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VARIETY and THE SQUEEZE Review (Spoilers)
Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:42am

Hi Bob--

I'm sure you're correct; as you're well aware, Lee enjoyed a late blossoming in his career with his role as U.S. Police Force Commissioner Hauk in ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. THE SQUEEZE was one of several films which was then distributed to cash in on Lee's name and fame at the time--MEAN FRANK & CRAZY TONY was released in the States in a butchered form about the same time, and with the title ESCAPE FROM DEATH ROW. No worries on that, though--I'm sure that the review can be traced courtesy online research. It would make a nice addition to the library here at tb.n.

You are correct about that--THE SQUEEZE is one I frequently cite, and one I pull out of the L.V.C. Archive quite a bit, especially in the winter. This is an interesting film, too, because this is the first film in which Lee starts to look a tad older than his then 52 years of age. My gut feeling is that this is about the time his health started to fail him--heart trouble, etc. That being said, he still looked lean and mean, and he moved with that catlike grace. In particular, I love that Lee was given a silenced Colt 1911A1 Series 70 with a silencer at the finale of the film--once again, the filmmakers really got the weapons correct. Furthermore, this film stands out because 1977/1978 era Manhattan and Brooklyn are beautifully shot--so much so that the city actually IS a character in the film. In this regard, Lee's film compares to Clint's first three DIRTY HARRY films in which cinematographer Bruce Surtees films the City of San Francisco in such a way that S.F. becomes a key character in the film. Lee and Clint had a lot in common. ;)

Too bad an outfit like Blue Underground or Dark Horse Films hasn't picked this out to give it the T.L.C. it deserves.

"Have a night on the town. Might as well have something to sleep off. Just keep enough cash for inside."--Gretchko. ;)


P.S.--Even that damned syncopated disco theme that plays throughout the film has a weird charm to it! And I HATE disco music.

  • No. I didn't make a copyBob 0, Tue Feb 13 6:27pm
    I read the review in 1981 I think was the year. I should have purchased the copy of Variety and made some copies on a coping machine. I clearly remember the reviewer saying it was a pleasure watching ... more
    • VARIETY and THE SQUEEZE Review (Spoilers) — TheBad7, Wed Feb 14 4:42am
      • The Squeeze MF&CTBob 0, Wed Feb 14 11:42am
        I was lucky in that I caught Mean Frank and Crazy Tony when it played in my area at the Drive Inn in 1975 or 6. This film was shot in 1973 in Italy and France and is one of Lee's best films. The long ... more
        • @Bob O:MF & CTTheBad7, Wed Feb 14 12:20pm
          Hi Bob-- Oh yes--I'm very familIar with MF & CT. Lee was a natural at playing the "Capo di tutti Cappi," and it's a shame he didn't get more parts like "Frankie Dio" in those mid to late 70s Italian... more
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