ByTino Jochimsen, writer at
The bald minority at Moviepilot.
Tino Jochimsen

Had you heard of Three Days of the Condor before the Russo brothers cited it as one of their main inspirations for Captain America: Winter Soldier?

Cap's second solo adventure felt a bit like said 1970s conspiracy thriller - and that was pretty good news, especially for old geezers like me who love such films to pieces.

Now Stephen S. DeKnight, the showrunner of the upcoming Daredevil series on Netflix, told Marvel's own online reporter, that the show would go in similar direction, "a kind of very gritty, 1970s New York feel."

We didn't need to be told twice!

Here are five terrific and gritty New York- set thrillers, Daredevil hopefully draws from.

The French Connection

The big cheese among the gritty cop thrillers. Gene Hackman's performance is among his best and there is no better car chase in film history. Fact. Hackman plays detective "Popeye" Doyle as a hunter obsessed with catching his prey, fancy Frenchman and drug kingpin Alain Charnier.

Matt Murdock could develop a similarly obsessive relationship with a certain other kingpin...

The Seven-Ups

The French Connection and Bullitt are gritty cop thrillers. The Seven-Ups is grittier. Roy Scheider, who played Hackman's partner in 'Connection', stars as the leader of an ultra-tough police unit who's not afraid to break the law to catch, or more likely kill, the man who murdered one member of his team.

While the movie doesn't hold up as well as The French Connection, it is relentless, very dark and morally ambivalent - all adjectives I hope to use again when Daredevil is released (also: my vocabulary is pretty limited).


An honest cop in a corrupt city. Truth be told, Serpico would fit better, if Gotham was the gritty 1970s series in question.

But Daredevil can take away plenty from the crime drama which features a medium-shouty Al Pacino at his best. Chief among the lessons to be learned: What's the price of integrity?

Daredevil should have a thing to say about that too...

Marathon Man

Showrunner DeKnight stated in the above-mentioned interview that Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin will be one of the scariest villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While this may be so, Laurence Olivier's Nazi dentist (what a combination!) in Marathon Man certainly is one of the scariest villains of the rest universe with his drilling-on-a-healthy-tooth antics. Ugh.

I am not sure I want to see scenes of this calibre in Daredevil but... well, one can always look away:

Death Wish

Arguably the worst film on the list, it's also the only one to feature the vigilante par excellence Charles Bronson.

Death Wish centers on a man who has had enough and tells crime convincingly to shut up by shooting it in the face. While Daredevil probably will employ slightly less... dramatic measures, Death Wish does the one-man-vs-the-crime-world thing very well in an emotional button-push-y sort of way.

At least Matt can't shoot them on sight!

These were my suggestions. What 1970s thrillers do you want to see in Daredevil's movie DNA?

Tell us in the comment section below!


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