Yates‘ Bullitt (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 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.