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Gordon's War (1973)

R  |   |  Adventure, Crime  |  16 May 1974 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 281 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 7 critic

Four Vietnam Vets go to war against the drug dealers and pimps of Harlem.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gordon Hudson
Carl Lee ...
Bee Bishop
Otis Russell
Tony King ...
Roy Green
Gilbert Lewis ...
Spanish Harry
Carl Gordon ...
Luther the Pimp
Nathan C. Heard ...
Big Pink
Jackie Page ...
Bedroom Girl
Chuck Bergansky ...
Caucasian Killer (as Charles Bergansky)
Adam Wade ...
Dog Salesman
Warren Taurien ...
Ralph Wilcox ...
Black Hit Man
David Connell ...
Hotel Proprieter


A black soldier comes home to Harlem after a tour in Vietnam and discovers that his wife had become a heroin addict and died of an overdose. Infuriated, he gathers three of his ex-GI buddies and they lay out plans to fight the drug dealers. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They said it would take an army to get the mob out of Harlem. This is the army! This is Gordon's war!


Adventure | Crime


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 May 1974 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Guerra de um Homem  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Grace Jones. See more »


The final chase sequence is filmed on both sunny and overcast days. See more »


See more »


Referenced in And Now My Love (1974) See more »


Child of Tomorrow
Written by Angelo Badalamenti (as Andy Badale) and Al Elias
Sung by Barbara Mason
See more »

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User Reviews

Paul Winfield and three other Nam veterans launch a private war against dope in Harlem
17 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The 70s brought in new creative stories using the events of the times, greater lawlessness, veterans, frustrated police, ineffective police, greater use of drugs and societies that seemed to be falling apart. In Italy, this sparked poliziotteschi movies. In America came gritty crime stories (and 70s style noir) and these were part of the black-dominated stories, set in black areas and providing work for many fine black actors and actresses who didn't have movie work and roles of this kind in earlier decades. The outpouring of creativity was amazing, laying the groundwork for superstars of the future like Samuel L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman.

Paul Winfield, a fine actor, had been doing TV work mainly before "Sounder" and "Gordon's War". The younger Tony King had begun in "Shaft". Gilbert Lewis was recognizable from "Cotton Comes to Harlem" and "Across 110th Street". This movie assembled a very good cast.

The location shoot in Harlem is an essential ingredient in making this film work. The feel of the streets, shops, people, cars, bars, abandoned buildings, rundown apartments and ramshackle appearances bolsters the movie greatly.

There is a chase scene, car following motorcycle, that ranks among the very best of any movie anywhere, including those in poliziotteschis. That alone makes the movie.

All of the above make the movie above average. What brings it back to average is the story and script. The story is heavy on action, but has not enough continuity and buildups of action, suspense, emotion and aftermath. The multi-talented Ossie Davis directs competently and does what he can, but the script is too often mundane or lacking in sharpness. The individual characters are not fully brought into focus as individual persons. I blame the two writers, Howard Friedlander and Ed Spielman, for the result that the film, while okay, does not rise higher. The idea of it had greater potential. The execution by the cast and crew lifted it, but they couldn't rise beyond the story and script.

I like the movie and recommend it. But do not expect too much from it.

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