Sunday, April 3, 2016


Brannigan; crime, UK, 1975; D: Douglas Hickox, S: John Wayne, Richard Attenborough, Mel Ferrer, Judy Geeson, John Vernon

Jim Brannigan is a hard line Police Lieutenant in Chicago who gets the assignment to travel to London to extradite infamous criminal Larkin, who was arrested there. However, just as he gets there, Brannigan hears that Larkin was kidnapped and that the people who hold him want 1.5 million $ from his lawyer, Fields, for his release. Brannigan teams up with British Commander Swann in order to investigate the case. It turns out that Fields and Larkin just feigned the kidnapping in order for Larkin to escape, but Brannigan manages to locate and arrest them.

Regretting that he was not offered the role in "Dirty Harry", John Wayne hastily starred in two "Dirty Harry" copycats the following years, "McQ" and "Brannigan", marking a rare performance in a story set in the modern era. "Brannigan" is a solid and easily watchable, though unmemorable crime flick that also seems to impersonate another Siegel film, "Coogan's Bluff", since its storyline is also about a tough, raw police officer travelling to another area where his techniques are considered 'uncivilized'. However, unlike "Coogan", there are practically no examples of culture clash here, except in the scene where the British partner, Swann, asks Brannigan politely to not carry his gun at the dinner, and thus it begs the question why the whole story plays out in London when it could have done so just as well in Chicago. All the side characters are one dimensional extras, and thus there is no chemistry between Brannigan and Swann or Jennifer, since their relations are either always official or the writers just write the story straight forward, without much care that it should lead to a point. As such, the film feels too abridged and hasty, only for 'right-wing fans', though it still has some moments, such as the dynamic car chase sequence on the London Bridge or when Swann actually plays the 'bad cop' and Brannigan the 'good cop', telling one suspect during examination: "You smoke when I tell you!", whereas Wayne's macho behavior actually seems charming.


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