Badge 373

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Badge 373
Badge 373 poster.jpg
theatrical poster
Directed by Howard Koch
Produced by Howard Koch
Jim Di Gangi
Written by Pete Hamill
Starring Robert Duvall
Verna Bloom
Henry Darrow
Eddie Egan
Music by J.J. Jackson
Cinematography Arthur J. Ornitz
Edited by John Woodcock
Production
  company
Paramount Pictures
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) 25 July 1973 (NYC)
Running time 116 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,100,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

Badge 373 is a 1973 crime thriller film inspired, as was The French Connection, by the life and career of Eddie Egan, here called "Eddie Ryan". The film, which has a screenplay by journalist Pete Hamill, was co-produced and directed by Howard Koch, and stars Robert Duvall as Ryan, with Verna Bloom, Henry Darrow and Eddie Egan himself as a police lieutenant.

The film was not successful, either at the box office or with the critics.[2]

Plot[edit]

Eddie Ryan (Robert Duvall), a tough, no-nonsense, abrasive and racist Irish cop, has to turn in his badge after scuffling with a Puerto Rican suspect who then falls to his death from a rooftop, but that doesn't stop him from heading out on a one-man crusade to find out who killed his partner of three years, Gigi Caputo (Louis Cosentino), all the while neglecting his new live-in girlfriend, Maureen (Verna Bloom). Ryan's search leads him to Puerto Rican drug kingpin Sweet Willie (Henry Darrow), and a shipment of guns for Puerto Rican independenistas.

Cast[edit]

  • Robert Duvall as Eddie Ryan
  • Verna Bloom as Maureen
  • Henry Darrow as William Salazar a.k.a. Sweet William
  • Eddie Egan as Lt. Scanlon
  • Felipe Luciano as Ruben
  • Tina Cristiani as Mrs. Caputo
  • Marina Durell as Rita Garcia
  • Chico Martinez as Frankie Diaz
  • Jose Duval as Ferrer
  • Louis Cosentino as Gigi Caputo
  • Luis Avalos as Chico
  • Nubia Olivero as Mrs. Diaz
  • Sam Schacht as Assistant D.A.
  • Edward F. Carey as The Commissioner
  • "Big" Lee as Junkie in casino
  • Duane Morris as Gay in casino
  • John Marriott as Superintendent
  • Joe Veiga as Manuel (Botica [sic] Proprietor)[3]
  • Mark Tendler as Harbor Lights bouncer
  • Robert Weil as Hans
  • Rose Ann Scamardella as Herself
  • Pete Hamill as Reporter
  • Larry Appelbaum as Copo at toll booth
  • John McCurry as Bus driver
  • Bob Farley as Patrolman
  • Tracey Walter as Delivery boy
  • John Scanlon, Jimmy Archer, Ric Mancini, Mike O'Dowd as Tugboat crew
  • Robert Miano, Pompie Pomposello, Hector Troy as Sweet William's hoods
  • Miguel Alejandro, Harry Collazo, Damian Colon as '"Ruben's gang
  • Johnny Pachero & his Orchestra as Band at Carorrojeno's
  • Orestes Matacena as Drug Dealer

Cast notes:

Production[edit]

Badge 373 was shot on location on the streets of New York City. At one point, in what film writer Jeff Stafford calls a deliberate attempt to recall the car-chase scene from The French Connection, which was also based on the exploits of Eddie Egan, Robert Duvall as police detective Eddie Ryan attempts to chase down suspects in their car by hijacking a city bus,[2] the 14th Street crosstown.[4] The chase does not follow actual Manhattan geography, and passes locations including the West 125th viaduct and a meatpacking plant,[5] and a branch of the record store King Karol at 460 West 42nd Street.[6] Locations for other scenes include the Manhattan Bridge, with the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in the background, and the FDR Drive, with the United Nations headquarters visible.[7]

On August 10, 1973, Paramount Pictures rejected a demand by the Puerto Rican Action Coalition to withdraw the film for what the coalition called the movie's racism.[8]

Crew[edit]

  • Director: Howard Koch
  • Producer: Howard Koch
  • Screenplay: Pete Hamill
  • Music composed and conducted by: J.J. Jackson
  • Director of photography: Arthur J. Ornitz
  • Editor: John Woodcock
  • Associate producer: Lawrence Appelbaum
  • Assistant to the producer: Irwin Yablans
  • Inspired by the exploits of: Eddie Egan
  • Art director: Philip Rosenberg
  • Costumes: Frank Thompson
  • Second unit director: Michael Moore
  • Production manager: Jim DiGangi
  • 1st assistant director: Michael P. Petrone
  • 2nd assistant directors: Robert Grand, Gerrold T. Brandt, Jr.
  • Technical advisor: Eddie Egan
  • Script supervisor: Roberta Hodes
  • Casting: Bernie Styles
  • Set decorator: Edward Stewart
  • Set dresser: Gary Brink
  • Hair stylist: Vern Caruso
  • Property master: Al Griswold
  • Costumer: George Newman
  • Special effects: Conrad Brink
  • Sound recording: Dennis Maitland
  • Re-recording: John Wilkinson

Critical response[edit]

The critical reaction to Badge 373 was generally negative. In the New York Times, Roger Greenspan pointed out the biases of the film: "All of the evil is perpetrated by Puerto Ricans, either innocent but violent revolutionaries who run around shouting 'Puerto Rico Libre!' or the uninnocent but equally violent nonrevolutionaries who manipulate them. Against such forces, Eddie the hard-nosed cop has only the instincts of his personal bigotry to guide him. And invariably the instincts of his personal bigotry turn out to be right. ... [U]nless you care to hate Puerto Ricans (or Irish cops) I don't see how the movie can have anything for you".[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 60
  2. ^ a b c Stafford, Jeff "Badge 373" (TCM article)
  3. ^ Business depicted was a botanica
  4. ^ a b Greenspun, Roger (July 26, 1973). "Screen: 'Badge 373,' With Eddie Egan:Ex-Detective Has Role, but Not of Himself The Cast". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ At approximately the 54-minute mark
  6. ^ At approximately the 57-minute, 30-second mark. Address per King Karol advertisement in The Village Voice September 3, 1970, p.14
  7. ^ At approximately the 72-minute mark
  8. ^ Knox, Sanka (August 11, 1973). "Paramount Tells Puerto Ricans It Won't Withdraw 'Badge 373'". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]