Billy Dee Williams stars as a hot shot police detective named Sneed, who's just moved from San Francisco to Paloma, New Mexico, on job-related purposes. From there, he continues his practice of being on the payroll of local criminals. Here, the criminal in question is a kingpin, Manso (Vic Morrow) hiding behind a legitimate company. Sneed is always figuring how to do his job while also accepting this syndicate money, and he even has a business advisor (Sorrell Booke) to help him in his pursuits. As directed by Robert Hartford-Davis, "The Take" is now somewhat forgotten over time, but it's an interesting little cop / crime film. Part of that stems from the fact that Sneed is so matter of fact about being corrupt. It's all part of the job for him. There are capably handled action scenes, as well as a fair dose of violence, but "The Take" is fairly standard stuff for the most part. One standout sequence involves the humiliation of an overweight suspect (Robert Miller Driscoll). One thing the viewer will notice is that the screenplay (based on a novel by G.F. Newman) doesn't try to shoehorn in too many romantic scenes with Sneed and the woman he loves (Tracy Reed, gorgeous but infrequently seen). It mostly centres around this milieu of male characters who are sometimes morally compromised in some way. Beautiful photography of the various NM locations is a big plus. Billy Dee does a solid job in the lead, although the scenario often has his supporting players stealing the movie away from him: Morrow as the sickly kingpin, Eddie Albert as the unknowing police captain, Albert Salmi as a colleague who's ALSO on the take, James Luisi as a trigger-happy thug, the ever-creepy John Chandler as a mystery attendant for the opening trial scene, and A Martinez as the determined young detective Tallbear. But the biggest surprise may be Frankie Avalon's deft performance as a low-level hood who becomes an informant. He has one impressive scene in an interrogation room where he breaks down. All in all, pretty enjoyable, if not all that memorable. Seven out of 10.
Action / Crime / Drama
Action / Crime / Drama
Crime fighter Terry Sneed arrives in New Mexico to help out a local police chief - but he's already taking money from the underworld.
December 8, 2019