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Racial tension in L.A., as beefy nightclub boss Jim Brown avenges his brother''s death by leading black Vietnam vet activists against the white mobsters who are responsible.
Successful entrepreneur Gunn lives with his girl friend Judith and his younger brother Scott on an estate attached to The Gunn Club, his nightclub that caters exclusively to blacks. Righteous and naïve, Scott has joined the Black Action Group (BAG), a group of militants and returning Vietnam War veterans. One night, the group robs an East Los Angeles mob syndicate betting parlor for money to purchase weapons and absconds with incriminating daily payoff records. During the heist, one BAG member is shot and killed. Later, when Scott attempts to hide the money in a vault at The Gunn Club, Gunn catches his brother and questions him. Scott defends BAG's actions as necessary to stop the white power establishment from oppressing blacks, vowing to use the money to bomb banks and wealthy white homes. Seeing the payoff books, Gunn realizes that his brother is in deep trouble with the mob, but agrees to hold both the money and books for safekeeping. Meanwhile, mob leader Laurento promotes Russ Capelli, a used car dealership owner and minor mob figure, to West Coast mob chief and charges him with managing psychotic hit man Ray Kriley, who has been assigned to find the payoff books at any price. Knowing that the robbers were black, Kriley, Rico and two other thugs beat a regular black informant, parking attendant Sam Green, for information, but Sam refuses to divulge the truth. The gang then badgers a white prostitute who services the black community for names in connection with the robbery. Realizing she is holding back and that her regular customers are returning veterans and militants, they go to the BAG storefront office. When his demands for the money and the books are met with silence by BAG leader Seth and others, Kriley threatens a young boy, then flees as BAG militants fire their guns after him. Soon after, black homicide detective Lt. Hopper and his white associate, Cassidy, arrive at the Gunn home to question Scott. Learning from his club host Larry that the police are waiting, Gunn convinces his brother to go into hiding, then obstinately refuses to answer the policemen's questions about the robbery and murder. At the club later, white congressman Carl Adams and several guests, including wealthy socialite Toni Lombardo, ask for a table but are tactfully refused by Gunn, who suggests that all the empty tables are reserved. Mentioning that Lt. Hopper sent him, Adams gains entrance and talks alone with Gunn about the increased tension in his district over the recent robbery, trying to pressure Gunn into resolving the issue with the mob. Suddenly Frank, a white guest in the Adams' party, accosts Judith, prompting Gunn to ask Adams and his friends to leave. Later, Gunn retires to a lounge room where Toni is waiting to seduce him under the pretense of apologizing for Frank's behavior. As Gunn tries to deflect her advances, Kriley and his thugs burst in holding Larry at gunpoint, demanding that Gunn leave with them. Gunn, whose house is filled with various antique firearms, pulls out a shotgun hidden in his desk and shoots at Kriley and his thugs, who flee. The next morning, Gunn finds that the mob has mortally wounded Scott and left him to die on the front lawn. Determined to avenge his brother's murder, Gunn hands the mob money over to BAG members and offers to team up with them. Believing that a drug dealer probably informed the mob about Scott's location in exchange for money, Gunn and the BAG militia grip dealer Jimpy in a choke hold until he divulges that Kriley is responsible for Scott's death and that he is a regular at the Hollywood Park Racetrack. Soon after, Gunn spots Kriley at the track and chases him to an apartment, where Gunn beats him unconscious. His own shirt ripped to shreds, Gunn takes one of Kriley's and flees just as the police arrive. Learning from Judith that the police have staked out his home, Gunn arranges to meet her at her apartment, where she undresses him and finds a slip of paper belonging to Kriley in his shirt. The date and time on the paper match a fundraiser Adams had invited him to for later that day. After determining from county records that the house at which the party is being held belongs to Laurento, Gunn arrives there and deduces that Toni, who claims it is her home, is Laurento's niece. Gunn offers to give her the books in trade for Scott's murderer, but Toni refuses, prompting Gunn to hold Frank under water, until he finally names Capelli and his location at the San Pedro docks. Arriving at the mob warehouse hours later, Seth and the militia wait outside as Gunn sneaks in and spots Capelli counting a drug shipment. After shooting one of the gangster's thugs, Gunn holds Capelli at gunpoint, but is soon tackled to the ground by Capelli's men. Meanwhile, Hopper and Cassidy, who have followed Gunn to the location, offer to "unofficially" work with the BAG militia to stop the mobsters. Stealthily moving between warehouse boxes, the men soon find Capelli threatening to blind Gunn with a blow torch, prompting the BAG gunmen and the two officers to begin a shootout with the mobster. Within minutes half the BAG gunmen are killed and the remaining men are easily outnumbered by Capelli's crew. Gunn risks his life to help the injured Seth, but as they drive through mob gunfire, the car flips over. After narrowly escaping before the car explodes in flames, mortally wounded Seth takes the wheel of a large truck while Gunn shoots a machine gun from the truck's bed. Gunn finally hurls a barrel of flammable liquid from the back of the truck at Capelli and lights it, sending the gangster to a fiery death. Later at the Gunn Club estate, Judith is tending to her lover's wounds when Hopper comes to take Gunn in on minor charges. Hopper, who respects Gunn's courage, tells Judith that Gunn has "got it together," to which Judith replies, "No, but he's getting it together."
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||R||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 20 Dec 1972|
|Release Date:||1972||Production Date:||
A John Heyman Production of a Robert Hartford-Davis Film
|Color/B&W:||Color (Eastmancolor)||Distributions Co:||Columbia Pictures|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||World Film Services, Ltd., World Arts Media Film Productions Associates (UK) Ltd., Champion Production Company|
|Duration(mins):||94||Country:||Great Britain and United States|
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