Abner Procane, top Los Angeles burglar, finds that somebody stole his plans for his next ambitious heist. He hires Raymond St. Ives, crime books writer, to negotiate the return of those documents.Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Of Charles Bronson in this movie, The New York Times remarked that his "sagging eyes and mustache make him look more and more like Fu Manchu." In film history, Bronson never played the Fu Manchu character in motion pictures. See more »
When Charlie drives St. Ives home from the hospital, the same street pattern repeats itself. A store sign for "Newman's" goes by several times. See more »
Routine thriller with Bronson as an ex-crime reporter turned would-be novelist gets involved in a complex theft
Cloak and dagger story , poorly acted , that finishes into strange and surprising goings-on . Abner Procane (John Houseman) , top L.A. burglar , finds that somebody stole his plans for next ambitious heist . He hires Raymond St. Ives (Charles Bronson acting is wooden just like being habitual in his roles as an investigator who finds out about dark motives) to resolve the simple theft , but it escalates into a large-scale robbery and killings . Here Charles plays a reporter who carries out an investigation , a former police journalist who agrees to recover the stolen ledges . But Ives (Bronson was about fifty-four years of age when here appeared) finds himself dealing with treason , killings and a twisted intrigue . There are also some policemen (Harris Yulin , Harry Guardino , all the cops who show up in the movie but one are corrupt) pursuit him . At the end it takes place a confusing caper about the stealing of an American electronics firm's huge bribe to an Arab oil sheik .
This light entertainment and standard Bronson movie is full of clichés , thrills , betrayal and murder . Confusing and heavy-handled screenplay from a novel by Ross Thomas titled 'The Procane Chronicle' , being slickly paced but dumb . This is a "detective 'film noir' homage" which "features a dense detective plot in the manner of classic 1940s 'film noir' private eye stories" . Taking and snatching dialog here and there from the 40s , such as : ¨Everytime we find a stiff , you're around¨ . Neither Bronson's presence , nor Lucien Ballard cinematography can rescue this routine thriller movie for implausibilities from a complex and silly screenplay . It starts off well enough as tough thriller , but long before the final you've left wondering just what's going on . This Charles Bronson movie was theatrically released between his pictures From noon till three (1976) and The White Buffalo (1977) , both of them starred by Bronson . This is one of the first films Charles Bronson made for producer Pancho Kohner and being ¨Messenger of the death¨ the final of ten teamings between producer Pancho Kohner and star actor Bronson . Regular acting by Bronson as a crime books writer , to negotiate the return of some engaging documents ; however , he seems tired and bored from the start . Nice and wide support cast , such as : John Houseman as the criminal mastermind , Maximilian Schell , Harry Guardino , Harris Yulin , Dana Elcar , Michael Lerner , Dick O'Neill , Burr DeBenning , Elisha Cook Jr. , Daniel J. Travanti , later of TV's ¨Hill Street Blues¨ and Jacqueline Bisset as the gorgeous , glamorous , mysterious Femme fatal . Furthermore , cameos by Robert Englund as henchman and Jeff Goldblum as Hood #3 , he also appeared in a bit cameo as a thug in Charles Bronson's earlier movie Death Wish (1974). Besides , atmospheric score by the usual Lalo Schifrin , composed in the seventies's style . And crisp and glimmer photography by Luicen Ballard .
The fare was regularly directed by J. Lee Thompson , shot in up and downs , the movie consistently skirts the issues it raises . It's narrated understanding as well as hardly . This movie represented the first of nine teaming of director 'J Lee Thompson' with star actor Charles Bronson . Thompson previously had a nice track record in the English cinema from 1950 until 1961 , directing good Western (McKenna's gold , White Buffalo) and all kinds of genres , as Sci-Fi (Conquest and Battle of planet of apes), terror (reincarnation of Peter Proud , Eye of the devil) , adventures (Flame over India , Kings of the sun , Taras Bulba , Tiger Bay) and Warlike ( Guns of Navarone, Von Braun , Chairman , The passage). His two biggest successes turned out to be ¨Guns of Navarone¨and ¨Cape Fear¨. Thereafter , the filmmaker's career subsided in a morass of slickly realized but middling films . He moved into the field of international spectaculars , at which point his filmmaking seemed to lose its individuality . J. Lee Thomson working from the 50s in England, finished his career making Chuck Norris (Firewalker) and Charles Bronson vehicles (Caboblanco , Evil that men do , Messenger of death , Death Wish 4 : Crackdown, Caboblanco, St Ives). St. Ives rating : Mediocre but passable 5.5/10 , but it will appeal to Charles Bronson fans . Marks this down as for hardened Charles buffs only .
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