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A British petty criminal lies to his son about his frequent prison terms by inventing honorable plausible explanations for his absences from home but things get complicated when his son becomes a judge's assistant.
Having not seen this film for over 20 years, and remembering how great it was as a kid seeing it on cable, I was very happy (and surprised!) to see it released on DVD and picked it up immediately. I discovered it was a lot funnier when I was a kid, although making up for that was watching two great stars like Carroll and Ernest, as well as all the NYC locations, as I've always been a fan of NYC films, my hometown.
One interesting thing is, this being a motion picture, Carroll O'Connor is upstaged in every scene by movie star Ernest Borgnine. And not that Carroll is bad, not at all, he's actually decent, and the two actors make a good pair with some good chemistry (a re-pairing in a future film would have been great even!). But on the silver screen Carroll doesn't have the immense presence he has on the tube as Archie Bunker, and Ernest is clearly the "leader" here.
The two head an auxiliary police force to battle the crime in their neighborhood. It's obvious a pre-Rudy Giuliani New York City, NYC being quite legendary in the 70's for it's high crime and smut. NYC isn't cast in the best light, but then again, in 1974 it just wasn't in the best light yet. (Thanks Rudy for all you've done!) Like "Cooley High," it's a bit odd to see such a downbeat ending in a comedy, but it's still a good viewing.
If you like NYC films, and want to see two old pros do their thing and take the young'uns to school, "Law and Disorder" is a good DVD buy, before it goes out of print.
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