IMDb > The Man from Chicago (1975) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb

Reviews & Ratings for
The Man from Chicago More at IMDbPro »Le Ricain (original title)

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Index 1 reviews in total 

French-Turkish kidnapping drama with thrills and heart

Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
21 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A French-Turkish collaboration which acts as a hostage thriller and serves as a good example of the genre; the hero Serva is a typically flawed man, a criminal mastermind whose wife dies in childhood and who is forced to bring up his child on his own. To make things easier, he hires a nanny for the kid. Roll on ten years, and bad news for the parent: the brother of his dead wife personally blames him for her death and so arranges the kidnapping of his son in turn for a large ransom. To complicate matters even further, the man enlisted to help with the kidnapping is an old friend of Serva's who is unaware of the identity of the child. With all this double-crossing and hidden identities, you can guarantee that the film is packed with hostility, tension and surprising twists!

Despite the low budget, this is an eventful little movie bolstered by solid photography and moments of hard-knuckle violence that propel the plot along nicely. The film also has more characterisation than most, and develops the relationship between Jess (the overweight ageing criminal) and Oliver (the kidnapped boy) to such an extent that you can be forgiven for thinking you're watching a heartwarming family drama! No such thing, as the strong characterisation is pushed aside in favour of a dramatic shootout finale at the conclusion which fits the bill nicely.

The cast and crew behind this film are a mixed bunch but somehow the combination works: most of the extras are Turkish, whereas the leads are French and there's an imported American star playing a major role. French director Jean-Marie Pallardy does a good job with his camera and actors and never lets a scene outstay its welcome, which is often a problem with these sorts of movies. To make the film even more watchable, there's a highly effective score by Ennio Morricone which only adds to the viewing pleasure. Cast-wise, the actor playing unwilling kidnapper Jess (not sure of his name) is excellent in the part, and Gordon Mitchell once again puts in an engaging turn as a cackling, over-the-top villain who gets to partake in a great punch-up in a quarry! The only letdown is the child actor, who is really whiny and annoying and gets on the nerves immediately.

The pacing is generally spot-on with only a few slow spots in the latter half and the action sequences are well thought out and excellently portrayed on the low budget, with the closing shoot-out being particularly fitting. Then there's a genuinely surprising twist at the end which makes sense despite being unusual. This film can hardly be called a classic but it's certainly solid enough entertainment and should provide an evening's worth of enjoyment for the Euro-action fan who knows what to expect.

Was the above review useful to you?

Add another review

Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history