First, sorry for the dearth of posts the past two weeks. Couldn’t be helped as I’ve been remarkably busy…though now it looks like things have calmed down just in time for summer.
Now then, the 1976 film Street People (the film is also known as Sicilian Cross). Never heard of it? Neither, frankly, had I. That is, until I spotted it on Netflix the other day. The film features Roger Moore as Ulysses, a suave -yet outwardly very honest- mob lawyer who, on the side, is really a two-fisted fixer who, along with his partner Charlie Hanson (Stacy Keach) makes sure that all the crime bosses behave and if anyone engages in any skullduggery, even if they’re his close relatives, they will meet their justice for any crimes.
My review of the film is brief: If you enjoy 1970’s era Roger Moore, Street People is a passable diversion, though it is far from the most coherent or exciting thing you’ll ever see. I suspect most modern audiences, especially those not as aware of Roger Moore’s oeuvre, will find little worth seeing.
But me, being something of that 1970’s era Roger Moore fan, was intrigued to find this movie even existed, yet it fit into a pattern of the type of movies Mr. Moore appeared to be pursuing: Films where he shared the screen with other well known movie/TV stars.
Perhaps the genesis of Mr. Moore’s interest in sharing the screen with other well known actors began with the short lived 1971-72 TV series The Persuaders. In that show, Mr. Moore shared the title role with Tony Curtis.
That very same year, Mr. Moore was part of a large ensemble cast that included Telly Savalas, David Niven, Claudia Cardinale, and a whole host of others in Escape to Athena.
The year after that, in 1980, Mr. Moore starred with Gregory Peck, David Niven (again!), and Trevor Howard in The Sea Wolves.
Am I making my point? Well, let me add just one more film: In 1981 Mr. Moore played a small -yet arguably the most humorous- role in a movie featuring a very large cast and starring Burt Reynolds. Who can forget….The Cannonball Run?
Ok, so I’ve gone an awful, AWFUL long way to make this point: I have a feeling Street People (remember that film? You know, the one this blog post was allegedly reviewing?) features Stacy Keach in a role that looks an awful lot like it was originally tailored for…Burt Reynolds.
In fact, I’m positive the “good-ol’ boy race driver” role that Mr. Keach played in Street People had to have been originally intended for Mr. Reynolds. As proof, I offer the following clip from that movie:
Much as I like Mr. Keach as an actor, every time he appeared on screen in Street People I couldn’t help but wonder if the film would have been better had Mr. Reynolds played the secondary role.
Regardless, I doubt he would have made the film all that much better than it eventually was. Still, an intriguing bit of what it…if nothing else.