Across 110th Street

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 15


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,349
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Movie Info

In this film, Anthony Quinn plays an on-the-take New York cop who is deeply indebted to the local Mafia. When three black criminals steal a huge sum of money from the mob-controlled Harlem numbers racket, Quinn is assigned by headquarters to collar the criminals and retrieve the loot.


Anthony Quinn
as Capt. Mattelli
Yaphet Kotto
as Lt. Pope
Anthony Franciosa
as Nick D'Salvio
Paul Benjamin
as Jim Harris
Ed Bernard
as Joe Logart
Richard Ward
as Doc Johnson
Norma Donaldson
as Gloria Roberts
Antonio Fargas
as Henry Jackson
Marlene Warfield
as Mrs. Jackson
Tim O'Connor
as Lt. Hartnett
Nat Polan
as Lt. Reilly
Frank Mascetta
as Don Gennaro
Joseph Attles
as Mr. Jessup
Betty Haynes
as Mrs. Jessup
Gloria Hendry
as Lauralene
Burt Young
as Lapides
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Critic Reviews for Across 110th Street

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (3)

  • [Across 110th Street] is well-made, realistic in presentation and effect with uniformly good portrayals from actors, but depressingly lacking in a sympathetic focal point for audiences to grasp.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • It's a gutsy affair, given a distinct lift by the Harlem locations; and between the bouts of physical aggression, there are occasional moments of insight into the fraught relationship between Quinn and Kotto.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It manages at once to be unfair to blacks, vicious towards whites and insulting to anyone who feels that race relations might consist of something better than improvised genocide.

    May 9, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Extremely seedy and violent, this 1972 feature by Barry Shear and cinematographer Jack Priestley makes extraordinary use of Harlem locations.

    Feb 17, 2002 | Full Review…
  • Gritty and mindful of perspective, the feature is a bruising examination of power and desperation, filled with energetic chases and fiery confrontations.

    Sep 27, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Violence, especially violence at the expense of the black community, has seldom been more candidly dissected and critiqued in American film as it is in Across 110th Street.

    May 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Across 110th Street

  • May 19, 2018
    Effectively violent, brutal and with some outstanding dialogue in its first half, soon, however, this gritty crime drama begins to insult our intelligence with a series of contrived situations that dilute the realistic feel it is aiming for and proves why it has never become a classic.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2013
    "Across 110th Street pimps tryin' to catch a woman that's weak!" Yeah, this film's theme song doesn't exactly have the most subtle of lyrics, but it sure is one funky little ditty, and is certainly catchy enough to be more memorable than this film apparently. Barry Shear is off somewhere sarcastically thinking, "Thanks a lot, Quentin Tarantino, now this song is more popular than my movie", and all the while, Bobby Womack is genuinely thinking "Thanks a lot, Quentin Tarantino, now people actually remember me." No, I suppose Womack was an adequate success, though that's partially because he recorded a solo version of "Lookin' for a Love" and stole attention away from his brothers. Sure, Womack's brothers were providing backing vocals in the recording of the sort-of cover, but no one cares about backup vocalists, so I reckon that The Valentinos, as a whole, just couldn't catch a break. Hey, it could be worse, they could have lived in Harlem, and they were from Cleveland, which should tell you just how bad Harlem is for black people. I don't know about y'all, but I find this film highly realistic, because if I were so close to the edge of Harlem that I was in across 110th Street, mafia benefits are not, I hitting Central Park, which isn't to say that this film, as decent as it is, has other, more pressing problems. A layered story that focuses on several characters and subplots, this film juggles more than I expected, and apparently more than it can handle, because although the film isn't necessarily uneven, or especially undercooked, the film takes on too much to fully flesh out, thinning out certain areas of exposition that would have reinforced your investment in the film, even though this film is slow enough without its breaks to meditate upon more thorough characterization. I won't go so far as to say that this film is strait-up dull, but when it slows down, it really limps out, slipping into quiet dry spells that meander along and often leave you wondering just when things are going to pick up. Rest assured that when the film does pick up, it's worth patience that is not all that firmly demanded, due to their being compensation for plenty of slow spots throughout the film, but make no mistake, this film is surprisingly a bit of a slow one that drags along with disengaging blandness to accompany disengaging conventions. Coming along in the early '70s, when films of this type were really starting to become abundant, this effort wasn't exactly trite for its time, and still touched upon aspects that weren't exactly explored inside and out by then-forthcoming brethren, but even for its time, this film had a tendency to succumb to tropes, and by now, what refreshing notes there are have become pretty dated, so it's hard not to look at this film - especially in retrospect - as just another member of the "Harlem Crime Drama Movement" (TM), complete with some questionable areas in dramatic storytelling. Many consider this effort a blaxploitation film, and if it is, then the evidence is limited, with one of the most glaring reflections of blaxploitation elements being subtlety issues, particularly in dramatic areas, but not with the typically over-the-top flavor that makes other, more formulaic blaxploitation films more forgivable, thus making the dramatic shortcomings extra disconcerting. Don't get me wrong, there is enough that is compelling about this film for the final product to win you over as borderline rewarding, but all-out goodness cannot quite be achieved, as the film undercooks too much, meanders too often, hits too many tropes and faces too many dramatic shortcomings, until it finally fizzles out as kind of underwhelming. Still, while the film doesn't quite kick as much as it potentially could have, it still comes close to the status of rewarding on the wings of enough competence to keep you going, or at least keep your eyes attracted. Okay, perhaps Jack Priestley's cinematography isn't all that great, as several of its stylish lighting aspects have dated as hazy in some parts, and emphatic of technical limitations in others, but on the whole, Priestley's efforts remain fairly handsome, boasting a subtle glamour in the midst of grit that proves to be complimentary to both the tone of the film and attractive aesthetic punch-up, further complimented by the musical aspects that are, in some ways, more recognized than the film itself. As I said, the film is often a bit too quiet for its own good, as quietness further dries up the final product's limp atmosphere, so you "Jackie Brown" fans shouldn't expect this soundtrack to be as explored as you might hope, yet do expect the moments in which the soundtrack is, in fact, played up, to be lively ones, anchored by anything from J. J. Johnson's stylish and often fairly tasteful score, to entertainingly funky songs, both commercial at the time and original. Whether they're Johnson's efforts, or Bobby Womack's efforts, or the efforts of other stars of mainstream black music at the time, the music in this film, when actually used, colors up an atmosphere that is generally dried into limpness, and while the final product's musical and photographic strengths aren't enough to make this effort as rewarding as it could have been, they help, though not as much as the telling of this tale that is ironically as hurt as it is because of storytelling. Luther Davis' script is heavy with tropes and histrionics, and Barry Shear's directorial storytelling all too often limps out, but when things are done write in storytelling, you get a taste of what could have been, whether it be through tastefulness in what characterization there is, or through intense moments of atmospheric handling that actually are pretty effective, fleshing out the story as fairly engaging, with a well-established sense of consequence. If this is a blaxploitation film, then it, like the critics say, overcomes plenty of its limitations, of which there are still too many for the final product to reward, but not so many that you can't give glimpses of a compelling thriller that break up a consistent fair degree of engagement value, reinforced by a certain aspect that is stronger than it usually is in films of this type: acting. As a "blaxploitation" film, this film's acting could have either fallen as nothing special or kind of disconcertingly over-the-top, but when given their chance to shine, the talented performers behind this effort deliver more than expected, with range, restrained intensity and distinguishing soul that may be more than this film deserves, and fleshes out the characters more than script itself, to where you'd be pressed to not become invested in the fair deal of subplots throughout this somewhat layered dramatic thriller. Were the film as effective as its performers' acting, it would have rewarded as a thoroughly engaging crime drama, but as things stand, the acting is just one of several aspects that power the film as enjoyable, with high points that firmly secure decency, no matter how much it goes shaken. "I got one more thing I'd like to talk to y'all about right now", and that is, well, a rehashed mentioning of the exposition issues, slow spells, conventionalism and subtlety issues that lay heavy blows upon compellingness and drive the final product just short of good, but not so short that decency isn't secured by the handsome cinematography, lively, if underused score and soundtrack, rich high points in writing and direction, and myriad of surprisingly strong performances that make "Across 110th Street" a generally reasonably compelling dramatic crime thriller that could have been more, but proves to be pretty enjoyable on the whole. 2.75/5 - Decent
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Apr 19, 2012
    If you want to see what films were like before being politically correct hit the big screen this is your film to watch. Just to see what life was all about in Harlem in the 1960-1970 made this film enjoyable. The dress of the pimps, the action taken by NYPD, The Mob and the Streets of New York. If your insulted by bad language then this is not your film. Blew my mind to see a film made in 1972 with the word raciest used so many times. Lot of enjoyable forgotten black stars. This one goes to the top shelf of my collection. 4 1/2 stars.
    Bruce B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2011
    A pretty damn good 70's crime flick that delivers in both action and drama. 3 small time crooks rip off the Italian mob and the Harlem criminal underworld and end up killing a few cops in the getaway. Now the Italians, the Blacks and the Cops are all looking for them and they want blood. Has a good line up with Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto, excellent direction, a dope soundtrack and so on. Not really much else to say about this one. A classic of this era of crime films. Never a dull moment.
    Ed Fucking H Super Reviewer

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