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Challenge (1974)

PG | | Crime, Drama | 1 May 1974 (USA)
U.S. Senate candidate Frank Challenge will not sell out to the Syndicate. As a result, his family is murdered. Then Challenge becomes judge, jury, and executioner.


Martin Beck


Thom McIntyre (as Lynelle Grey), Alan J. Adler (screenplay)


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A sequel to 1974's Challenge, in which the title character is assigned to gather incriminating evidence against his rival in the state senate, but his assignment gets complicated when the rival hires a group of killers to rub him out.

Director: Martin Beck
Stars: Earl Owensby, Johnny Popwell, Elizabeth Upton


Credited cast:
Earl Owensby Earl Owensby ... Frank Challenge
Elizabeth Upton Elizabeth Upton ... Sam
Sandra Beck Sandra Beck ... Trina
Kathleen Devine Kathleen Devine ... Paulette
Doug Hale Doug Hale ... Gil Rand
Fred Covington Fred Covington ... MacDonald Jennings
Laurens Moore Laurens Moore ... Comm. Taylor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William T. Hicks William T. Hicks
Johnny Popwell Johnny Popwell ... Will
Phil Smoot Phil Smoot ... Headwaiter
Katheryn Thompson Katheryn Thompson


Frank Challenge is a man running for the U.S. Senate who will not sell out to the Syndicate. As a result of his strong stand against the mob, his family is murdered. Then Challenge becomes judge, jury, and executioner. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Move Over James Bond, The Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy -- Frank Challenge is here! See more »


Crime | Drama




Official Sites:

Earl Owensby Studio





Release Date:

1 May 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I ekdikisis tou Frank Challenge See more »

Filming Locations:

Shelby, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

E.O. Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Earl Owensby wanted the script to closely resemble the 1973 sleeper, "Walking Tall". The original draft was written by Alan Ormsby, but was rejected because it was not similar enough to "Walking Tall". It took three scripts/writers before Owensby was satisfied. See more »


[repeated line]
Frank Challenge: I'll get him later
See more »


Followed by The Brass Ring (1974) See more »


Ballad of Challenge
Written by Jerry Van Tassel
Sung by Tommy Faile
See more »

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User Reviews

Frank Challenge turned out to be more then a "Challenge" for the mob
11 May 2006 | by sol1218See all my reviews

(There are Spoilers) Running for the state senate as an independent, with no strings attached, businessman Frank Challenge, Earl Owensby,is rapidly closing in on the lead against incumbent Senator Newhouse and looks like he's a sure winner in the upcoming senatorial elections. Having in his possession a dossier of documents against not only Newhouse but his behind the scenes mob controllers Challenge is going to see the states Special Crime Commissioner Taylor ,Lauen Moore,and hand over the important and explosive papers. These papers would all but guarantee his election to the senate but at the same time also destroy the mob by exposing it's hold on the states elected officials from governor to dog catcher.

Dropping in at the local TV station to see his good friend newscaster William Reynolds, William Alspaugh, Challenge is talked into telling him want he has on the mob not knowing that Reynolds is in debt to it, big time, due to his compulsive gambling habit. Reynolds then uses the information that Challenge gives him, off the record, to get in touch with mob kingpin W.F Gutherie, William T. Hicks. Gutherie not only forgive Reylonds' debt to his bookies but also get's a bunch of his goons to do in both Challenge and his family his wife Betty and young daughter Bebe ,Katheryn Thompson & Tiffany Crawley, by burning down the Challenge home in their search for the other duplicate documents that he has hidden there.

Challenge savagely beaten, with his dossier on the mob stolen, as he was going to see Commissioner Taylor by Gutherie's goons miraculously survives. After finding out in his hospital room from Susan (Judith Hanson), the nurse looking after him, that his family perished in the mob set fire of his home Challenge completely gives up his run for the senate. Challenge begins a one man guerrilla war against the Gutherie mob that ends with Gutherie himself, after all his goons are taken care off, as Challenge's main target.

What "Challenge" lacks in money and experience it more then makes up with drive and ingenuity. Challenge goes after the Gutherie mob with a vengeance on the roads highways and in the air. There's an exciting and almost unbelievable air to air dog fight with one of Gutherie's hoods as Challenge, without the help of special effects, single-handedly puts it the plane & pilot out of business for good.

Having Gutherie check out of his fortress-like suite in the state capital, after he broke into it, Challenge has him on the run for his life. This results in Gutherie falling by the wayside, dead, with out Challenge even having to shoot or lay as much as a hand on the cowardly thug.

Owensby's first attempt in making motion pictures and it shows in his acting, that's as wooden at times as a cigar store Indian. The effort put into the movie by Owensby with a more or less cast of unknowns makes "Challenge" well worth seeing. If you can find "Challange" at your local video and DVD store take it out and give it a spin. It's far better then most like-wise crime/action films with far bigger budgets and well known, and multi-million dollar salaried, stars.

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