Thursday, July 14, 2016

99 and 44/100% Dead (1974)

Director: John Frankenheimer

Writer: Robert Dillon

Composer: Henry Mancini

Starring: Richard Harris, Edmond O'Brien, Bradford Dillman, Ann Turkel, Constance Ford, Zooey Hall, Katherine Baumann, Janice Heiden, Max Kleven, Karl Lukas, Tony Brubaker, Jerry Summers, Roy Jenson, Bennie E. Dobbins, Chuck Roberson, Chuck Connors

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Everyone is dying to meet Harry Crown.

Plot: Uncle Frank Kelly calls on Harry Crown to help him in a gang war. The war becomes personal when Harry's new girlfriend is kidnapped by Uncle Frank's enemy, Big Eddie.

My rating:  5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Holy crap, what a mess!  I love the genre, Richard Harris (a little less after seeing this) and John Frankenheimer but they all blew it.  The picture is torn between being an action crime flick and a comedy/satire of sorts but they fail at nearly every turn making this not only unsure of itself but also slow and dull.  The actors are all over the place with quality.  Turkel is pretty bad.  Harris has moments of WTF.  He's miscast and makes a poor action hero.  It all ends up being pretty campy but only in spots which ensures that you don't enjoy it too much.  The opening credits with Henry Mancini's kick ass theme are AWESOME!  Then there's Harris's narration for several minutes that goes on and on.  Connors plays a mob enforcer who lost his hand and has a contraption where his hand would be and a briefcase full of attachments.  He plays it straight but it's clearly there for laughs (which works) as if to send up a James Bond picture.  And back to what this movie is trying to be, it can't be considered a tongue in cheek satire or even comedy since most of the film is playing very serious.  The pacing is super slow in spots, and by slow, it's mostly scenes going on for too long and not knowing when to quit.  I think this is the worst Frankenheimer movie I've seen to date.  There is one more positive I can say about this movie and that's the car stunts.  It's not surprising, you know, considering it's Frankenheimer.  

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