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Peter R. Hunt
Abner Procane, top L.A. burglar, finds that somebody stole his plans for 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>
(Some Spoilers) Priviat eye-like movie with retired newspaper columnist and now unpublished book author Raymond St. Ives, Charles Bronson, getting hired to be the go between in a switch of $100,000.00 for a number of personal ledgers of eccentric multi-millionaire and criminal master-mind Abner Procane, John Houseman. At first the job that the down and out St. Ives has seems to be a lead pipe cinch. The $10,000.00 that he'll get for it will come in handy for the compulsive gambling habit that he has and he thinks nothing of it.
Going to an all night laundromat in L.A to pick up the ledgers and hand over the cash for them St. Ives finds the person that he's supposed to do the switch with stone cold dead,Jack Boykins ,Jerrid Brutsche, is found spinning in a washer-dryer with his neck broker. What was to be a simple delivery and exchange for St. Ives turns out to be a string of murders. All that leads to a $4,000,000.00 pay-off, for a number of pages from Procane's ledgers that has information of his dealing with the president of International Electric George McDuff, Norman Palmer. McDuff is involved in setting up an under the table deal with a member of the Saudie royal family that would net him at least a one hundred million dollar contract.
Classy and well acted "St.Ives" has the beautiful Jackie Bisset, Janet Whistler, as the femme fatal in this film-noir drama set in 1976 L.A. John Houseman seems to be really enjoying the role that he has as criminal master mind Abner Procane who prides himself as never committing any act of violence in his long and successful crime career. The non violent Procane only in uses his smarts and soring intellect to get where he's gotten and not any rough stuff. As if he were playing a number of games of championship chess all which was so accurately recorded by him in the stolen ledgers.
Jackie Bissett is as gorgeous as ever as Porcane's aid, or partner in crime, Janet Whistler who turns out to be playing both sides of the law to get just what she wants. Maximillian Schell pops up in the movie every now and then as Porcane's personal psychiatrist, Dr. John Constable, who has more on his mind that the fantasies and fears of his patient.
The movie has a movie within a movie scene when we see the switch between the valuable information in Procane's ledger between go-between's of the Saudie Sheik and McDuff that leads to a bloody shoot-out outside the drive-in movie where the switch was made. Charles Bronson's St. Ives as usual overcomes the odds to get to the bottom of the case that he's on that for one of those involved ends up at the bottom of Abner Procane's giant swimming pool.
Bronson is pushed around and beaten up a number of times in the film but like in all of his movies he comes out on top in the end, especially with Miss. Bisset. The movie at the drive-in seemed to have a film that had an hour and a half long cattle stampede. This made me wonder if the film-makers of "St.Ives" got that idea from the great bad-movie director Ed Wood and copied it off from the legendary buffalo stampede of the Ed Wood directed film "Glen or Glenda".
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