Three Tough Guys (1974)

PG | 92 mins | Drama | March 1974

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HISTORY

       Working titles for the film included Two Tough Guys and Tough Guys, according to a 17 Sep 1973 Box item.
       Principal photography was set to begin 26 Aug 1973 in Chicago, IL, according to a 9 Aug 1973 DV brief; however, HR production charts from 7 Sep 1973 and 5 Oct 1973 listed the start date as 4 Sep 1973. Production notes from AMPAS library files noted that the shooting schedule was eight weeks, with five weeks of filming in Chicago at various locations, including: the Marina Towers; Sears Tower (the tallest building in the world at the time); Sepi Metals on North Elston; Bensinger’s Pool Hall; Irving Park’s Baritz Theatre Lounge; the John Hancock Building; and the Wrigley Building. The 17 Sep 1973 Box added that shooting took place at Chicago’s Red Rooster Lounge on Argyle Street; the Merchandise Mart; “the corner of Dearborn and Randolph”; and Navy Pier. The building that doubled as the Bayside Hotel was “an old Coast Guard station” on a jetty near Wacker Drive. The final three weeks of filming took place in Rome, Italy, where interiors were shot on soundstages.
       The film marked musician Isaac Hayes’s feature film acting debut. As stated in production notes, during filming in Chicago, Hayes performed as a musician at the “PUSH Expo,” a benefit to “Save the Black Colleges,” with cast and crew invited as his guests.

      The copy of the film viewed by AFI did not include end credits; therefore, cast and crew credits were taken from reviews and publicity materials from AMPAS library and may reflect both onscreen and off screen ... More Less

       Working titles for the film included Two Tough Guys and Tough Guys, according to a 17 Sep 1973 Box item.
       Principal photography was set to begin 26 Aug 1973 in Chicago, IL, according to a 9 Aug 1973 DV brief; however, HR production charts from 7 Sep 1973 and 5 Oct 1973 listed the start date as 4 Sep 1973. Production notes from AMPAS library files noted that the shooting schedule was eight weeks, with five weeks of filming in Chicago at various locations, including: the Marina Towers; Sears Tower (the tallest building in the world at the time); Sepi Metals on North Elston; Bensinger’s Pool Hall; Irving Park’s Baritz Theatre Lounge; the John Hancock Building; and the Wrigley Building. The 17 Sep 1973 Box added that shooting took place at Chicago’s Red Rooster Lounge on Argyle Street; the Merchandise Mart; “the corner of Dearborn and Randolph”; and Navy Pier. The building that doubled as the Bayside Hotel was “an old Coast Guard station” on a jetty near Wacker Drive. The final three weeks of filming took place in Rome, Italy, where interiors were shot on soundstages.
       The film marked musician Isaac Hayes’s feature film acting debut. As stated in production notes, during filming in Chicago, Hayes performed as a musician at the “PUSH Expo,” a benefit to “Save the Black Colleges,” with cast and crew invited as his guests.

      The copy of the film viewed by AFI did not include end credits; therefore, cast and crew credits were taken from reviews and publicity materials from AMPAS library and may reflect both onscreen and off screen credits.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Jul 1973.
---
Box Office
17 Sep 1973.
---
Box Office
18 Mar 1974
p. 4672.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1973.
---
Daily Variety
12 Oct 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 1973
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 1973
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 1974
pp. 3-4.
LAHExam
27 Apr 1974.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Apr 1974.
---
New York Times
16 Mar 1974
p. 16.
Variety
20 Mar 1974
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial and post-sync dir
2d asst dir
WRITERS
Story and scr by
Story and scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Stillman
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
Prop asst
COSTUMES
Cost
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus orch
Mus coord
Mus and lyrics by
SOUND
Supv rec mixer
Sd score
New York
Supv sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Re-rec
Post prod
Boom man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Dir's secy
Cinemobile driver
Prod asst
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stunt coord
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Two Tough Guys
Tough Guys
Release Date:
March 1974
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 March 1974
Los Angeles opening: 24 April 1974
Production Date:
4 September--late October 1973 in Chicago and Rome
Copyright Claimant:
Produzioni De Laurentiis Intermaco S.p.A.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1973
Copyright Number:
LP43351
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by Technicolor®, Eastmancolor
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Italy, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Chicago, Illinois, Gene Lombardo looks for an African American man named Tony Red at the Red Rooster bar. Upstairs, the bar’s owner, Joe Snake, warns Tony that someone is looking for him and offers him a gun for protection. Snake asks Tony where has stashed his money, but Tony remains mum. After ambushing Lombardo in the alley, Tony leads him to a desolate area under the train tracks and raises his gun; however, both Tony and Lombardo are shot dead by an unseen assailant. Father Charlie, a Catholic priest from the inner city, joins Lombardo’s wife, Anne, as she identifies her husband’s body. Police Captain Ryan shows her Tony’s corpse; although Anne does not recognize it, she confirms that the handgun found in Tony’s pocket belonged to her husband. Ryan suggests that Lombardo was sick of his low-paying insurance job and wanted to obtain the million dollars that Tony stole from a trade bank. Later, Ryan talks to Mike Petralia, a mafia honcho who complains that the newspapers are implicating him in Lombardo’s murder and the trade bank robbery. Petralia tells the police captain that he had nothing to do with either crime, but is upset that new criminals are trying to ascend the ranks of Chicago’s underworld and orders Ryan to find the killers. Petralia reminds him that in addition to his police salary, Ryan must earn the payouts he receives from Petralia. The next day, Anne informs Father Charlie that her husband was investigating the trade bank robbery. Stealing a page from a diary that Lombardo kept, Father Charlie goes to the Red Rooster and asks the bartender about Lombardo’s murder. The bartender starts to make ... +


In Chicago, Illinois, Gene Lombardo looks for an African American man named Tony Red at the Red Rooster bar. Upstairs, the bar’s owner, Joe Snake, warns Tony that someone is looking for him and offers him a gun for protection. Snake asks Tony where has stashed his money, but Tony remains mum. After ambushing Lombardo in the alley, Tony leads him to a desolate area under the train tracks and raises his gun; however, both Tony and Lombardo are shot dead by an unseen assailant. Father Charlie, a Catholic priest from the inner city, joins Lombardo’s wife, Anne, as she identifies her husband’s body. Police Captain Ryan shows her Tony’s corpse; although Anne does not recognize it, she confirms that the handgun found in Tony’s pocket belonged to her husband. Ryan suggests that Lombardo was sick of his low-paying insurance job and wanted to obtain the million dollars that Tony stole from a trade bank. Later, Ryan talks to Mike Petralia, a mafia honcho who complains that the newspapers are implicating him in Lombardo’s murder and the trade bank robbery. Petralia tells the police captain that he had nothing to do with either crime, but is upset that new criminals are trying to ascend the ranks of Chicago’s underworld and orders Ryan to find the killers. Petralia reminds him that in addition to his police salary, Ryan must earn the payouts he receives from Petralia. The next day, Anne informs Father Charlie that her husband was investigating the trade bank robbery. Stealing a page from a diary that Lombardo kept, Father Charlie goes to the Red Rooster and asks the bartender about Lombardo’s murder. The bartender starts to make a phone call, but Father Charlie strangles him with the phone cord and demands information. The bartender gives him an address and says that Fay Collins, Tony Red’s girlfriend, might have more information. At the apartment, Father Charlie is beaten by several thugs and thrown into the back of a blue van. Nearby, a former police officer named Lee Stevens watches and follows the van. The thugs drive to a foundry, where Lee knocks one of them out and steals his gun. As another thug operates a forklift, nearly sending Father Charlie to his death in a metal smelter, Lee shoots the forklift driver dead and saves the priest. At Lee’s apartment, Father Charlie reads a newspaper article about the trade bank robbery, and Lee explains that he was on duty as a policeman the night of the robbery, but that he left his post to tend to a girlfriend. In the meantime, his partner, Harry Marvin, was killed, and Lee was fired. Since then, Lee’s girlfriend has left him and he has become obsessed with finding the bank robbers, himself. Father Charlie, who was a hardened criminal before he became a priest, similarly wants to find Lombardo’s killers, so the two pair up. Borrowing money from Father Charlie, Lee retrieves his gun from a pawnshop. A drunk man who hangs around the Red Rooster informs the two that Tony’s girlfriend, Fay Collins, is an African American woman with a blond wig, and can be found at the Sunbay Arcade. Trapping Fay in a back room at the arcade, Lee pulls off her wig and recognizes her as “Dolly,” his ex-girlfriend. Realizing that Fay and Tony Red set him up, Lee becomes irate and strikes her repeatedly until Father Charlie stops him. Claiming she has no knowledge of the stolen money, Fay provides a phone number for Joe Bell, suggesting he might have access to the cash. Later that night, Petralia sends men to collect Lee and Father Charlie, but the twosome fights off the gangsters. The next day, Lee and Father Charlie follow Joe Bell to a run-down apartment building where Bell kills a man and escapes in a blue car. Captain Ryan arrives on the scene, and becomes suspicious of Father Charlie and Lee, who is armed. Fearing that more people will come after her for the stolen cash, Fay asks Joe Snake, who owns the Red Rooster and the Sunbay Arcade, for help. Snake gives her a key to a room at the Bayside Hotel outside town so she can hide out. That night, Lee and Father Charlie are kidnapped by the mafia and brought to Petralia’s office. Petralia says he likes the way they operate and offers $5,000 for their work on the case. He promises another $5,000 if they can help him implicate the robbers and clear his name. Although Lee suggests Petralia wants the stolen money for himself, Petralia denies it, telling them to turn it into the police. He suggests that Lee and Father Charlie go back to question Fay Collins. Father Charlie speaks to the Catholic Bishop of Chicago at his home, asking for his help in the investigation. The Bishop rejects the idea, but Father Charlie leaves while he is still protesting. Fay calls Lee from the hotel and admits to having the $1 million. Certain that someone is trying to kill her, Fay begs for Lee’s help and he agrees to come to her. Snake arrives at the hotel before Lee, taking Fay’s gun and informing her that he has taken the money. When Lee appears, Snake knocks him down, steals his gun, and uses it to shoot Fay dead. He then places the gun back in Lee’s hand to implicate him. Lee regains consciousness as Ryan and the police arrive. They arrest him for the murder, but, outside, Father Charlie appears, wielding a shotgun and insisting they release Lee. After he and Lee escape, Father Charlie calls the Bishop, who identifies Joe Snake as the owner of the Red Rooster and, likely, Fay’s killer. As Snake and his cohorts pack up the million dollars with plans to fly to Canada, Father Charlie and Lee sneak into his office. Fighting off Snake’s henchmen, Lee and Father Charlie team up and beat Snake to the ground. Having received a call from the Bishop, the police arrive and arrest Snake. Captain Ryan apologizes to Lee, inviting him back to the police force, but Lee turns him down. As the sun comes up, Lee and Father Charlie part ways, agreeing to look each other up if they get into trouble again. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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