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Action Double Feature

99 And 44/100% Dead (1974)       The Nickel Ride (1974)

99 and 44/100% Dead: In a future where the laws of reality have been suspended, Harry Crown (Richard Harris) is a hit man who's been hired by Mafia don Uncle Frank (Edmond O’Brien) to eliminate Big Eddie (Bradford Dillman), a rival gangster who has been moving in on his turf. Big Eddie counters with his own enforcer, Marvin ’Claw’ Zuckerman (Chuck Connors), and as the rival killers attempt to destroy each other, some wild high-speed chases ensue. Directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds).

The Nickel Ride: Cooper (Jason Miller, The Exorcist), known as the key man because of his large ring of keys, manages several warehouses containing the Mob’s stolen goods. When the Mob has stolen so much that they are running out of space, they send Cooper to negotiate for a new warehouse. His boss gets nervous and, believing the big-hearted key man to be more of a risk than an asset, orders him to be watched. Also starring Linda Haynes (Rolling Thunder) and Bo Hopkins (The Wild Bunch). Directed by Robert Mulligan (To Kill A Mockingbird).


(aka "Call Harry Crown")

 

directed by John Frankenheimer
USA 19
74

 

A perplexing mix of styles clash and sputter when screenwriter Dillon's satiric, quirky parody of gangster movies meets flashy director Frankenheimer's slick and inventive visuals, neither of which complement the other. Coupled with Harris' typically irritating performance, this project must have seemed doomed from the start. O'Brien, a gruff and aging gang lord, hires hit-man Harris to kill Dillman, a rival gangster who is muscling in on his rackets. The milieu Harris enters is a strangely futuristic realm where almost anything can happen. High-speed car chases, a society of cement-shoed corpses in the river, and a sewer full of albino alligators are just some of the bizarre sights to be seen. Perhaps the strangest creation is that of Connors' character, dubbed the "Claw."

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

Posters

DVD Review: Shout! Factory (Action Double Feature) - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:37:57
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.11 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Trailers (3:21)

DVD Release Date: December 13th, 2011
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 10

 

Comments

Decent, but not always stellar, dual-layered SD image from Shout! Factory. There isn't much to complain about. It looks a shade soft but some close-ups are surprising. The transfer is progressive and probably gives a decent representation of the theatrical presentation on an anamorphic and progressive video rendering. Nothing dynamic but passable (and watchable) for the lesser format.

The unremarkable audio is acceptable - sounding clean and consistent. There are no subtitles and only a rough-looking trailer for an extra.

99 And 44/100% Dead is a goofy but cool film. Harris has a career scattered with these odd-ducks and this suits him to a 'T'. It has some harshness in keeping with much mid-70's edgy cinema. There isn't a definitive Frankenheimer signature but his completist fans may still wish to indulge. I was in the mood - and it actually beat my expectations. Worth it at the asking price.

  - Gary Tooze

 


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(aka "El hombre clave" )

 

directed by Robert Mulligan
USA 19
74

 

A depressing but truthful look at a lower-echelon member of the Los Angeles mob (Miller) who is rapidly becoming expendable. Miller is known as "the key man" because of the large ring of keys he carries as manager of various warehouse properties in which mob hijackers store their goods. Space is running out, and Miller is in the process of negotiating a deal to take over a block of warehouse property to handle the backlog of booty. The deal is stalling, however, making his boss, Hillerman, edgy. Further endangering Miller is the fact that he seems to have too much heart to be a criminal, something that is clearly indicated in scenes with his girl friend, Haynes, and his buddies such as tavern owner French and fight manager Frizzell. Hillerman tells Miller to take Hopkins, a constantly babbling yokel in a cowboy outfit, under his wing, explaining Hopkins is on the run, but it soon becomes apparent that Hopkins is there to keep an eye on Miller. Evans works for Hillerman, and when he beats up prizefighter Gordon (who won't go down for the count) and then kills Gordon's manager, Frizzell, Miller beats Evans senseless, further angering his bosses.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: January  15th, 1975

Reviews 

DVD Review: Shout! Factory (Action Double Feature) - Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:39:09
Video

2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:23)
 
DVD Release Date: December 13th, 2011

Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 10

 

Comments

Not as solid looking as 99 And 44/100% Dead but a pretty darn good film. It is also dual-layered and anamorphic but displays quite a bit of noise. This looks like a typical gritty 70's effort. Colors are fairly washed and detail is nothing to extol. Still, on the positive, it is a consistent, un-manipulated, presentation - leaning more to a CRT system.

Again, nothing about the audio is worth complaining about - it was solid enough to easily hear the dialogue although sometimes it was scattered as a vérité effect. No subtitles or extras aside from a trailer.

Mulligan's The Nickel Ride is a slice of the protagonists life without much detail blatantly exposed. I found this a positive being less concerned with the drifting characters and distant plot. He finds a way to make it work as a bleak crime-based thriller. I really liked it and it makes the endorsement of this, so-called,  Action Double Feature pretty easy. We recommend! 

  - Gary Tooze


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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