The Cross and the Switchblade - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cross and the Switchblade Reviews

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½ September 10, 2016
An undeniably corny yet affective film about the evangelism of Christ to NYC Gang Leader Nicky Cruz in the 1970's.

Acting isn't as impacting as the subject matter but the story is quite amazing all the same. Give you much insight to the horrors of life in the rough areas of NYC in the 70's.

A strong film in the Christian Circles of its day & seen as a curiosity today. I found the film effective & moving.
½ November 15, 2015
The Cross and the Switch Blade

The scenes are so cheesy. The action scenes were not filmed very well.

Two gangs in a major city in 1970
Spanish vs the African American gang. A preacher in the middle trying to protect the people trying to peach because everyone needs him. Spanish gang is afraid of the preacher ask for someone to get rid of him.

This film shows the dumbest and trashiest parts of the city.

This film shows drugs too.

I'm surprised they are actually able to show how drugs are made in this film and still be PG.

David Walkerson is played by Pat Boone.

The music was alright 60% of the time but I found 40% of the time the music did not fit the scene for me. And rather than feel for the scene like when the girl was getting clean off drugs or it made me feel like I lost reality and feeling and was completely not right for the scene and made me laugh instead of taking the film seriously with the correct emotion and lost all seriousness for taking the story .

Some of the ways which reflections in the mirror were used when we saw the drug dealer giving hearowine I liked

I was surprised by some of the graphic blood when one of the gang members fell down the stairs or the way they showed drugs being stored or made. I was surprised such images were allowed for a PG film.

I was surprised how little actual Biblical text were used in this film. It really was not used too much until the very end of the film. And the film made a big impheses on love and I was surprised there were not more messages besides just love in this film such as piece, war, killing. It was touched at the end but I'm surprised it was not made strong throughout the film rather than just the end.

The preacher coming to the main gang lords in the middle of the night was wired saying God loves you.

Some of the fight sequences in the film I found cheesy because of how it was shot where you were so close and cutting so quick that the action never was really focused and you could never see too much damage.

It has some good messages but the story could have been told much better in other parts.

Like the scenes that should have been the strongest emotional effect were reduced in effectiveness due to things such as the wrong type of music in a scene or music at all or cutting or what was emphasised when such a strong emphasis was not necessary and could have been understood without the emphasis.
June 8, 2014
The real life story is even better.
½ May 30, 2014
Its a truly awe inspiring story; but this 1970 film adaptation seems to make every possible effort drown out its message in cheesiness.
½ March 26, 2012
Great story, corny execution.
½ November 20, 2011
Campy and not very inspiring.
August 27, 2011
I've never watched this film, but the day i read the book, something, a whole new knowledge about GOD was revealed to me
June 4, 2011
Inspiring and ground breaking!
½ June 3, 2011
Good story but so old-fashionned.
May 2, 2011
i give it 4 stars, very well made true story about David Wilkerson who went to New York to help gang members clean their lives up.
the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is for the amateur music sound track.
April 28, 2011
I just LOVE this AWESOME story of how God used a country preacher to love the Gangs of New York!! A MUST SEE AT LEASE ONE IN YOUR LIFE TIME!!! You will be much missed Rev. David Wilkerson!!!!
September 8, 2010
[color=darkred]The Cross and the Switchblade is a great movie, even though it doesn't entirely follow the book.[/color] [color=darkred]It's an awesome movie for those who are having trouble finding God. It will definately change your life once you see a simple minister from the middle of no where, coming to the city and changing the lives of some of the toughest gang members on the streets of New York. If you've seen the movie, but haven't read the book, I suggest that you go out and find a copy of the book. It's more in depth than the movie, and it gives some of the details that the movie leaves out. Also, if you were interested in Nicky Cruz's story and want to know more about what happened to him after the end of the movie and before the begining of it, I suggest you read his book "Run Baby Run"[/color]
½ September 8, 2010
One of my favourite movies of all time.

The inspirational story of a man unwavering in his faith. David Wilkerson is a young out of town minister with an unshakable dream. To help troubled youth on the streets and in the gangs of New York. Wilkerson meets Nicky Cruz, a gang member, and the pair instantly conflict. It is the love Wilkerson shows to Cruz that is truly inspiring. The ministers reliance on the provisions of God is a tale in itself and the rehabilition from a troubled life on the streets for Nicky is truly remarkable.

That this is a true story only increases its impact on your heart. Admittedly it is not brilliant state of the art cinema, this film relies purely on the amazing tale it has to tell.
September 8, 2010
This is a must-see film for everyone. It is a true story of love, bravery and unfailing power of God to save, to change and give hope to the hopeless. This movie is a challenge to every Christian to be aggresive in sharing the gospel and showing love to people who don'y know God yet.
May 21, 2010
I've not seen this film in ages now. I remember it being pretty good. I'm a little surprised to see that it's listed as a PG I remember it being pretty violent, but I did watch it when I was fairly young.
March 26, 2010
We were laughing at this movie as we watched it. It is cheesy but the story is good and the message is strong. It also gets intense.
February 3, 2010
I give this film three stars mainly because of the story itself which is one of the most amazing I have ever heard. The book left me completely awe inspired, but because the book had such an impact on me the film let me down in a lot of ways.
The acting a lot of the time left la lot to be desired, half the time the tension the film tried to build was laughable - I kept expecting the fight scenes to shift into songs from West Side Story, and the soundtrack a lot of the time was a bit strange to say the least. I did however think the scene with Rosa in the church was done brilliantly - that was the one moment that really stuck out for me. It was both well acted and managed to create at least a little tension.
Although I give it three stars more for the story than anything else, there were things about it that still irked me. I hated the fact they tried to hint at some great romance between Nicky and Rosa at the end, which is certainly not how it played out in reality. Also I thought the film undermined some of the characters and how brave they actually were to either put their lives so much on the line, or make such a radical change as to accept God into a life that had before been filled with hate. I also do not think they portrayed the struggle a lot of the characters had in a way that showed how amazing these people lives had been affected and touched. But I guess that it the problem with trying to adapt a story like this into a film - if it was a fiction story I might have accepted it a bit easier, but the fact that these people are real and actually went through these life changing events made it a bit more of a let down that their story didn't get the best dipiction on the screen as it could have done.
½ January 12, 2010
Hadn't seen this for probably 30 years and while the acting is sometimes lacking and the screenplay could have been better, the message is loud and clear...and good. It's also notable as Erik Estrada's first role, one that left me wanting at times, but not throughout.
January 6, 2010
Excellent movie! This is based on a true story. A pastor from a small town tries to bring peace between to rival gangs and preach the Lord Jesus Christ to them. Very touching and inspiring and a reminder that all can come to Jesus Christ and be saved.
October 9, 2009
Some great acting and awesome true story. Christian film that has an injection of reality added to it.
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