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Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Sturges
Produced by Arthur Gardner
Jules V. Levy
Written by Lawrence Roman
Starring John Wayne
Eddie Albert
Diana Muldaur
Colleen Dewhurst
Clu Gulager
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Harry Stradling Jr.
Editing by William H. Ziegler
Studio Batjac Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) February 6, 1974
Running time 111 min.
Country United States
Language English

McQ is a 1974 crime drama starring John Wayne, Eddie Albert, Diana Muldaur, and Colleen Dewhurst. The film made extensive use of actual Seattle locations. The beach scenes were filmed on the Pacific coast at Moclips.

The film features a young Roger E. Mosley as a police informer, Clu Gulager of The Hidden, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and The Return of the Living Dead as a corrupt police detective, Colleen Dewhurst as a cocaine addict and Al Lettieri as the most visible villain of the film, the drug king Santiago, in one of Lettieri's final roles.

Wayne had been passed over for the lead in Dirty Harry a few years prior to this film.[1] The producers of that film chose Seattle as its location in an earlier version of the script; it was later changed to San Francisco when Clint Eastwood became connected with the project. The film also has a dramatic car chase, with Wayne in a green 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, influenced by Steve McQueen in Bullitt.[2]

One of Wayne's more famous lines from this movie was after the character of Lon McQ was trapped inside of his car after it was crushed between two large trucks, he states to one of the reporting officers: "I'm up to my ass in gas."



Lieutenant Lon McQ (Wayne), a detective with the Seattle Police Department, investigates the murder of his longtime friend and partner, Sgt. Stan Boyle. The police department initially thinks that Boyle was shot by counterculture radicals. McQ thinks it was a hit by crime chief Manny Santiago. Interference from his superior over his pursuit of Santiago causes him to tender his resignation so he can investigate the case privately. He ultimately finds corruption in the police department related to confiscated illegal drugs when a shipment slated for destruction is hijacked by Santiago but both men discover the powder to be sugar. An attenpt on McQ's life leads to the wrecking of his car and eventually leads McQ to discover the real criminals behind the running as well as the killings of Boyle and two other officers, leading to a climatic chase along a beach.



One other noteworthy element of the film was its introduction of the MAC-10 submachine gun to the general public and creating a demand for it.[3]


  1. ^ Dowell, Pat. - "John Wayne, Man and Myth". - (book review of: John Wayne, American by Randy Roberts and James S. Olson). - Washington Post. - September 25, 1995. - Retrieved: 2008-08-05
  2. ^ Clark, Mike - "Behind the scenes with John Wayne". - USA Today. - May 22, 2007. - Retrieved: 2008-08-05
  3. ^ Larson, Erik (January 1993). "The Story of a Gun". The Atlantic Monthly (The Atlantic Monthly Group). 

See also

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