Blade (1973) Poster

(1973)

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7/10
Good video fare
ryangilmer00720 April 2000
Blade (1973) does not compare with the other movies of the same title. Then again it is not trying to. What Blade is is a short thriller/drama about a tough cop trying to solve a murder case. This setting sounds a little like The French Connection (ala Popeye Doyale) and the movie could be considered a poor-mans version of that movie. Blade also has Morgan Freeman in one of his earlier roles and is a quality rent. Nothing spectacular, but nothing utterly disappointing either. viewed/owned on VHS
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6/10
Decent enough movie.
Hey_Sweden4 November 2011
Not bad little cop thriller, not to be confused with the Wesley Snipes vampire movie of 1998, stars John Marley ("Dead of Night", "The Godfather", "The Car") as a remarkably easygoing yet still pretty tenacious detective trailing a brutal killer. Complicating matters is the fact that the initial victim was the daughter of a senator running for re-election, and the senator's aide is determined to keep too many details from leaking to the public.

One thing we notice right up front is that there's no attempt to hide who the killer is, and we basically watch the movie to see how long it will take our protagonist to catch up with us, as he tracks down one lead after another. The movie does get off to an odd start as the opening murder set piece is accompanied by rather unlikely music. The movie has a rather unhurried pace to it, with generally entertaining characters in a fairly twist-laden story, co-written by director Ernest Pintoff (Oscar winner for the animated short "The Critic", and director of such live action features as "Dynamite Chicken" and "Jaguar Lives!") with cult director Jeff Lieberman ("Squirm", "Blue Sunshine").

It is a little tedious at times, but it has its moments too, particularly an interview with a character unsubtly dubbed "Fat Man". There are some sexy ladies on hand, including Karen Machon, Raina Barrett, and Jeanne Lange, and it will be of interest to some that that there are some appreciable topless shots. The score by John Cacavas is well done if a little much at times.

With Pintoff having done quite a bit of work in TV, it's not surprising that so much of the supporting cast contains familiar TV faces: Jon Cypher ('Hill Street Blues') as the killer, Joe Santos ('The Rockford Files'), John Schuck ('McMillan and Wife'), Michael McGuire ('Dark Shadows'), Ted Lange ('The Love Boat'), Steve Landesberg ('Barney Miller'), and Keene Curtis ('Cheers'). Kathryn Walker, as our heros' substantially younger wife, has little to do besides banter with Marley. The film is certainly worth a look for seeing the younger Rue McClanahan and Morgan Freeman in noticeable small parts.

While overall this story - with racial, social and political overtones - is rather forgettable, the movie is still reasonably watchable with the detective taking a fair amount of physical punishment during the finale.

Six out of 10.
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8/10
Solid little police crime thriller
Woodyanders18 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Had-bitten homicide detective Tommy Blade (a fine crusty performance by John Marley) has to deal with corruption and intervention from various people after he starts investigating several murders committed by brutal martial arts-practicing misogynistic psychopath Frederic Peterson (a creepy and intense portrayal by Jon Cypher).

Director Ernest Pintoff, who also co-wrote the compact script with Jeff Lieberman, relates the engrossing story at a steady pace, makes good use of assorted grungy New York City locations, maintains a tough gritty tone throughout, and tosses in some ugly violence and tasty gratuitous female nudity for extra lurid measure. The sturdy cast of familiar faces helps a lot: Karthyn Walker as Blade's concerned writer girlfriend Maggie, William Prince as smarmy congressman Powers, Michael McGuire as the cynical Quincy, Joe Santos as Blade's no-nonsense partner Spinelli, John Schuck as huffy superior Reardon, and Keene Curtis as Powers's loyal aide Steiner. Morgan Freeman has a small role as the smooth leader of a black militant group. The raw documentary style and David Hoffman's rough hand-held cinematography provide a strong and vibrant sense of realism and urgency. The lush and lively score by John Cacavas does the rousing trick. Worth a watch.
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