After the Civil War, ex-Confederate soldiers heading for a new life in Mexico run into ex-Union cavalrymen selling horses to the Mexican government but they must join forces to fight off Mexican bandits and revolutionaries.
Col. Mike Kirby picks two teams of crack Green Berets for a mission in South Vietnam. First off is to build and control a camp that is trying to be taken by the enemy the second mission is to kidnap a North Vietnamese General.
Jim Brannigan is sent to London to bring back an American mobster who is being held for extradition, but when he arrives, he has been kidnapped, which was set up by his lawyer. Brannigan, in his American Irish way, brings American law to the people of Scotland Yard in order to recapture this mobster with a price tag on his head and a stuffy old London cop with whom to contend.Written by
Christopher D. Ryan <email@example.com>
Routine thriller with good supporting cast and locations
'Brannigan' is a fairly routine thriller which doubles up as an advertising feature for American tourists wishing to visit London. In both cases, it does the job pretty well. What gives it a boost is the strong supporting cast headed by leading British 'luvvie', Richard "Dickie" Attenborough and the good use of London locations including Tower Bridge which is utilised in an above average car chase. Also there is a large-scale brawl in a city pub ( in Leadenhall Market) which is a direct transfer from a saloon of one of the Duke's innumerable westerns.
Tough Chicago cop, Jim Brannigan, is sent to London to extradite notorious American gangster, Ben Larkin, but before he can collect him, Larkin is kidnapped and Brannigan spends the rest of his time chasing around London in search of his quarry. Whilst struggling to adapt to the British way of life and the restrained style of policing, he employs techniques not usually seen outside Chicago. In the meantime, a contract has been put out on Brannigan's life by Larkin to prevent him from being extradited.
Though menouvring his way around London like a big vintage Cadillac, John Wayne lends his unique blend of charm and charisma and inevitably, he is given most of the best lines in what is a lively screenplay. For instance, there is nothing he likes better than to smash down villains' front doors and bellow defiantly: "Knock! Knock!". This is vintage John Wayne and there is no harm in this as he was very good at what he did and as a consequence he has a devoted following of movie fans around the world.
Richard Attenborough gives sterling support as the (on the surface)stuffy, upper-class Metroplitan Police Commander not afraid to get his hands dirty . Though with characters as different as chalk and cheese on and off the screen, there is clearly a good rapport between Wayne and Attenborough. There is continual conflict on screen about Brannigans retention and use of his handgun. One of the best moments is when an increasingly hysterical Attenborough demands: "I've asked you politely, now I'm asking you impolitely, HAND OVER THE GUN!"
Of the rest of the cast, pretty Judy Geeson is good decoration though underused. Her main purpose appears to be to ferry Brannigan around London and to scream "Look out, Jim!" everytime the contract killer draws close. John Vernon as Larkin demonstrates why he was the 'heavy' of choice throughout the 1970's and Mel Ferrer is suitably slimy as his lawyer. James Booth, Brian Glover and Don Henderson are all good as London thugs. Tony Robinson has a small comedic role as an innocent dupe of a dispatch rider thrown into the Thames by Brannigan long before he became Baldric in the long-running British tv series of Blackadder. Look out too for an appearance by Tony Blair's father-in-law, Tony Booth, as a small time con given the 'good cop-bad cop' treatment.
Humorous, though a little bloody, 'Brannigan' is good entertainment and if you are a fan of the Duke, it is well worth adding the DVD to your collection. My only gripe is that the movie was the inpsiration behind the god-awful 1980's tv seires, 'Dempsey and Makepeace'. Forget this and you will enjoy it.
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