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The Cross and the Switchblade (1970)

GP | | Biography, Crime, Drama | June 1970 (USA)
Crusading minister gets involved in the lives of members of a New York City street gang.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Director: Phil Cooke
Stars: Nicky Cruz
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... David Wilkerson
... Nicky Cruz
... Rosa (as Jackie Giroux)
Jo-Ann Robinson ... Little Bo
Dino DeFilippi ... Israel
... Abdullah
Gil Frazier ... Big Cat
Don Lamond ... Sergeant Delano
Sam Capuano ... Hector Gomez
... Mingo
Hechter Ubarry ... Moonlight (as Hector Mercado)
Stew Silver ... Augie
Dorothy James ... Graciela Gomez
David Connell ... Pusher
Michelle Galjour ... Angela
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Storyline

David Wilkerson is a relatively young parish priest in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. With nominal funds, insufficient even to get a hotel room which forces him to sleep in his car, his church sends him to New York City to bring the word of God to the young men and youth of the Egyptian Kings, who are on trial for their violent gang activities. David hopes God will be their salvation. Although David is not allowed to get near the Egyptian Kings, his trip to the courthouse does garner much publicity. Because of that publicity, David meets a tough street youth named Little Bo, who offers to introduce David to the main gangs still out on the streets, namely the mixed white Mau Maus, and the predominantly black Bishops, who are fighting each other for territory. Who the gangs hate more than each other, however, are the authorities. David turns his attentions to the two gangs, and wants them to know that God loves them no matter who they are or what they do, and in doing so will guide them to ... Written by Huggo

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Taglines:

A Gang War Explodes Across the Screen See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

June 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La cruz y el puñal  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to "Run Baby Run", the autobiography of Nicky Cruz, the Mau Mau gang actually wore black leather jackets with crimson double M's on the back instead of red jackets with white double M's, as depicted in the film. See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in the early-'50s, yet in one scene Big Cat references Medicaid, which wasn't established until 1965. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Gomez: What miracle brings such a fine young man to our troubled streets?
David Wilkerson: Miracle? I was begining to think it was pure insanity. But you people... you make me believe it was something good.
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User Reviews

the film where Christian films had a chance to go mainstream and they blew it
15 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

IN 1970 CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE came out. The tale of gangs drugs and violence was very popular in filmhouses across the nation. It propelled momentum forward for Christian films and Christian film concepts to be brought forth. Unfotunately the people behind the Christian films like gospel films and billy zeoli failed to see that their time was then. Their time was then and they blew it. This film was churchy but unlike anything the methodists or any other denomination had put out before. Visually the film had a gritty urban feel of filth, guns, ruined buildings and no hope. The book was first a novel. The novel was much grittier and dealt with adult issues better not dealt with on this website. I actually had the privilege as I was growing up to know one of the men who was depicted in the book as having worked with wilkerson. The film is gritty but is a family film and is extremely well made. The dialog may make you cringe but we are talking 1970 here. The dialog is badly dated. The sad thing now film group stands now to turn out quality Christian films. Looks up it's time to pop up the pop corn and go see the PASSION again.


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