Mr Majestyk [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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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!Read more ›
Despite finding success in Europe, Charles Bronson still hadn't made it really big in the US in 1974, so Mr. Majestyk was marketed less on his name than on the promise of Richard Fleischer's film being another Billy Jack or Walking Tall, but the film was part of a one-two whammy with Death Wish, released only a week later, that finally propelled him to superstar status Stateside. Bronson may have managed to antagonise his director and crew so much that, according to Fleischer, they would barely talk to him after the first day's shooting but it's the perfect star vehicle for him as the kind of guy who keeps himself to himself until he's pushed too far. Elmore Leonard's script casts him as a melon farmer who manages to get on the wrong side of both Paul Koslo's small-time local hood who tries to cut in on his business and Al Lettieri's hitman with a seriously bad temper, with the police all too happy to use him as live bait and regarding the possibility of him getting killed as a bit of a bonus. All Bronson wants to do is get in his melon crop before his farm goes under, but with Lettieri and co. scaring off or crippling his workers and shooting up his crop it's only a matter of time before a melon farmer's gotta do what a melon farmer's gotta do...
Leonard cut his teeth on westerns, and this is very much a well-crafted modern western crossover to his now more recognised thriller work, but it knows its audience and their expectations perfectly and delivers the kind of decent-guy-fighting-back-after-being-pushed-too-far action movies that moviegoers in the 70s just lapped up, and it holds up remarkably well today.Read more ›
team of pickers to harvest the crop, however would-be hardman 'Bobby Kopas'
(Paul Koslo) try's to impose his own workers on 'Vince' who is having none of it.
A short while later after his encounter with 'Kopas' who he'd turned off his property
'Vince' is arrested for assault.
This proves to be only the beginning of 'Vince's' problems, when with other prisoners
he is being transported for a hearing, gunmen try to hijack the Bus and Police escort
with the intention of releasing 'Mafia' Hit-Man 'Frank Renda' (Al Letteira)
During a frantic fire-fight 'Vince' takes over the Bus and speeds off with just the Hitman
still cuffed on-board.
'Vince' try's to do the right thing, however the Police aren't listening, 'Frank' gives
'Vince' a lucrative option, which is worth considering.
The transfer goes pear-shaped, 'Vince' has clearly made an enemy of the Hit-man.
'Frank' has issues he wants to resolve with a 'bullet'
When 'Frank' has 'Vince's' crops partially destroyed and scares 'Vince's' migrant workers
off, 'Vince' gets somewhat vengeful toward his pursuer.
'Frank' try's to corner 'Vince' who now has 'Nancy' (Linda Cristal) in tow, what follows see's
the Hunter become the Hunted as 'Vince' turns the tables on the Hit-man.
With 'Corrupt -Cops' often looking the other way, an intense car-chase on the back-roads
and dust tracks along with bullets flying the '1974' 'Hollywood-Hardman' 'Bronson' action-
movie is definitely worth a visit.
I thank fellow 'reviewers' 'Timelord' and 'Caligula' for the recommendation.
(No Oscars to be won, however more than worth a viewing)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ask Any Charles Bronson Fan Their Favourite Movie featuring Their Hero and Mr Majestyk will feature High on Their list. To most fans This is Charles Bronson The Mellon picker. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Paul
Charles Bronson, what a unique actor. The original hard man. Such a brooding presence, and he almost looks irritated when he has to speak, but his anti-acting makes him so... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rappers
this is charles in another good role and another good film, its worth the price and worth watching.Published 5 months ago by t j mason
Great film, great picture. Cant beat a bit of Bronson. Hopefully this label will release more gritty 70s thrillers like this.Published 5 months ago by Roy Munson
Great transfer to DVD of a Bronson classic! A gripping well acted, action pact and thought provoking story!Published 6 months ago by Kieran JJ Kilmartin