BRANNIGAN  has one distinctive bit of ironic trivia attached: it was written by Christopher Trumbo, son of blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, whose return to official screen credits began with a one-two liberal punch of Spartacus and Exodus, both battling for freedom against Duke’s The Alamo back in 1960.


Fifteen years on, 1975 sees John Wayne as a Chicago cop (with an attitude, naturally) going to London to extradite a gangster. Hit men for the mob have other ideas.  Explosions, car chases, shootouts and a barroom (make that pub) brawl disturb the tranquility of the English hosts.Brannigan-featured

Few bought it, with a foggy $4,400,000 take not even clearing the top 92 for the year.  Piloted by Douglas Hickox, lasting a drab 111 minutes, giving yeoman but thankless duty to Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson, Mel Ferrer, John Vernon, James Booth, Ralph Meeker (quite a comedown from Paths Of Glory) and Lesley Anne-Down.

Apparently it was a pleasant shoot, with Geeson commenting “Oh, I loved John Wayne. He was just so charming and easy to work with”, and Attenborough adding “Duke is just a lovely man. He and I are like chalk and cheese in so many respects, which is why I think we make good casting in our respective roles. It’s a caricature, of course, for both of us, but that’s what the American financiers want, I suppose.”

John Wayne + Richard Attenborough - Brannigan (1975)


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