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Hard-bitten Flying Squad officer Jack Regan gets embroiled in a deadly political plot when an old friend asks him to investigate the death of his girlfriend. Framed on a drunk-drive charge ... See full summary »


David Wickes


Ranald Graham (screenplay), Ian Kennedy Martin (based on "The Sweeney" created by)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... D.I. Jack Regan
Dennis Waterman ... D.S. George Carter
Barry Foster ... Elliott McQueen
Ian Bannen ... Charles Baker
Colin Welland ... Frank Chadwick
Diane Keen ... Bianca Hamilton
Michael Coles ... Johnson
Joe Melia ... Ronnie Brent
Brian Glover ... Mac
Lynda Bellingham ... Janice Wyatt
Morris Perry ... Flying Squad Cdr. Maynon
Paul Angelis Paul Angelis ... Secret Serviceman
Nick Brimble ... D.S. Burtonshaw
John Alkin John Alkin ... D.S. Tom Daniels
Bernard Kay ... Matthews


Hard-bitten Flying Squad officer Jack Regan gets embroiled in a deadly political plot when an old friend asks him to investigate the death of his girlfriend. Framed on a drunk-drive charge and suspended from the force, with his partner and best mate George Carter unable to help, Jack must rely on his wits to evade deadly government hitmen and expose the real villain of the piece. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The roughest, toughest men from London's greatest crime squad smash their way onto the big screen!


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Release Date:

20 January 1977 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Deckname Sweeny See more »


Box Office


£130,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Euston Films See more »
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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)
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Did You Know?


The closing credits state that the movie was: "Filmed at the offices of Willis, Faber, and Dumas Ltd., Trinity Square, and also at St. Katharine Haven adjoining the World Trade Centre and at other locations in London." See more »


Det. Insp. Jack Regan: Remember, no guns unless they use 'em.
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Featured in The Unforgettable John Thaw (2012) See more »


Two's Company
Music by Simon Benson
KPM Music Ltd
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User Reviews

Sweet as a nut, guvnor
18 September 2004 | by OctSee all my reviews

"Sweeney!" was one of the innumerable TV spin-offs which kept the British film business perilously afloat in the 1970s. For once this low-budget work did not spring from a sitcom but from Britain's best ever cop show, which made "Starsky and Hutch" look like "Sesame Street" with its relentless violence and raucous backchat. ("Sweeney Todd", it should be explained , is London rhyming slang for the Flying Squad, an elite detective unit of the Metropolitan Police.)

Jack Regan and his sidekick George Carter here find themselves out of their depth with a bigger budget and canvas than on the boob tube: they get "webbed up"in an international conspiracy to lower, or raise, or something, oil prices. A suave Energy Minister is too fond of the high-class "brasses" furnished by his American PR agent. He is blackmailed, with multiple-murderous consequences and mucho ketchup.

In some ways this is very much a 1970s period piece: flared trousers, two-tone grey telephones and no computers, police who drink and smoke heroically, ugly lowlifes, hideous pubs, tyre abuse, shootouts in junkyards and an overall grey, downbeat atmosphere which is a far cry from the Swinging London of Hollywood England in the previous decade. "Sweeney" was conceived at the moment of maximum crisis when OPEC was holding the industrialised nations to ransom, inflation was the highest for 60 years and trade unionists and militant socialists seemed poised to seize power in Blighty.

True, a red double-decker bus figures during one chase, but the film makes concessions to mid-Atlanticism neither in casting, nor by moderating the constant Cockney badinage ("leave it aht!", "you wot?", "shut it!", "dull it isn't" (mocking a Met recruitment slogan)) nor by glamourising its high-life scenes. Also carried over from the series is the endless friction between different law enforcers: Regan clashes not only with his superior but with the security services and Special Branch, the Met's anti-subversion arm. Typically, he cocks up the operation to snatch the PRO and bring him to justice. Regan is no superhero.

Contrary to what others have posted, I find Foster's accent and manner all too convincing, and his performance incisive. The theme of politicians being corrupted by their spin doctors remains fresh. Ian Bannen as the blackmailed MP looks and has a role not unlike Robert Vaughn's. Thaw and Waterman are the same crumpled reprobates as on the small screen, but the plot makes too little of their partnership; Regan is suspended and lone-wolfing it for much of the running time.

No doubt the best of "The Sweeney" was on TV, but this is a fair-value distillation and introduction. It makes the mockney gangster movies of Mr Madonna and his posse look pathetic. "Up yours, sunshine!"

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