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The Stone Killer (Charles Bronson) [DVD]

19 customer reviews

Price: £6.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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The Stone Killer (Charles Bronson) [DVD] + Mr. Majestyk [DVD] + The Mechanic [DVD] [1972]
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Product details

  • Actors: Charles Bronson
  • Directors: Michael Winner
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Finnish, Swedish, Arabic, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 May 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003GTY1B6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,770 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A new breed of anti-hero appeared in 1970s cinema. Obsession, violence and instability characterized these protagonists, regardless of what side of the law they were on. “Stone Killer” is underworld argot for these particularly cold-blooded and ruthless characters and New York detective Torrey (Charles Bronson) is just such a man. Chief among Torrey's enemies is mob tycoon Vescari (Martin Balsam), an old-school capo who has eluded Torrey and is now expanding out west. To track him down, Torrey must travel from the seamy underworld of Spanish Harlem and Little Italy to laid-back Southern California – skid row, Hollywood and the canyons. A bad shooting provides the excuse to get Torrey out of New York, where he is viewed as a problem by the police brass. In Los Angeles, Torrey has the same issues, but he finds himself in a very different society. Mathews (Ralph Waite), a bungling bigot distracted by problems with his teenage daughter (Christina Raines), is assigned by Detective Ca

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD
From that curious period when 70s films still looked a bit like they were shot in the 60s and when some cops still wore hats, The Stone Killer is a pretty decent pre-Death Wish Michael Winner-Charles Bronson film that doesn't do anything new but does it well enough for an hour-and-a-half to make for an efficient enough Saturday Night Special. Bronson's the New York cop whose trigger-happy reputation gets him transferred to LA, where he stumbles across a big case when a prisoner he was escorting to his old stamping ground gets hit before spilling the beans about a hit he was going to be involved in himself. And not just any old hit - Martin Balsam's mobster is taking a leaf out of Lucky Luciano's book and recruiting `an army without faces,' Vietnam veterans with no connection to organised crime, to take his long-brewing revenge for the 1931 `Night of the Sicilian Vespers' murders that ended the Castellammarese gang war 42 years earlier (the film gets the date wrong, citing 10th April 1931 rather than 10th September 1931, but hey, it's a Michael Winner film, you expect fact-checking?).

It's a decent enough hook for a cop movie, and it moves fast enough to keep you from thinking too much about the odd plothole. Bronson's on good form while Winner's direction hadn't yet got as lazy as it would by the end of the decade, though the shadow of the boom mike does have a recurring cameo even in the widescreen version. (Winner also includes a nod to film critic Gordon Gow, who worked on Films and Filming when Winner was a fledgling film critic there, in a PA announcement in a hospital scene.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD
In a three year period in the early 70s (72/73/74) director Michael Winner made three violent thrillers with leading man Charles Bronson. Sandwiched in between The Mechanic and the wave making Death Wish, is this effective piece. A film that is for sure the weakest of the three but still a film worthy of reappraisal.

The screenplay is by Gerald Wilson who adapts from John Gardner's novel A Complete State of Death. Joining Bronson in the cast are Martin Balsam, Norman Fell & Paul Koslo. The plot sees Bronson play a tough New York cop, Lou Torrey, who is forced to leave the service after shooting dead a teenager during a pursuit. Later, he is hired by the LAPD and finds himself in the middle of a plan by a Mafia don (Balsam) to avenge the slayings of Mafia dons back in 1931 (The Night of Sicilian Vespers). His plan involves using Vietnam Veterans as hit men as opposed to the conventional Mafia ways of eradication. It's a big operation, a dastardly operation, and as the bodies start to pile up; it's evident that this case calls for the toughest of detectives to get to the bottom of it.

Ah, the tough cop movie. In fact, ah, the tough grizzled no nonsense cop movie. It's a formula that the cinema and TV loving world would get plenty of during the 1970s. The decade would start with a bang as Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman laid down markers in Dirty Harry and The French Connection respectively. Which, to be frank, is a tough standard for any one to have to follow. Enter Michael Winner and Charles Bronson. Bronson had done some fine work in the 60s, with his weather beaten face, raspy voice and machismo seeping from every pore, Bronson was every inch a tough guy actor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tris on 25 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Packed full of bruising action Micheal Winner delivers a revisionist Western that allong with the Mechanic out manouvers his far more famous but risible Death Wish franchise. Charles Bronson gives a taut performance in a movie that true to its politicly incorrect era bombards the viewer with exploitative violence, casual racism homophobia,wooden dialogue and an incomprehensible plot involving the mob.
Roy Budd's momumental soundtrack pounds and drives the film through blinding car chases, grubby hotel rooms and beautifull desert sky's. The theme itself playing over Bronsons arrival in LA is 70s soundtrack gold.

The stone Killers America is an unromanticed grotty urban landscape that as in movies like Dirty Harry and the underrated The Laughing Policeman gives the film an uneasy backdrop of moral decay. Bronson heads out to SanFransisco following leads to a drug addled hippy commune, threatens the owner of an Organic Cafe with a hygiene inspection then back in LA chases down a Jazz trombone playing, motorbike riding, gay villian with psychotic proficiency.
This is no Mean Streets. There's no charcter development or subtlety. But its filled with fascinating period detail, great location shoots, solid effective photography.
Its time to drag Micheal Winner out of the movie gutter and recognise films like this as exploitation gold.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caligula II. on 8 July 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THE MOVIE

THE STONE KILLER is the film adaptation of the 1969 novel "A Complete State of Death" by John Gardner. The title was changed to "Stone Killer", which is an underworld term for a professional assassin who kills with no remorse and without conscience. "Stoneface" is also one of the nicknames given to Bronson.
The ultra-violent THE STONE KILLER is one of six movies Bronson made with director Michael Winner, the other five being CHATO'S LAND, COLD SWEAT and of course the first three DEATH WISH movies.
Unlike most of his movies after DEATH WISH, Bronson plays a tough cop who gets caught up in a mafia war in THE STONE KILLER instead of his trademark vigilante role.
Alongside Charles Bronson THE STONE KILLER features some really great actors, including Martin Balsam as the mafia don, John Ritter and Norman Fell. Ritter and Fell later would star together again in the TV series "Three's Company". Stuart Margolin (Lawrence) also starred with Bronson in the original DEATH WISH as Aimes Jainchill, the man who gives Kersey his first gun. Also starring Paul Koslo (THE OMEGA MAN).
I like all the Michael Winner -directed Bronson movies, and this is no exception. Typical 70s style and well-paced direction, but not "just" a DIRTY HARRY clone.
The excellent score was written by Roy Budd, who also composed the haunting and memorable score to the original GET CARTER, another 70s cult movie.
THE STONE KILLER is one of the greatest 70s cop movies, and an outstanding and often overlooked Bronson classic. I'm really glad Sony picked this one up for a DVD release as it is not available in the US. Despite being a very violent movie, the BBFC downgraded its rating from an 18 to a 15 in 2010.
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