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Thursday July 18th 2024

Across 110th Street | 1972

Quentin Tarantino pays homage to this classic seventies actioner by playing Bobby Womack and JJ Johnson’s theme tune over the opening credits of Jackie Brown.

Black and Italian gangs vie for control of Harlem, while black and Italian cops jockey for control of the precinct, in this gritty, documentary-style thriller. Taken from the novel Across 110th by Wally Ferris, the movie makes terrific use of real locations.

The opening credits sequence sets the tone as the white mobsters’ ’68 Cadillac drives north through Manhattan to 110th Street, the northern boundary of Central Park, dividing the Upper West Side from Harlem (the road sign which metamorphoses into the title credit is ‘Lenox Avenue/110th Street’), then on to 125th Street, past Harlem landmark the Apollo Theater, at 253 125th Street (seen in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X).

The Italians’ party was filmed at Central Park’s southern boundary, Central Park South.

Of the 60 or so locations used, the majority were in Harlem itself, where the production shot in real police stations, bars and private apartments.

There’s not much to search out as many of the buildings were already condemned, a boon to film-makers who wanted to pepper walls with bullet holes.

Still under construction at the time of filming, though, was the half-built highrise from which Nick D’Salvio (Tony Franciosa) and his henchmen dangle the hapless Joe Logart (Ed Bernard). It’s the Federal Building, 125th Street at Lenox Avenue, Harlem. The final, bloody shoot-out is on Lenox Avenue between 141st and 142nd Streets.