It's an OK entertaining crime thriller of the who dun'it type from the
era when Charles Bronson made lots and lots of films and was on
Top of the World. Everyone loved him, just everyone and all over the
world. In a short featurette featured on this German DVD the
Charles Bronson popularity is mentioned - he was popular in the US,
but even more so abroad. He has some sort of integrity -
Jackie Bisset: He watches, he holds back and that makes him interesting.
Yes, a tough looking actor indeed with a minimalistic but very effective
acting style. A knight taking on the battle against the Bad Guys
in an endless array of westerns, action and crime films. His face like
chiselled out of a rock but when smiling friendliness peeps through
and we know he's the good guy and that the baddies will bite the dust
before the film's over.
The Face - Charles Bronson and beautiful Jacqueline
In St. Ives he does NOT play a hitman or some anti-social
tough loner, as a melon farmer (Mr. Majestyk 1974), a harmonica player
gun (Once Upon a Time in America 1968) or a man seeking revenge for
his family's death (Death Wish series), but the mild-mannered
ex-crime reporter and now author Raymond St. Ives.
He's a bit on the skids due to an excessive gambling habit, when he's
hired to act as an middle-man in a blackmail affair. In a mansion
in Beverly Hills, LA, some rich people has lost some journals in a burglary,
and they are willing to pay 100 000 USD in ransom to get
them back. Ray is about to leave the money at a certain place, a laundry,
but finds a dead man stuck in the tumbler.
Then he is attacked by a gang of killers (including a young Robert "Freddy
Krüger" Englund and a ditto Jeff Goldblum, a rapist bum
in Death Wish also, if i remember correctly) and he starts to sleuth
around to know why the journals are so valuable.
Note january 2021: Yes, i recently watched the 1974
Death Wish and Jeff Goldblum was one of the three rapist robber thugs
killed Paul Kersey's wife Joanna and raped his daughter. The director
of this film "St. Ives" J. Lee Thompson also directed Charles
Bronson in the 1987 Death Wish 4 and in a bunch of other.
St. Ives is a perfectly OK crime movie of the who dun'it
type, and Charles Bronson's presence makes it entertaining. I'm not
sure if i
have seen Bronson in a movie like this before, a crime mystery, but
it was interesting. As Ray he's quite tough but he's not exploding
into violence. There is some violence and death's but otherwise this
film could've been made for TV.
Otherwise John Houseman is good as the old man, Jackie
Bisset is beautiful and Elisha Cook, Jr. the legend in a very small
The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1
with an english audio 1.0 DD Extra: original trailer and a 4 min featurette
Charles Bronson 1921-2003, mining worker, WW2 soldier,
early role 1953 in the Vincent Price classic horror House of Wax, then
of westerns, TV work and gangster movies. Big break in The Magnificent
Seven 1960, The Dirty Dozen 1967 and unforgettable as
Harmonica in the 1969 Sergio Leone masterpiece Once upon a time in America.
Violent City 1970, Death Wish 1974, Mr. Majestyk 1974
My 2 Favourite Charles Bronson movies:
1. Once Upon a Time in the West,
1969 Direction: Sergio Leone
May be the best western ever made and Bronson as Harmonica
is great as the silent stranger. The Morricone soundtrack with the
Harmonica theme reaching it's crescendo when we get to see what happened
him could be the most powerful ever on film.
read more about the film further down on my Cult & Classics page
2. Violent City / Citta
violenta 1970 Direction Sergio Sollima
Yet again with a fantastic score by Morricone. Read
more about the film on my Giallo & Eurocrime page 1
Yes, Bronson made a lot of good movies and in the 1972
The Valachi Papers - Directed
by Terence Young he played one of the
best roles of his career in a very fine Mafia movie depicting the inside
workings of the New York Mob
German Koch Media 2017 Blu-ray edition
The film is based on real happenings and persons in
The Mob, about the mobster career of Joseph Valachi between 1930 - 1973
the year Joe witnessed before a Congress commitee to get FBI protection
from crime boss Vito Genovese (Lino Ventura).
Joe's mobster life is told in flashback from when Joe is "snitching"
to a FBI man when sitting in a protected jail. About how he
started out as a small time robber, how he became a member of the Maranzano
(Joseph Wiseman) family, about the Gang war,
about how the NY Cosa Nostra families united and organized themselves
as a military operation.
Because of the "Godfather" this Terence Young
directed film was forgotten, but it strives to depict the inner workings
Mob, how the Sicilian Cosa Nostra families in New York leans on old
initiation blood rites to keep their clans together.