Major Charles Rane comes back from the war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a war hero. Some greedy thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver ... See full summary »
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Major Charles Rane comes back from the war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a war hero. Some greedy thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver dollars from him. In the process they also manage to kill his wife and son and destroy his hand. The Major wants revenge so he enlists the help of his war buddy Johnny to meet the thugs in a final showdown. Written by
Josh Pasnak <email@example.com>
Famous scene where Rane's hand is put into garbage disposal was originally lot more graphic. There was originally shot of his hand getting destroyed. Scene was filmed with fake hand and lamb shank which made it look very realistic. When movie was previewed, audience members reacted very strongly on that scene. According to writer Heywood Gould; "One woman fainted, another person ran into the lobby and demanded it's money back, and another guy was so freaked out that he entered in his car on parking lot and crashed into another car". After that preview, shot of Rane's hand inside disposal was cut out from the movie. See more »
The hair of most of the military personnel shown in the film, including that of Major Rane and his friend MSgt Vohden, is too long for military standards. Especially noticeable is the excessively long hair on the two-striper airman who opens the door of Rane and Vohden's executive jet after it lands at the beginning of the film. See more »
Major Rane could've been a Charles Bronson action hero, but he turns out being anything but
Before I began this, I expected a "Death Wish" style action flick about a vigilante. I most likely watched it simply because it is one of Tarantino's all-time favorite films and I'm a sucker for 70s exploitation. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was actually a very well done character study. This is the type of film that Paul Schrader excels at, a portrait of a desperate and damaged individual who slowly loses it due to the circumstances around him. It isn't a complete bloodbath either, with only several very violent sequences.
The strongest point of the film is definitely William Devane's performance. Major Rane could've been a Charles Bronson action hero, but he turns out being anything but. Devane paints him to be an interesting and sympathetic character, even when he commits deplorable actions. This is similar to another Schrader screenplay "Taxi Driver". Unlike Travis Bickle though, there isn't any narration to guide us through Rane's mind. Fortunatly, Devane uses facial expressions (or lack of) to his advantage. The character's silence is fascinating. The lack of explanation at times makes him all the more mysterious. It is a superb performance.
Overall, this movie isn't with out flaws, but it is certainly interesting. Devane's performance makes it all worthwhile. Why isn't this out on DVD yet? (8/10)
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