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BRANNIGAN starring JOHN WAYNE, RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, JUDY GEESON, MEL FERRER and JOHN VERNON

The John Wayne vehicle BRANNIGAN is a solid, fun cop thriller which benefits enormously from a fine cast and Wayne’s earthy presence. He is completely natural, comfortable and convincing in the role of the Irish Chicago Detective, which is really just a classic Western hero in modern garb. He is likable, frank, good-natured, decent, down-to-earth, and tough -- "so damn solid," as Judy Geeson's character put it (to which he replied, "Fat, you mean") in a nice, genuine scene where Lt. Jim Brannigan talks about wanting to catch the hood responsible for killing his rookie partner because it was his duty to protect the kid even though, no matter how "nice a story" it would make if the kid had been like a son to him. He had not even liked the "smart-aleck" rookie. Wayne always had terrific, commanding screen presence. He looked as fit and acted as vigorous as called for by the role. And, let’s face it: he was ageing and had battled cancer, so good old Duke wasn’t the man he was in the STAGECOACH or SEARCHERS days, but he was still the one and only. The mature cast is a pleasant contrast to today's rampant superficiality.

All of the supporting actors -- Attenborough, Geeson, Ferrer, Vernon, Pilon -- are real professionals who similarly bring substance to their roles and play them smoothly and effectively. The characters are nicely sketched. For example, Attenborough's titled Scotland Yard official is not a caricatured fop or dandy; he is polished but also appreciates rough, direct action to get the job done, which creates a nice grudging rapport between him and Brannigan. There is a nice scene wherein the two play out the good cop-bad cop device to glean information from a bad guy, but Wayne and Attenborough reverse the roles. Lovely. Both the policeman and the hit-man are portrayed effectively in this movie, with the policeman actually outsmarting and outmaneuvering the hit-man in believable ways. Mel Ferrer as the oily lawyer and the always reliable John Vernon as the mob boss Brannigan is sent to bring back to the US for trial are great, and Judy Geeson, in what could have been a thankless role as the Vice Squad Detective assigned temporarily to Brannigan, brings warmth and a welcome daughter-father vibe to her relationship with the Duke. The story has action, energy, purpose, and humor, especially in the Pub brawl setpiece which is laid out in a tribute to Wayne’s Western barroom fights by director Douglas Hickox and stunt coordinator Peter Brayham. Lots of fun. The dialogue is smart, and the plot interesting, with some clever touches. The photography and very Seventies waka-waka music makes it all the more enjoyable.

This is a fun, smart, well-paced, well-produced detective story with a good plot, well-drawn and well-cast characters, and great locations. BRANNIGAN does not try for any Heavy Messages; it is designed to be excellent entertainment. And boy, does it deliver!

Knock, knock!

MOVIES ARE ON ARCHIVAL QUALITY TAIYO YUDEN OR VERBATIM ***All DVDs are MOD (made on demand) using archival quality DVD-Rs, with full color inkjet art on the discs and full DVD jacket art, in a standard DVD box. All DVDs are also in protective sleeves for the best protection of your new DVD as possible. Every DVD is guaranteed against defects. Thank you!*** and here is the basic disc info: MOVIES ARE ON ARCHIVAL QUALITY TAIYO YUDEN OR VERBATIM All DVDs are MOD (made on demand) using archival quality DVD-Rs, with full color inkjet art on the discs and full DVD jacket art, in a standard DVD box. All DVDs are also in protective sleeves for the best protection of your new DVD as possible. Every DVD is guaranteed against defects. Thank you! MEDIA, LABELED WITH FULL COLOR ART. PICTURE AND SOUND ARE ALWAYS 10 OUT OF 10, UNLESS NOTED, AND ARE COMPARABLE TO, OR BETTER THAN ANY COMMERCIALLY PRODUCED DISC. THEY ARE HOUSED WITH FULL-COLOR BOX ART IN STANDARD DVD CASES.