Customer Reviews

19
4.5 out of 5 stars
Across 110th Street [DVD]
Format: DVDChange
Price:£4.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2007
This incredible film was (mis)sold as a blaxploitation piece when it was released and, unfortunately, the label has stuck. (The US DVD is part of a black collection called "Soul Cinema").

Personally, I love blaxploitation movies for their brazen, unsubtle approach and mostly poor production values, but I can also understand why they do not interest a lot of people. Therein lies the tragedy of this great movie, as it bears very little resemblance to blaxploitation other than the fact that it has black people in it. It's pretty low budget, but it's a far cry from the clumsy and mindless tones of Bucktown, the gratuitous titillation of Coffy or the pounding social vengeance of Black Caesar. Even the better received titles like Shaft are unfair comparisons to this. This is no cheap thrill, this is very finely crafted and brilliantly acted piece of cinema.

Across 110th Street is really one third cop character piece, one third Mafia crime/revenge thriller, and one third (black) social drama. This could've been a very clumsy affair but is pulled off extraordinarily well by virtue of having a fantastic script, restrained, dispassionate, almost detached direction (by a man whose most notable prior achievement was a rather dull episode of Hawaii Five-0) and brilliant performances by a perfectly cast group of actors. Aside from a defining performance by Yaphet Kotto, I won't single them out, I will simply say that this film boasts one of the best ensemble casts I have ever seen.

Not wanting to give too much away, the story involves three men from Harlem who steal $300,000 from the mob and spend the rest of the film evading both them and the police investigating the robbery. The real power of this movie is in its ability to evoke the bleak, grim and depressing world in which the story takes place. There is an anger and cynicism just beneath the surface of this movie which is held back so painfully that it will literally leave you numb for days. Every character here is ugly, hopeless, sad and resigned, but this is never overplayed. The angst never really gets out, and it stays with you long after the credits role.

In my opinion, post-classical Hollywood was American cinema's finest hour. There's a reason it's known as Hollywood's second golden age. What, for me, gives it the edge is that film-makers were suddenly not afraid to present the underbelly of American life - the other side of the American Dream - through real characters that were far from the ideal, wholesome heroes we were used to.

It's interesting that many of the reviews I've read draw so much attention to the violence in this movie. While it is fairly strong, it's hardly abundant and it's never over the top or the least bit gratuitous. There is a very precise and cynical sense of reality, which not only makes the film totally engrossing and believable but also makes it all the more moving as a consequence.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2014
Three friends decide rip off a mafia racket,the heist doesn't go as they expected it to and scores of people are killed including police officers.When the area boss Nick D'Salvio (Anthony Franciosa) hears that the crew got away with 300,000 dollars of his money he's determined to not only find them but to make an example of them.Tensions begin to rise within the black community as there's a deep mistrust of the police and also because Harlem is being controlled by a black gang boss under the guidance of the mafia.As the police start to investigate a code of silence kicks in as the hoods try to intimidate any possible witnesses,a black officer (Yaphet Kotto) is placed in charge of the case and he's forced to work with an old school cop (Anthony Quinn) who doesn't always go by the book.The pair don't get along at first as there's a deep mistrust between them with Kotto questioning Quinn's methods.As their investigation begins to pick up pace a mutual respect grows between them and it becomes a question of who will find the fugitives first,the cops or the mafia's henchmen who are using increasingly brutal methods to garner information that might get their money back.When one of the crew is found and brutally beaten causing him to die the remaining crew members decide that it's time to leave town before suffering the same fate.Some people have unfairly labelled this film as blaxploitation but it's much more than that,in my view it's one of the best films of the 70s,the film grabs you by the throat from the start and rarely lets you up for air.People may say that the violence is too gratuitous but for me it's necessary to convey the films overall tone,which is very bleak.It's superbly shot and moves along at breakneck speed,you can almost feel the desperation of these chancers as they long to escape the grinding poverty of downtown Harlem.The two leads are outstanding as is the whole cast who all excel,the direction is excellent it's guaranteed to have you gripped from start to finish.It never takes the easy way out and is shot in an ultra realistic fashion,you almost feel like you're stood in the same room watching the action unfold.There's also a pulsating soundtrack from the late great Bobby Womack.All that's left to say is see it now,you won't be disappointed.Thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoy the film.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2008
Films like this expose modern crime movies for the frauds they are. 110th Street, like all the best 70s crime films, paces perfectly, utilises excellent characterisation, and applies the violence mostly sparingly, but always bloodily. It avoids all the stomach churning self-awareness and self-obsessiveness that this genre is swamped in these days, and depicts racism in a tough, unflinching light. The final shoot-out, and poignant final shot are particular highlights of a film that is well worth your 102 minutes. Recommended if you enjoy stuff like French Connection and the Taking of Pelham 1,2,3. This one ticks all the boxes for me.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2012
"across 110th street" has plenty to keep fans of this type of film entertained, thanks to some very good photography, some catchy music, a fairly good script and also good performances from the two leads. in my opinion, the action scenes could have been a bit better and more of them but nevermind.
i read somewhere that the film was censored by approximately 2 minutes in the U.K before being released. if that was the case, i can understand the reasons why as some of the content to be found in "across 110th street" is not for the squeamish.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2006
Two cops, the frazzled, corrupt Mattelli (Anthony Quinn) and straight-arrow Pope (Yaphet Kotto) track down three black thieves who have ripped off the mob in this violent, realistic thriller. As a movie this finds a middle ground between the documentary-style action of The French Connection (1971) and the Blaxploitation movies that would shortly hit American cinema screens. The movie is unique because it does not give the audience a hero figure with which to identify. Quinn's character is a brutal burn-out with ties to the Mafia, whilst it becomes clear as the movie progresses that Kotto's seemingly incorruptible college-graduate detective won't be able to keep his hands clean for very long. This is a very downbeat movie, which shows in detail the poverty of the Harlem slums in the 1970s, and the hateful criminals who prey on it both from within and without. The black gangsters are as cold-blooded as any in cinema, whilst the portrayal of the Mafia as a set of ultra-violent, racist thugs who torture and kill without feeling in the pursuit of their stolen money is a far cry from the sympathetic portrayal of, say, The Godfather (1972). Anthony Franciosa gives a shot-fused, psychotic edge to his mob enforcer character Nick D'Salvio, a small-time hood determined to make the most of his grubby `search and destroy' mission; notice the seedy way in which he licks between his fingers when his blood is up. Paul Benjamin is also impressive as the epileptic leader of the thieves, whilst an even dumber than usual Antonio Fargas turns up, only to be crucified and castrated by the vengeful mob. And yes, the theme song is the same number used by Tarantino during the opening credits of Jackie Brown (albeit a less polished recording).
Rough around the edges generally, the film does show several signs of harsh editing, especially in the mid-section. After Franciosa and his men grab Fargas in a brothel, we quickly cut to the screaming, dying Fargas in the back of an ambulance with Quinn and Kotto. We then go to the office of black crime boss Richard Ward, where Quinn accuses him of murdering Fargas. We are given no clue as to why Quinn suspects Ward, or a reason why he would bring the straight, honest Kotto (who he has known for only a few hours) face-to-face with the man who gives him his pay-off money. However, the film gets back on track after this and ends in a memorably down-beat fashion, with a confused shootout in which several innocent people are sprayed with machine-gun fire and all the wrong characters are killed. A far cry from the vacant swagger of the dramatically lightweight Blaxploitation films it is usually associated with (the movie has been released as part of Blaxploitation collections on VHS and DVD, and is usually referred to as such in TV listings), Across 110th Street is a hard-boiled crime classic.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2013
Great watch. Funky Bobby Womack music and gritty cop drama. I'd say not far off a classic.
Recommended and not just for retro fans :)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 2 January 2014
I give this movie 4 stars because it came across like an episode of Miami Vice, the way it started and finished. Well acted by Yaphet Kotto and Anthony Quinn and a good social documentary depicting a sign of the times in early seventies Harlem.
Dvd arrived in the time frame and in excellent condition so another good supplier.
Well done Amazon.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 24 January 2015
Yes this is a great film, a Blaxploitation 1970s special film. With equally great performances by its leading actors. Across 11Oth Street has a very “cool” soundtrack by Bobby Womack. If like me you love 1970s films then this is for you. A great film with a great plot, great actors, and plenty of action – so go buy it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 24 March 2015
Some people may find it dated but I enjoyed watching it I haven't seen it in many years. Deals with issues that are still relevant today!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2013
SUPERB! THIS DVD WAS ABSOLUTELY,UTTERLY,COMPLETELY,UNARGUABLY,TOTALLY SUPERB!
IN FACT,IT WAS SUPERB., IF I WERE ASKED FOR JUST ONE WORD TO DESCIRBE IT,THEN OF COURSE YOU'VE GUESSED IT ... - S U P E R B ! !
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Shaft [DVD] [1971]
Shaft [DVD] [1971] by Richard Roundtree (DVD - 2001)
£2.66

Foxy Brown [DVD]
Foxy Brown [DVD] by Pam Grier (DVD - 2003)
£3.26

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)
  -  
Bring Home The Worldwide Phenomenon Out On Blu-ray™ and DVD 8/4.