This was the only directorial effort of Philip D'Antoni, producer of the action classic Bullitt (1968). Roy Scheider stars as Buddy Manucci, a New York City Police Department investigator running a task force charged with taking down criminals guilty of offenses that would get them a minimum sentence of seven years in prison upon conviction. Manucci's best street informant is Vito Lucia (Tony Lo Bianco), who double-crosses Manucci by using the lawman's secret list of Mob loan sharks to kidnap the crooks on the list and hold them for ransom. When the scheme results in the death of Ansel (Ken Kercheval), one of Manucci's men, the tough cop and his team, including Barilli (Victor Arnold) and Mingo (Jerry Leon), wage war on the city's underworld. As they bend the law in whatever violent shape they see fit in order to track Lucia down, grisly deaths and a heart-stopping highway car chase along the Hudson River ensue.