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The Cross and the Switchblade (1970)

GP | | Biography, Crime, Drama | June 1970 (USA)
Crusading minister gets involved in the lives of members of a New York street gang.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacqueline Giroux ...
Rosa (as Jackie Giroux)
Jo-Ann Robinson ...
Little Bo
Dino DeFilippi ...
Don Blakely ...
Gil Frazier ...
Big Cat
Don Lamond ...
Sergeant Delano
Sam Capuano ...
Hector Gomez
Alex Colon ...
Hechter Ubarry ...
Moonlight (as Hector Mercado)
Stew Silver ...
Dorothy James ...
Graciela Gomez
David Connell ...
Michelle Galjour ...


David Wilkerson is a relatively young parish priest in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. With nominal funds, insufficient even to get a hotel room which forces him to sleep in his car, his church sends him to the slums of New York to bring the word of God to the young men and youth of the Egyptian Kings, who are on trial for their violent gang activities. David hopes God will be their salvation. Although David is not allowed to get near the Egyptian Kings, his trip to the courthouse does garner much publicity. Because of that publicity, David meets a tough street youth named Little Bo, who offers to introduce David to the main gangs still out on the streets, namely the mixed white Mau Maus, and the predominantly black Bishops, who are fighting each other for territory. Who the gangs hate more than each other however are the authorities. David turns his attentions to the two gangs, and wants them to know that God loves them no matter who they are or what they do, and in doing so will guide ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

June 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La cruz y el puñal  »

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Did You Know?


Although the real life events that inspired the film happened in the 1950's, the movie seems to take place in the late 1960's. See more »


The story takes place in the early-'50s, yet in one scene Big Cat references Medicaid, which wasn't established until 1965. See more »


Nicky Cruz: What's the matter with me? Why does he have to pick on me?
Israel: Because you're the worst. Craziest bastard there is. If he can reach you, he can reach anybody.
See more »


Referenced in Clay Pigeon (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

It's a TRUE story
4 February 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I find it hilarious how other people are commenting that the film is unrealistic. Try reading the book, guys! This film is based on a true story, and although minor parts have been changed, the story about David and Nicky is true.

Also, another IMDb user wrote in their comment that David refuses to take a severely stabbed Nicky to hospital unless he accept Christ. Maybe this person hasn't seen the film, or their hate of Christianity was deluding them, but this does not happen in the film.

This film's a picture of what a messed up life on drugs is truly like, and the solution is Christ. Take it or leave it, but bagging a film just because it's Christian is just immature.

28 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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