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Scarecrow on Seattle: MC Q

For the past few years, Scarecrow Video has been contributing reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest to the Seattle Office of Film + Music's e-newsletter (you may have seen some of them when we had our Scarecrow on Seattle rental section up last year). We're now proud to be able to share these reviews on our site as well.





McQ (1974)
Often dismissed as a misguided Dirty Harry rip-off, this John Wayne cop movie is much more enjoyable than its mixed reputation. Sure, the story of a tough, "plays by his own rules" cop with a big gun has been told before. Yep, some of the car chases recreate moments from better-known flicks like Bullitt and The French Connection. And, supposedly, the lead role in McQ was originally offered to Bullitt's Steve McQueen. But none of those movies take place in Seattle and certainly none of them feature a scene where John Wayne beats up a guy in the bathroom at the J&M Café. The Duke plays an aging Seattle cop named McQ who drives a Firebird Trans Am and lives in a boat moored under the Aurora Bridge in Fremont. His best buddy on the force is murdered and McQ blames organized crime. McQ's investigation takes him around to several Seattle landmarks including the Pacific Medical Center on Beacon Hill, Pioneer Square, The Harborview Medical Center and a visit to the Key Arena to briefly catch a Sonics/Lakers basketball game. It turns out that his pal was one of several corrupt cops involved with drug smugglers, which leads to lots of butt kicking and automobile pursuits. The main car chase starts in the Central District, then through the International District with a final showdown on Beacon Hill. The film's finale occurs on the coast near Moclips/Pacific Beach where McQ and the bad guys engage in a good old-fashioned beachside shoot-out.
--Spenser Hoyt



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