GenreCrime, Drama, Thriller ScreenplayEddie Egan, Pete Hamill CountryUnited States
Release date25 July 1973 (NYC) WriterEddie Egan (inspired by the exploits of), Pete Hamill CastRobert Duvall (Eddie Ryan), Verna Bloom (Maureen), Henry Darrow (Sweet William), Eddie Egan (Scanlon), Felipe Luciano (Ruben Garcia), Tina Cristiani (Mrs. Caputo) Similar moviesNightcrawler, True Justice Blood Alley, True Justice 2: One Shot, One Life, Dead Drop, Angel of Death, Street Wars
TaglineA gun in his sock, a tire iron in his belt, and no badge. The story of Eddie. The best ex-cop in the business.
Badge 373 1973 trailer
When his partner is killed, tough Irish detective Eddie Ryan (Robert Duvall) vows to avenge the death, whatever the cost. As he begins unraveling clues, his behavior becomes so outrageous that hes obliged to turn in his badge, but the experience only emboldens him. Ryan eventually learns that his partner was caught up in a Puerto Rican gun-running scheme masterminded by a crook named Sweet Willie (Henry Darrow), who wants to foment revolutionary war.
Badge 373 is a 1973 crime thriller film inspired, as was The French Connection, by the life and career of Eddie Egan, here called "Eddie Ryan". The film, which has a screenplay by journalist Pete Hamill, was co-produced and directed by Howard Koch, and stars Robert Duvall as Ryan, with Verna Bloom, Henry Darrow and Eddie Egan himself as a police lieutenant.
The film was not successful, either at the box office or with the critics.
When his partner is killed, tough Irish detective Eddie Ryan (Robert Duvall) vows to avenge the death, whatever the cost. As he begins unraveling clues, his behavior becomes so outrageous that he's obliged to turn in his badge, but the experience only emboldens him. Ryan eventually learns that his partner was caught up in a Puerto Rican gun-running scheme masterminded by a crook named Sweet Willie (Henry Darrow), who wants to foment revolutionary war.
Eddie Ryan (Robert Duvall), a tough, no-nonsense, abrasive and racist Irish NYPD cop, has to turn in his badge after scuffling with a Puerto Rican suspect who then falls to his death from a rooftop, but that doesnt stop him from heading out on a one-man crusade to find out who killed his partner of three years, Gigi Caputo (Louis Cosentino), all the while neglecting his new live-in girlfriend, Maureen (Verna Bloom). Ryans search leads him to Puerto Rican drug kingpin Sweet Willie (Henry Darrow), and a shipment of guns for Puerto Rican independenistas.
Robert Duvall as Eddie Ryan
Verna Bloom as Maureen
Henry Darrow as William Salazar a.k.a. Sweet William
Eddie Egan as Lt. Scanlon
Felipe Luciano as Ruben
Tina Cristiani as Mrs. Caputo
Marina Durell as Rita Garcia
Chico Martinez as Frankie Diaz
Jose Duval as Ferrer
Louis Cosentino as Gigi Caputo
Luis Avalos as Chico
Nubia Olivero as Mrs. Diaz
Sam Schacht as Assistant D.A.
Edward F. Carey as The Commissioner
"Big" Lee as Junkie in casino
Duane Morris as Gay in casino
John Marriott as Superintendent
Joe Veiga as Manuel (Botica [sic] Proprietor)
Mark Tendler as Harbor Lights bouncer
Robert Weil as Hans
Rose Ann Scamardella as Herself
Pete Hamill as Reporter
Larry Appelbaum as Copo at toll booth
John McCurry as Bus driver
Bob Farley as Patrolman
Tracey Walter as Delivery boy
John Scanlon, Jimmy Archer, Ric Mancini, Mike ODowd as Tugboat crew
Robert Miano, Pompie Pomposello, Hector Troy as Sweet Williams hoods
Miguel Alejandro, Harry Collazo, Damian Colon as "Rubens gang
Johnny Pachero & his Orchestra as Band at Carorrojenos
Orestes Matacena as Drug Dealer
Journalist Pete Hamill, who wrote the screenplay, has a bit part as a reporter named Pete, in the sequence of Gigis wake, while WABC-TV anchorwoman Rose Ann Scamardella, later the inspiration for Gilda Radners Saturday Night Live character "Roseanne Roseannadanna", plays herself in a cameo appearance.
Dominican salsa bandleader Johnny Pachero & his Orchestra makes a cameo appearance in the opening nightclub sequence.
Badge 373 was shot on location on the streets of New York City. At one point, in what film writer Jeff Stafford calls a deliberate attempt to recall the car-chase scene from The French Connection, which was also based on the exploits of Eddie Egan, Robert Duvall as police detective Eddie Ryan attempts to chase down suspects in their car by hijacking a city bus, the 14th Street crosstown. The chase does not follow actual Manhattan geography, and passes locations including the West 125th viaduct and a meatpacking plant, and a branch of the record store King Karol at 460 West 42nd Street. Locations for other scenes include the Manhattan Bridge, with the World Trade Centers Twin Towers in the background, and the FDR Drive, with the United Nations headquarters visible.
On August 10, 1973, Paramount Pictures rejected a demand by the Puerto Rican Action Coalition to withdraw the film for what the coalition called the movies racism.
Director: Howard Koch
Producer: Howard Koch
Screenplay: Pete Hamill
Music composed and conducted by: J.J. Jackson
Director of photography: Arthur J. Ornitz
Editor: John Woodcock
Associate producer: Lawrence Appelbaum
Assistant to the producer: Irwin Yablans
Inspired by the exploits of: Eddie Egan
Art director: Philip Rosenberg
Costumes: Frank Thompson
Second unit director: Michael Moore
Production manager: Jim DiGangi
1st assistant director: Michael P. Petrone
2nd assistant directors: Robert Grand, Gerrold T. Brandt, Jr.
Technical advisor: Eddie Egan
Script supervisor: Roberta Hodes
Casting: Bernie Styles
Set decorator: Edward Stewart
Set dresser: Gary Brink
Hair stylist: Vern Caruso
Property master: Al Griswold
Costumer: George Newman
Special effects: Conrad Brink
Sound recording: Dennis Maitland
Re-recording: John Wilkinson
Eddie Egan appears in Badge 373 and The French Connection. French Connection II (1975). The Connection (2014). Robert Duvall appears in Badge 373 and We Own the Night. Eddie Egan appears in Badge 373 and Cold Steel.
The critical reaction to Badge 373 was generally negative. In the New York Times, Roger Greenspan pointed out the biases of the film: "All of the evil is perpetrated by Puerto Ricans, either innocent but violent revolutionaries who run around shouting Puerto Rico Libre! or the uninnocent but equally violent nonrevolutionaries who manipulate them. Against such forces, Eddie the hard-nosed cop has only the instincts of his personal bigotry to guide him. And invariably the instincts of his personal bigotry turn out to be right. ... [U]nless you care to hate Puerto Ricans (or Irish cops) I dont see how the movie can have anything for you".