Cinematic spin-off from the popular TV series. Hard-bitten Flying Squad officer Jack Regan gets embroiled in a deadly political plot when an old friend asks him to investigate the death of ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (based on "The Sweeney" created by)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elliott McQueen
Charles Baker
Frank Chadwick
Diane Keen ...
Bianca Hamilton
Joe Melia ...
Ronnie Brent
Lynda Bellingham ...
Janice Wyatt
Morris Perry ...
Flying Squad Cdr. Maynon
Paul Angelis ...
Secret Serviceman
D.S. Burtonshaw
John Alkin ...


Cinematic spin-off from the popular TV series. Hard-bitten Flying Squad officer Jack Regan gets embroiled in a deadly political plot when an old friend asks him to investigate the death of his girlfriend. Framed on a drunk-drive charge and suspended from the force, with his partner and best mate George Carter unable to help, Jack must rely on his wits to evade deadly government hitmen and expose the real villain of the piece. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The roughest, toughest men from London's greatest crime squad smash their way onto the big screen!


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Release Date:

January 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Deckname Sweeny  »

Box Office


£130,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

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Did You Know?


The location of Media Incorporated, the company controlled by Elliott McQueen (Barry Foster) was the penthouse suite at Alembic House, 93 Albert Embankment, London. This was the home of author Jeffrey Archer who had then recently bought it from composer John Barry. See more »


[Carter pulls out a packet of cigarettes and puts one in his mouth]
Det. Sgt. George Carter: Sorry, Guv, I've only got one left.
[Regan takes the cigarette out of Carter's mouth and puts it in his own]
Det. Insp. Jack Regan: I only *want* one.
[Regan fumbles for his lighter]
Det. Insp. Jack Regan: You got a light?
Det. Sgt. George Carter: Nope.
Det. Insp. Jack Regan: Bastard.
See more »


Featured in The Unforgettable John Thaw (2012) See more »


That's What Friends Are For
Music by Alan Parker
Lyrics by Madeline Bell
Themes International Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Sweet as a nut, guvnor
18 September 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"Sweeney!" was one of the innumerable TV spin-offs which kept the British film business perilously afloat in the 1970s. For once this low-budget work did not spring from a sitcom but from Britain's best ever cop show, which made "Starsky and Hutch" look like "Sesame Street" with its relentless violence and raucous backchat. ("Sweeney Todd", it should be explained , is London rhyming slang for the Flying Squad, an elite detective unit of the Metropolitan Police.)

Jack Regan and his sidekick George Carter here find themselves out of their depth with a bigger budget and canvas than on the boob tube: they get "webbed up"in an international conspiracy to lower, or raise, or something, oil prices. A suave Energy Minister is too fond of the high-class "brasses" furnished by his American PR agent. He is blackmailed, with multiple-murderous consequences and mucho ketchup.

In some ways this is very much a 1970s period piece: flared trousers, two-tone grey telephones and no computers, police who drink and smoke heroically, ugly lowlifes, hideous pubs, tyre abuse, shootouts in junkyards and an overall grey, downbeat atmosphere which is a far cry from the Swinging London of Hollywood England in the previous decade. "Sweeney" was conceived at the moment of maximum crisis when OPEC was holding the industrialised nations to ransom, inflation was the highest for 60 years and trade unionists and militant socialists seemed poised to seize power in Blighty.

True, a red double-decker bus figures during one chase, but the film makes concessions to mid-Atlanticism neither in casting, nor by moderating the constant Cockney badinage ("leave it aht!", "you wot?", "shut it!", "dull it isn't" (mocking a Met recruitment slogan)) nor by glamourising its high-life scenes. Also carried over from the series is the endless friction between different law enforcers: Regan clashes not only with his superior but with the security services and Special Branch, the Met's anti-subversion arm. Typically, he cocks up the operation to snatch the PRO and bring him to justice. Regan is no superhero.

Contrary to what others have posted, I find Foster's accent and manner all too convincing, and his performance incisive. The theme of politicians being corrupted by their spin doctors remains fresh. Ian Bannen as the blackmailed MP looks and has a role not unlike Robert Vaughn's. Thaw and Waterman are the same crumpled reprobates as on the small screen, but the plot makes too little of their partnership; Regan is suspended and lone-wolfing it for much of the running time.

No doubt the best of "The Sweeney" was on TV, but this is a fair-value distillation and introduction. It makes the mockney gangster movies of Mr Madonna and his posse look pathetic. "Up yours, sunshine!"

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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