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A Made-To-Measure Is Pure Durning But Aid Is Not Forthcoming From A Weakly-Written Script.
A daring daylight commercial robbery, the loot being valuable jewelry, occurs in Manhattan, and Frank Devlin (Charles Durning), a widely read newspaper columnist whose employer and career have shut down, unexpectedly is offered a commission by one of the bandits, Sy McGruder (Dennis Cole), to serve as intermediary for arranging recovery of the stolen merchandise, as an exchange for cash with several involved insurance firms, this a chance Devlin seizes, against his better judgement, due to his penchant for gambling, a weakness that has brought him the customary results, i.e., being in arrears to many individuals and agencies. Unfortunately, Devlin's hope for an improved financial future is marred by apparent duplicity upon the part of McGruder, and the veteran journalist, accompanied by his accountant (and best friend), played by Ronny Cox, finally decides to take a risky course of action, by trying, free from police involvement, to apprehend Sy and his girlfriend (Heather MacRae), a decision that plainly can have dangerous consequences for the two tracking men. Durning is in virtually every scene, thereby redeeming most of them, but for those wherein the script is a bit too wanting in clarity. This film made for television, as easily noted by the obligatory breaks for advertising input, is a New York City affair, evident not merely in its setting, but as well by the personnel involved, an intrusive jazzy score, style and rhythms of dialogue, etc., but conviction is lacking within the narrative and direction from Tom Gries is torpid. Pleasures for a viewer to be gained from this film will be modest, as its tone shifts overmuch, and Devlin's relationships with friends, enemies, and lovers are but meagerly developed, although to be just, it shall be mentioned that the cutting room floor was cluttered for this one, moderately distorting plot line content. Frequently shot using busy Gotham streets, zooms are employed in lieu of extras for a low budgeted picture that will fail to produce very much audience interest. Burt Young appears in one scene as a uniformed member of New York's Finest, and a heavily pancaked Dana Wynter offers her expected solid turn.
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