Night of the Juggler (1980)

  • Year: 1980
  • Released: 07 Jun 1980
  • Country: United States
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  • Available in: 480p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: R
  • Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
  • Runtime: 101 min
  • Writer: William P. McGivern, William W. Norton, Rick Natkin
  • Director: Robert Butler, Sidney J. Furie
  • Cast: James Brolin, Cliff Gorman, Richard S. Castellano
  • Keywords: ransom, psychopath, manhattan, new york city, child kidnapping,
70% – Audience

Night of the Juggler Storyline

A tough cop goes on a citywide rampage when his daughter is mistakenly kidnapped by a psycho. The psycho had originally targeted someone else’s daughter, but is just as prepared to kill anybody unless his colossal ransom demands are met.—Jonathon Dabell

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Night of the Juggler Movie Reviews

“I swear your underwear is too tight or something.”

My word what a ride! Bizarre and spiteful, but dynamically boundless. Now that they don’t make urban action thrillers like this any more. They just wouldn’t dare. But boy do I miss them. “Night of the Juggler” is a jaunty, outrageous and politically incorrect very late 70s chase thriller filled with a lot running, chaotic driving (stealing police cars), chewy dialogues and ballsy beat-ups. It’s a relentlessly raw and intense barrage, as our protagonist violently bounces from here to there encountering cops, corrupt cops, an ex-wife, pimps, prostitutes, bouncers and street gangs along the authentically seedy strips of New York in his quest to find his kidnapped daughter. In what was a bungled napping attempt of mistaken identity… although the kidnapper still believes he has the right girl; that of a wealthy real-estate owner. Now just wait until James Brolin’s ruggedly scruffy ex-cop character gets his hands on the madcap kidnapper. There’ll be hell to pay! Everyone he comes across that stands in his way have felt it. The pulpy plot might be “heavily” contrived, unpleasant and fairly ridiculous, as it goes beyond and pushes reality many times. However this one-man riot machine provides on-going gritty, seedy and unapologetic excitement. No one is safe from this one man’s devotion. “I’ve got to find my little girl.” A chiselled Brolin is fitting in the central role, looking and acting the part. Cliff Gorman is particularly edgy as the scummy kidnapper. Then you have Richard S. Castellano bringing some solidity and Dan Hedaya is memorable as a psychotic cop. Director Robert Butler provides great location staging for its action and keeps a frenetic pace keeping things rough and ready. It might not be high-art, but this grungy, slam-bang action fodder is smashing entertainment.

New York Sleazefest

This is an amazing movie if you enjoy hoards of that classic New York ghettoness which we all remember from the 70’sand 80’s.

Highlights include abandoned housing, crackers, strippers, guys firing shotguns in the middle of the street, a vicious dog mauling and other crazy antics. Other interesting incidents include the Puerto Rican gang fights , car part stripping in what looks like the Bronx, and to top it off the main plot involves the kidnapping of a child

But ladies and gentlemen, this one ain’t about the plot, so bust out your favorite beer and sit down for a wild ride down crack street deep in the jungle of the Big Apple!

Time capsule of sleazy NYC

Brolin stars as an ex-cop turned trucker driver who has to track down a psycho extortionist after the guy mistakenly kidnaps Brolin’s daughter. Along the way he encounters pimps, prostitutes, crooked cops, youth gangs and, worst of all, his ex-wife. Ouch! Despite the horrible title (exactly what is that supposed to mean?), this is a great little thriller that captures NYC at its sleazy best. There are two great car/foot chases courtesy of stunt coordinator Chris Howell (who even had his preteen son C. Thomas Howell doing stunts on this!). Unfortunately the Media VHS I have is so dark during the last 15 minutes that it is hard to make out exactly what is happening (it is a chase through the sewers). Also featuring Julie Carmen, Dan Hedaya, Mandy Patinkin and porn star Sharon Mitchell (who also appeared in William Lustig’s MANIAC).