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Good NYC film
stevenfallonnyc25 November 2001
Having not seen this film for over 20 years, and remembering how great it was as a kid seeing it on cable, I was very happy (and surprised!) to see it released on DVD and picked it up immediately. I discovered it was a lot funnier when I was a kid, although making up for that was watching two great stars like Carroll and Ernest, as well as all the NYC locations, as I've always been a fan of NYC films, my hometown.

One interesting thing is, this being a motion picture, Carroll O'Connor is upstaged in every scene by movie star Ernest Borgnine. And not that Carroll is bad, not at all, he's actually decent, and the two actors make a good pair with some good chemistry (a re-pairing in a future film would have been great even!). But on the silver screen Carroll doesn't have the immense presence he has on the tube as Archie Bunker, and Ernest is clearly the "leader" here.

The two head an auxiliary police force to battle the crime in their neighborhood. It's obvious a pre-Rudy Giuliani New York City, NYC being quite legendary in the 70's for it's high crime and smut. NYC isn't cast in the best light, but then again, in 1974 it just wasn't in the best light yet. (Thanks Rudy for all you've done!) Like "Cooley High," it's a bit odd to see such a downbeat ending in a comedy, but it's still a good viewing.

If you like NYC films, and want to see two old pros do their thing and take the young'uns to school, "Law and Disorder" is a good DVD buy, before it goes out of print.
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Carroll and Ernest are a Fine Tandem
Greatornot24 January 2010
Basically this was a film about a couple of blue collar NYC guys that are fed up with their city. They are great friends and organize an auxiliary police force. Getting caught up in this venture, they take this way too seriously and like to believe they are real cops. Gradually , they become out of control. This film had some of the funniest moments but out of nowhere, reality would hit. I liked the film and felt it was a very creative effort. Some wonderful scenes featuring Karen Black , in what may have been her best performance, as an over the top hairdresser. You also had an actor named J. Frank Lucas as a flasher who was funny. Perhaps the best character in the film was Gary Springer billed as the F.U. Kid. I am not making this up folks. It is right here on IMDb. The couple scenes Mr. Springer participated, were worth the price of admission, back in the day. In summation, I would say this is a dramady , with more emphasis on comedy than drama. Be prepared for some harsh moments and appreciate the great comic moments, of which there are many.
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Trying To Find This Movie!
liz-3521 January 1999
This is truly one of the best serio- comedies I have ever see! The edited version shown rarely on TV does not do this film justice. If you haven't seen the un-edited version, you're missing an outstanding film. I have been looking for this film for over 20 years, but no luck. I would love to see it again, but it is on "moratorium."
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Law and Disorder (1974) **1/2
JoeKarlosi26 November 2006
It's a weird thing about this comedy-drama. I first saw it as a kid back in 1975 where it played almost constantly on HBO and was one of the first movies I ever recall seeing on cable TV. At the time I thought it was damn funny and ever since it became somewhat of a lost film until Anchor Bay released it to DVD several years ago. I couldn't wait to see it again. But when I finally revisited it on disc, I'd found that much of the magic had gone and I didn't think it held up quite as well. It's worth watching for sure if you're a fan of Carroll O'Connor or Ernest Borgnine, but still stacks up as kind of a slightly lost opportunity.

In this movie, O'Connor is a cab driver (and doing his usual Archie Bunker routine even though I think he was trying to prove he wasn't typecast) and Borgnine is his longtime best friend and a struggling hairdresser who owns his own salon (how's that for bizarre casting?). Karen Black is cast as Ernie's ditzy and belligerent employee, the best hair stylist he's able to find. Dwelling with their heads just barely above water in a typical '70s crime-infested New York City, the men become fed up with it all and decide to become auxiliary cops in order to help straighten the neighborhood out from the wrath of drug dealers, burglars and street scum. They get more than they bargained for in the end, which is the best part of the film, and a very strong climax.

While this team-up would seem to be a sure-fire winning combination and set-up, the "story" as it's presented is practically non-existent and all over the place, which is kind of a shame. Golden moments and funnies do show up in odd places, but these share the screen time with all sorts of plot holes and different, undeveloped ideas. Worth a watch anyway if you can see it, but this could have been a lot better. **1/2 out of ****
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Well Made 1970s New York Drama w/Plenty of Comedy
HardToFindMovies8 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
For fans of 1970s New York movies Law and Disorder needs to be on your list. Carrol O'Connor plays Willie a NY cab driver who dreams of escape from his blue collar existence and there is plenty of Archie Bunker in his character... lots of fun, fun, fun. Ernest Borgnine plays one of the final great roles of his career as Cy the aging, horny, tough guy who runs a beauty parlor (believe it) in decline mainly due to his lust for Karen Black who plays a sexy tease stylist and almost steals the film. In this New York story, Willie & Cy get fed up with the crime and slime in their community and start their own auxillary police force and quickly start blurring the line between themselves and real cops. The film was shot on location in the gritty streets of 1970s New York City and it all looks great. The film also shows plenty of good character acting lead by Jack Kehoe who later was seen as a bail bonds man in Midnight Run. This could have been a 10 out 10 film as the scene where Ernest Borgnine literally leaps through the air to make love to his wife was so funny I spilled my bag of chips. But the ending takes an unexpected dark turn that is never explained or explored in detail. The ending is the one real flaw of an otherwise fine film. This means we have a light drama with plenty of laughs that ends on a dramatic note that leaves a bitter taste. Carrol O'Connor is good but both Ernest Borgnine and Karen Black are need to see this 1970s NYC Classic....8/10 stars. Reviewed by Tom Wilson 2/8/2014 USA New Jersey
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dencorleone9 November 2002
Given the talent of the two stars of this film (who incidentally happen to be among my favorite actors), I was surprised at how much I really disliked this movie. I will admit that the cinematogrophy was great, really capturing the New York City of the mid-seventies. However, the lack of plot really disappointed me. The film goes nowhere fast, it was all that I could do to keep awake until the end. My brother picked up the DVD at K-Mart for $2.95, but it wasn't even worth that low price. If you must insist on seeing this piece of garbage, however, I recommend the DVD purchase (at the aforementioned low price), as it would be easier to fling like a Frisbee than the VHS version!

-Den Corleone
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Law and Disorder is a treat for fans of Carroll O'Connor and Ernest Borgnine
tavm24 February 2018
During the hiatus of "All in the Family", Carroll O'Connor starred in this feature film about a couple of New York guys who join the auxillary police force in order to clean up the neighborhood. I'll just say this film meanders quite a bit with many comic interludes of which some of the funniest involves Carroll's co-star Ernest Borgnine. Karen Black is also a hoot as Borgnine's not-so-helpful hairdressing assistant. The way it all ends is quite bittersweet. So on that note, I highly recommend Law and Disorder. P.S. This review is dedicated to the late Ann Wedgeworth-playing O'Connor's wife here-who passed a few months ago.
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Crass satire of urban blight
moonspinner5521 May 2016
Neighbors in a New York co-op join their local precinct's auxiliary police force to fight the crime dominating their once-peaceful neighborhoods. Any movie comedy attempting jokes on robbery and rape isn't going to be pretty, but it should be nimble enough to successfully tread the line between satire and the reality we see every night on the TV news. Director Ivan Passer, who also co-wrote this grossly exaggerated farce with Kenneth Harris Fishman and William Richert, isn't trying to make a statement on life in the Big City, he's just sending it up (the relatively sober conclusion is meant to be ironic, I suppose, but what's the point after all the cheap gags foisted at us?). The ugly conception of the jokes coupled with an ungainly presentation and broad performances quickly turn the film into a sour enterprise--an extension of the themes in "Little Murders" but with a sitcom undermining. Pairing Carroll O'Connor (then-hot from TV's "All in the Family") in a commercial enterprise with eternally-frustrated Ernest Borgnine must have seemed surefire, but only O'Connor comes through with a legitimate characterization (would you believe Borgnine as a beautician?). The supporting cast is encouraged to ham and mug, while the theme of the picture--urban decay--is treated shallowly for crass laughs. *1/2 from ****
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