peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2023 10 02 Across110thStreet

Across 110th Street (1972)

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A Yaphet Kotto jag from Blue Collar. Also for Anthony Quinn. All you needed for a Blaxploitation in 1972 was a cracking theme song, one or two decent leads and a willingness to pile on the race and violence tropes in Harlem (or equivalent). Here the game is simple: two Black chancers rob a Mafia bank in Harlem. The inevitable cleanup then proceeds by numbers, starting with their incompetent getaway driver. The Italians are entirely caricatured. Quinn plays a notional old-dog semi-straight detective, an expert at what the British would call community policing, while Kotto is his notional superior on this case. It does serve up many shots of the NYC skyline of the day but then again so do so many other movies. Perhaps the best bits are of the Harlem demimonde.

Roger Greenspun.