Wayne trades in his saddle for a seat in a sports car and his six-shooter for a snubnose .38 in this disappointing crime picture set in Seattle. Wayne, a veteran officer, quits the police force after the murder of his best friend and fellow cop, Bryant. He refuses to believe that Bryant was
involved in drug trafficking, nor does he believe that his death was the work of radical student hippies. His superior, Albert, forbids him to investigate the murder, causing Wayne to turn in his badge. Wayne persists and nearly gets involved with Muldaur, the dead cop's widow, who displays an
acceptable amount of grief but is really working with a corrupt cop, Gulager, in a scheme to get hold of a priceless cache of drugs. Unknowingly, Wayne has the drugs hidden in his car, which explains Muldaur's interest. The loss of a best friend is only the first of Wayne's problems. Having
divorced his wife, the attractive Adams, Wayne also loses his daughter, whose life has become too busy to spend any more Sundays with him. Wayne then turns to Dewhurst, a cocktail waitress and former prostitute whose life has as little meaning as Wayne's. The two find a mutual bond in their
loneliness and spend the night together. Soon afterward, Dewhurst is killed, filling Wayne with the inextinguishable desire for vengeance. He sets his sights on local drug kingpin Lettieri (who was equally mean in THE GODFATHER and THE GETAWAY) and beats him into oblivion when he corners him in a
bathroom. Lettieri, however, isn't the mastermind behind the drug trafficking--it's the police themselves who have pinned their crimes on the mob. After a jarring chase scene that ends on a deserted beach, Wayne emerges victorious but still resigns himself to the fate of being a policeman. He
makes peace with Albert, whom he originally suspected of being corrupt, accepts his badge, and returns to the force.
After turning down the lead role in DIRTY HARRY (1971), a role also offered to Frank Sinatra, Wayne admitted that he was aiming for that Clint Eastwood audience with MC Q. Unfortunately, however, director Sturges (BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK; THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) couldn't bring the same excitement to
his film that Don Siegel did with DIRTY HARRY. The result was just another nail in the western coffin--the last great western hero, John Wayne, had transformed into your average angry cop. Wayne took another stab at police work in the following years (BRANNIGAN) before returning to solid western
ground in his last two pictures--ROOSTER COGBURN and THE SHOOTIST. Strangely enough, MC Q made it into the news in 1986 during the overthrow of Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. After an anti-Marcos military group seized control of the national television station, MC Q, for some unknown
reason, was shown in place of the regular programming.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1974
- Rating: PG
- Review: Wayne trades in his saddle for a seat in a sports car and his six-shooter for a snubnose .38 in this disappointing crime picture set in Seattle. Wayne, a veteran officer, quits the police force after the murder of his best friend and fellow cop, Bryant. He… (more)