Loosely based on the life of Jimmy Hoffa, this traces the rise of Tommy Vanda (Joe Don Baker) from a Chicago dock worker to an influential labor leader who, like Hoffa, finds himself behind... See full summary »
Loosely based on the life of Jimmy Hoffa, this traces the rise of Tommy Vanda (Joe Don Baker) from a Chicago dock worker to an influential labor leader who, like Hoffa, finds himself behind bars in a federal prison, and not long after, taken for a ride by shady men never to be seen again. Written by
The perfect example of American "savoir faire", American saga about the true life of an union leader over thirty years. Inspired by Jimmy Hoffa's actual life, as was Norman Jewison's FIST, starring Sylvester Stallone. In this film, Joe Don Baker is really awesome as the lead, probably here the best performance of his whole career, better than the WALKING TALL trilogy. Although he was efficient here too.
I am surprised that this terrific TVM has not been commented yet. I don't understand. It would deserve to be talked about, and in a better way than mine. Written by Ernest Tidyman, author of SHAFT, this movie is made in a way that the audience stays stuck to this outstanding story, the classic rise and fall scheme as many people love to watch. American dream...
Director Barry Shear died during the production of the feature, and Virgil Vogel continued the work. The is here a bunch of old Hollywood stars: Howard Da Silva, Paul Stewart, Jo Van Fleet, Scott Brady, Victor Jory, and Red Buttons in a gang mob character, very surprising for this actor who has never been a bad guy in his whole career; at least as far as I know.
The last five minutes are unforgettable: just after Joe Don Baker has to testify in front the Grand Jury against the mob and rotten politics, he gets into a car with two men and the scene after, we see ONLY these two men get out of the car, in an automobile graveyard, and the car in question is grabbed by a giant grip before being dropped in a car crusher...And this is the end of this fantastic TV movie.
A genuine masterpiece.
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