Top positive review
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EVEN WHEN IT'S MELON FARMER VS. THE MOB - ALWAYS BET ON BRONSON!
on 18 November 2014
REVIEWED VERSION: 2004 20the MGM UK DVD
Director: Richard Fleischer
Cast: Charles Bronson, Al Lettieri, Linda Cristal, Lee Purcell, Paul Koslo
Vince Majestyk (Charles Bronson), a Vietnam veteran turned melon farmer, only wants his peace and quiet tending his watermelons.
When his workers are being threatened and Majestyk steps in, he finds himself not only fighting the law, but also the local mob, led by Frank Renda (Al Lettieri), who think they can take Majestyk on... Big mistake, as the tagline says: Organized crime has met its match.
THE PROS & CONS
MR. MAJESTYK is one of the best Charles Bronson movies. The screenplay was written by Elmore Leonard, who also wrote the novelization based on the movie, and it shows.
Made in the same year as the original DEATH WISH, Bronson wasn't so restricted to the vigilante genre and the genre itself was still fresh.
Director Richard Fleischer delivers a superb action thriller that is incredibly well-paced without having explosions and shootings every 2 minutes. The movie is story-driven, but has its fair amount of 70s style action even including a car (pickup truck) chase. MR. MAJESTYK is nowhere near as violent as the DEATH WISH series and does not include exploitative rape scenes. By today's standards it should be a 15 (it's a PG in the US).
All actors deliver superb performances, especially the charismatic Charles Bronson and Al Lettieri who are very convincing in their roles. Linda Cristal and the beautiful Lee Purcell, just about the only females in the movie play their parts well, Cristal even taking part in some of the action.
Paul Koslo you kinda like to hate in this film (that means he's convincing!) and Frank Maxwell as the "thanks-for-nothing"-cop you'd like to smack.
The characters themselves are well-written non-stereotypes: the melon farmer is not the toothless "dumb hick" who shoots at anything that moves and the mobster isn't the Italian clean-cut suit and tie guy. This is the way it's done! Thank you, Elmore Leonard!
I loved the cinematography (Richard H. Kline ), the lovely shots of rural Colorado are just wonderful! This movie was made in a time when the filming locations were still genuine and not cheaply shot in Eastern Europe with plenty of revealing mistakes (Romanian license plates and European roadsigns in California, yeah right!) and it looks great!
Definitely a classic, and along with DEATH WISH one of the films that paved the way for Bronson's career in the US, but also one that would restrict him to the vigilante role, when he was a very unique actor indeed: able to play action roles like Stallone/Schwarzenegger and able to play serious character-driven roles.
MR. MAJESTYK is definitely one of the best movies of the 70s!
Feature running time: 99:22 mins. (uncut)
Rating: PG (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 / 16:9
Audio: English 2.0 mono, Italian 2.0 mono, German 2.0 mono, Spanish 2.0 mono, French 2.0 mono
Subtitles: English HoH,
Romanian, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, Greek, and French
Extras: Absolutely nothing
Region: 2 / PAL (locked)
Picture quality: 3/5
Audio quality: 3/5