Brannigan (1975)

PG | 111 mins | Drama | 25 March 1975

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HISTORY

Joe Battle was a working title for the film, as noted in a 15 Jul 1974 HR news brief.
       Appearing in the opening credits is a brass belt buckle with the following inscription: “Brannigan; An all talking movie; Filmed entirely on location in London town; John Wayne.” End credits state that exteriors were shot in London, England, by Wellborn Limited, and interiors were filmed at Shepperton Studios, Middlesex, England.
       According to a 10 Jul 1974 HR item, Brannigan marked actor John Wayne’s first London, England-based picture. HR production charts from 19 Jul 1974 and a 26 Jun 1974 Var brief announced that principal photography began 17 Jun 1974, with a shooting schedule of nine weeks. Locations included London’s Tower Bridge and Picadilly Circus, and interiors were shot at Shepperton Studios, as noted in the 26 Jun 1974 Var.
       Critical reception was mixed. The 18 Mar 1975 HR and 31 Mar 1975 Cue reviews pointed to John Wayne’s performance as a primary weakness, while the 25 Mar 1975 LAHExam described the actor as “magnetic.” In a positive 24 Mar 1975 LAT review, Kevin Thomas stated that the screenplay had “an affectionate sense of fun yet genuine respect for the mythical figure that John Wayne has become.” The 18 Mar 1975 DV review predicted that the film’s box-office earnings would be modest, as John Wayne’s previous turn as a policeman in McQ (1974, see entry) only took in $3.7 million at the box-office. ... More Less

Joe Battle was a working title for the film, as noted in a 15 Jul 1974 HR news brief.
       Appearing in the opening credits is a brass belt buckle with the following inscription: “Brannigan; An all talking movie; Filmed entirely on location in London town; John Wayne.” End credits state that exteriors were shot in London, England, by Wellborn Limited, and interiors were filmed at Shepperton Studios, Middlesex, England.
       According to a 10 Jul 1974 HR item, Brannigan marked actor John Wayne’s first London, England-based picture. HR production charts from 19 Jul 1974 and a 26 Jun 1974 Var brief announced that principal photography began 17 Jun 1974, with a shooting schedule of nine weeks. Locations included London’s Tower Bridge and Picadilly Circus, and interiors were shot at Shepperton Studios, as noted in the 26 Jun 1974 Var.
       Critical reception was mixed. The 18 Mar 1975 HR and 31 Mar 1975 Cue reviews pointed to John Wayne’s performance as a primary weakness, while the 25 Mar 1975 LAHExam described the actor as “magnetic.” In a positive 24 Mar 1975 LAT review, Kevin Thomas stated that the screenplay had “an affectionate sense of fun yet genuine respect for the mythical figure that John Wayne has become.” The 18 Mar 1975 DV review predicted that the film’s box-office earnings would be modest, as John Wayne’s previous turn as a policeman in McQ (1974, see entry) only took in $3.7 million at the box-office.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Mar 1975
p. 4765.
Daily Variety
18 Mar 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 1974
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 1974
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 1975.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
25 Mar 1975.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Mar 1975.
---
New York Times
27 Mar 1975
p. 37.
Variety
19 Mar 1975
p. 29.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Michael Wayne - Jules Levy - Arthur Gardner present
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Dubbing mixer
Sd ed
With the participation of
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Casting
Asst to prods
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Joe Battle
Release Date:
25 March 1975
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 25 March 1975
Production Date:
17 June--mid August 1974 in London, England
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corporation
Copyright Date:
19 February 1975
Copyright Number:
LP44330
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Filmed in Panavision®; Prints by Technospes
Duration(in mins):
111
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24041
SYNOPSIS

In Chicago, Illinois, police lieutenant Jim Brannigan searches for Ben Larkin, the head of an organized crime ring. He interrogates a counterfeiter named Angel, who reveals that Larkin recently hired an assassin to kill Brannigan. When the Scotland Yard spots Larkin in London, England, police captain Moretti sends Brannigan to London to personally escort the criminal back to Chicago. Meanwhile, Larkin’s lawyer, Mel Fields, informs Larkin that Brannigan is on his way but promises that Gorman, a top assassin, will kill him upon arrival. Although he wants to stay in London, Fields insists that Larkin must flee to a South American country where Chicago police cannot track him. At the London airport, Gorman, the assassin, follows Brannigan off the plane, but the two are separated at customs. Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Jennifer Thatcher meets Brannigan at baggage claim, and the two develop an instant rapport. Later that day, Larkin is kidnapped from a sports club by two thugs, and Brannigan learns about the abduction from Scotland Yard Commander Charles Swann. Elsewhere, Gorman retrieves half his $25,000 fee as an advance and locates the apartment building where Brannigan is staying. Mel Fields records a phone call from Larkin’s kidnappers, who demand that five envelopes of £50,000 be dropped at a postal box in Picadilly Square. He shares the recorded call with Swann and Brannigan, who find it suspicious that Fields chose to involve them since Larkin is wanted by the authorities. With Swann, Brannigan, and Jennifer Thatcher watching from afar, Fields drops a yellow bag filled with the ransom money at the Picadilly Circus postal box, as instructed, and two men in a Royal Mail truck retrieve it. Jennifer and ... +


In Chicago, Illinois, police lieutenant Jim Brannigan searches for Ben Larkin, the head of an organized crime ring. He interrogates a counterfeiter named Angel, who reveals that Larkin recently hired an assassin to kill Brannigan. When the Scotland Yard spots Larkin in London, England, police captain Moretti sends Brannigan to London to personally escort the criminal back to Chicago. Meanwhile, Larkin’s lawyer, Mel Fields, informs Larkin that Brannigan is on his way but promises that Gorman, a top assassin, will kill him upon arrival. Although he wants to stay in London, Fields insists that Larkin must flee to a South American country where Chicago police cannot track him. At the London airport, Gorman, the assassin, follows Brannigan off the plane, but the two are separated at customs. Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Jennifer Thatcher meets Brannigan at baggage claim, and the two develop an instant rapport. Later that day, Larkin is kidnapped from a sports club by two thugs, and Brannigan learns about the abduction from Scotland Yard Commander Charles Swann. Elsewhere, Gorman retrieves half his $25,000 fee as an advance and locates the apartment building where Brannigan is staying. Mel Fields records a phone call from Larkin’s kidnappers, who demand that five envelopes of £50,000 be dropped at a postal box in Picadilly Square. He shares the recorded call with Swann and Brannigan, who find it suspicious that Fields chose to involve them since Larkin is wanted by the authorities. With Swann, Brannigan, and Jennifer Thatcher watching from afar, Fields drops a yellow bag filled with the ransom money at the Picadilly Circus postal box, as instructed, and two men in a Royal Mail truck retrieve it. Jennifer and Brannigan follow the truck to the post office, where a messenger on a motorcycle retrieves the yellow bag and heads to a dock. Brannigan stops the messenger at the dock, but the bag is filled with paper scraps instead of money. Brannigan deduces that the kidnappers went underground to take the ransom money from underneath the postal box and replace it with a matching bag. Returning to his apartment, Brannigan notices an oily residue on his door handle and backs away, realizing that a gun is stationed behind the door, set to be triggered by a trip wire. Brannigan carefully sets off the gun blast, then finds a bomb connected by trip wire to his toilet. Concerned for his safety, Jennifer moves Brannigan into an empty apartment in her building, and Brannigan laments that Larkin tried to kill him in the past but murdered his rookie partner instead. At the Scotland Yard office, Swann informs Brannigan that the kidnappers cut off one of Larkin’s fingers and mailed it to Fields with another ransom demand. Although Brannigan suspects that Larkin may be behind his own kidnapping, Swann believes the finger proves he is an innocent victim. The landlady, Mrs. Cooper, gives a description of the man who visited Brannigan’s apartment, providing an accurate sketch of Gorman. Brannigan interrogates one of Larkin’s London contacts, a bookie named “Jimmy the Bet,” who provides the name “Drexel” as one of Larkin’s cohorts and names the pub that he frequents. There, Brannigan befriends Drexel, who, unbeknownst to him, is one of Larkin’s kidnappers; however, Swann interrupts them to arrest Drexel. Surprised, Brannigan pretends not to know Swann and punches him, inciting a bar brawl. Stealing away from the fight, Brannigan and Drexel go to Drexel’s apartment, where Brannigan finds a collection of newspaper clippings about Larkin. When Brannigan leaves the room to make a cup of tea, Drexel is shot by a sniper lying in wait outside his window. Brannigan sees the sniper run away and commandeers a car to follow him, but loses the man after crashing on a raised bridge. At Scotland Yard, Swann interrogates Gwendolyn Rooke, who recently photocopied maps of the Picadilly Circus underground, and Rooke confesses she gave the maps to her boyfriend, Freddy. Brannigan arrives at Swann’s office and identifies a picture of Charlie Kane as Drexel’s killer. Next, Swann questions Gwendolyn’s boyfriend, Freddy, who reveals that he sold the maps to Charlie Kane. That night, Gorman attempts to shoot Brannigan from outside his apartment, but Brannigan spots him and shoots first, sending the killer away. In the morning, Swann reprimands Brannigan for causing problems since he has been in London, and accuses him of inciting a bar brawl, destroying a commandeered vehicle, and engaging in a shootout on a quiet London street. When Brannigan reveals that he is no longer carrying his gun, which is against British law, Swann calms down. Later, Swann and Brannigan join Fields at his hotel room, where he accepts another call from the kidnappers. Although they want Fields to leave immediately to drop the next payment, Swann and Brannigan convince him to delay the drop for four hours, so they have time to locate Charlie Kane. Parting ways with the detectives, Fields warns that if they do not get Larkin back in four hours, he will make the ransom payment without revealing the kidnapper’s whereabouts. Leaving his hotel, Fields finds a tracking device on his car and removes it, heading immediately to the hideout where Kane and an accomplice hold Larkin. In cahoots with Larkin and Fields, the men laugh that they pulled off the fake kidnapping, but Fields turns on the kidnappers and shoots them dead. Embracing Larkin, Fields announces that he will fly first class to South America; however, the two freeze when a tracking device falls out of Fields’s suitcase. Within seconds, Brannigan and Swann appear and arrest the two at gunpoint. After police escort the criminals away, Gorman drives up and attempts to run over Brannigan, who shoots Gorman through his windshield. The assassin crashes, dying in a fiery explosion. Before leaving London, Brannigan bids Jennifer a heartfelt goodbye. +

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

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