Joe Martin, a quiet American, lives a quiet life in the South of France renting boats to tourists. He is happily married to Fabienne and has a twelve-year-old daughter named Michèle. But the quiet man has a past: ten years before, Joe (then Moran) had escaped with four other convicts, among whom the sadistic ex-mercenary Katanga. Seeing the latter brutally kill an M. P., Joe had abandoned his accomplices and left with the car. One night, Captain Ross, Katanga, Whitey and Fausto re-appear..Written by
To receive a UK 'A' cinema certificate the film was cut by the BBFC to remove the sound of a neck break and a brief scene of nudity, and to edit the shooting of a man with a flare gun. It was later reissued with a 'AA' (now 15) certificate and the cuts restored. See more »
Though proudly billed as Terence Young's COLD SWEAT, this turned out to be a below-average international concoction: the plot is formulaic albeit adapted from a novel by Richard Matheson one that Bronson often returned to, of a man whose past catches up with him (in fact, I recently watched Sergio Sollima's similar but superior VIOLENT CITY ).
The film is doubly disappointing, however, for wasting the talents of actors of the caliber of James Mason and Liv Ullmann the latter clearly wishes she was elsewhere, while the former often resorts to hamminess (with a ridiculous American accent to match). As expected, the narrative flanks Bronson with real-life spouse Jill Ireland here in perhaps her most embarrassing performance as a spoiled hippie brat; needless to say, the star more often than not lets his physique do the acting for him but his is an undeniable screen presence and, as I've written elsewhere, he just happened to fit the bill for what was required of an action star in the late 60s/70s.
The supporting cast also includes Michel Constantin (who was also in VIOLENT CITY), "Euro-Cult" regular Luigi Pistilli, and Jean Topart all of them appearing as members of Mason's gang, with the latter being the most villainous of the lot and who gets his just desserts in memorable fashion. The best thing the violent film has going for it are the plentiful and exciting action sequences, particularly a lengthy if somewhat irrelevant car chase towards the end (once again, the work of Remy Julienne). Though the budget DVD at least presented it in the correct aspect ratio, the print for COLD SWEAT (which, along with a few other Bronson titles, has fallen into the public domain) was still too soft and murky to do justice to its variety of European locations.
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