SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.
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.