After a bloody double-cross leaves him for dead, professional hit man Jeff tracks the shooter and his beautiful mistress to New Orleans. But when Jeff takes both revenge and the woman, he finds himself blackmailed by a powerful crime boss who wants the fiercely independent gunman to join his organization. Jeff refuses, and is hunted through an unforgiving city where love is like a loaded gun and debts of vengeance are paid in bullets. Written by
Edwin van Oorschot <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the shooting scene after Coogan and Vanessa left in the Porsche, the P08 Luger, with which Jeff kills his three pursuers, is seen at one moment in a take from behind with the breech opened (magazine empty) and in the very next moment in a take from the front with the breech closed (pistol loaded). This continuity-error is about ten minutes into the movie, in a scene where Jeff lies in the sand and shoots the last attacker on the other side of the burning car. See more »
Director Sollima first forsook the Western genre with this stylish gangster drama: its complex revenge plot is, basically, a combination of two seminal American noirs – OUT OF THE PAST (1947) and POINT BLANK (1967). The end result is overlong and deliberately-paced – but the second half generates considerable tension, and the action sequences (particularly the opening car chase, a racing-car ‘accident’ and the climactic shoot-out in a rising elevator which, incidentally, are all the more effective for being completely dialogue-free) are undeniably well-staged and exciting.
The film also provided its star, Charles Bronson, with a virtual template for all his subsequent vehicles; though his real-life wife Jill Ireland (who appears in a surprising number of nude scenes) doesn’t quite cut it as a femme fatale, the couple’s chemistry is more than evident and gives credence to the on/off romance which essentially drives the narrative. Also in the cast: Telly Savalas (in his all-too-typical role of crime kingpin), Umberto Orsini (as a shady lawyer) and Michel Constantin (as Bronson’s ageing junkie pal). Beneficial, too, is the unusual New Orleans setting – and the remaining credentials are certainly imposing: “Euro Cult” fixture Ennio Morricone’s score is excellent (but, again, the main theme is awfully similar to that of REVOLVER  and THE UNTOUCHABLES !); renowned cinematographer Aldo Tonti; and, most astonishingly, co-screenwriter Lina Wertmuller.
The DVD features an informative 15-minute interview with Sollima, in which he discusses how he became involved with the project: invariably, he had found the original script terrible but was eventually lured by the opportunity of a U.S. shoot, mentions that the lead roles were originally intended for Jon Voight and Sharon Tate(!), and even recalls an amusing anecdote which sums up Morricone’s attitude to films.
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