Night of the Juggler (1980)

“Night of the Juggler” is a jaunty, outrageous and politically incorrect very late 70s chase thriller filled with a lot running, chaotic driving (stealing police cars), chewy dialogues and ballsy beat-ups. It’s a relentlessly raw and intense barrage, as our protagonist violently bounces from here to there encountering cops, corrupt cops, an ex-wife, pimps, prostitutes, bouncers and street gangs along the authentically seedy strips of New York in his quest to find his kidnapped daughter. In what was a bungled napping attempt of mistaken identity¬Ö although the kidnapper still believes he has the right girl; that of a wealthy real-estate owner. Now just wait until James Brolin’s ruggedly scruffy ex-cop character gets his hands on the madcap kidnapper. There’ll be hell to pay! Everyone he comes across that stands in his way have felt it. The pulpy plot might be “heavily” contrived, unpleasant and fairly ridiculous, as it goes beyond and pushes reality many times. However this one-man riot machine provides on-going gritty, seedy and unapologetic excitement. No one is safe from this one man’s devotion. “I’ve got to find my little girl.” A chiselled Brolin is fitting in the central role, looking and acting the part. Cliff Gorman is particularly edgy as the scummy kidnapper. Then you have Richard S. Castellano bringing some solidity and Dan Hedaya is memorable as a psychotic cop. Director Robert Butler provides great location staging for its action and keeps a frenetic pace keeping things rough and ready. It might not be high-art, but this grungy, slam-bang action fodder is smashing entertainment.