In Harlem, two Italian mobsters meet three black gangsters that work to the kingpin Doc Johnson to collect dirty money from their associates in an apartment building. Out of the blue, the smalltime thieves Jim Harris and Joe Logart knock on the door disguised as police officers to steal US$ 300,000.00 from the Mafia. However, they startle when the suitcase with the money falls on the floor and Jim kills the five men with a machine gun. They flee to the runaway car driven by Henry J. Jackson and they kill two policemen. The idealist NYPD Lt. Pope and the violent Capt. Mattelli investigate the case while the Italian Mafia and the black gangsters hunt the killers down. Will Jim Harris and his accomplices be found?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC with edits made to nearly all the fight scenes and shots of beatings, and heavy cuts to shootings and a man on fire during the climax. All later releases were uncut. See more »
This top urban thriller was perhaps the best of the films made during the blaxploitation era. The story is grim, bleak and violent and the grit and grime of Harlem is present in every scene. The theme throughout is black vs. white with no subtle shades of gray. Three black men steal money from the Mafia, with predictable results that follow in short order. Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto are police officers with quite different agendas and their relationship is one of mutual dislike. Anthony Franciosa is over-the-top as the Mafia lieutenant and Richard Ward is a gravel-voiced Harlem crime boss who stands up to the Mafia with a brash defiance. Bobby Womack's vocals accompany the film.
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