A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out.
Los Angeles private investigator Harry Moseby is hired by a client to find her runaway teenage daughter. Moseby tracks the daughter down, only to stumble upon something much more intriguing and sinister .
During World War I, a British aristocrat, an American entrepreneur, and the latter's attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battlecruiser, which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar.
A Chicago mob enforcer is sent to Kansas City to settle a debt with a cattle rancher who not only grinds his enemies into sausage, but sells women as sex slaves.Written by
Brian J. Wright <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Nick enters the cornfield there's a spot on the back of his jacket. Next scene the strap on the pouch is covering it. See more »
I never knew a man before; not even to talk to.
Well where did they keep you?
In the orphanage with the other girls.
And where was that?
It was in Missouri. It's the only home I really remember. It was in the country.
Then you have nobody?
Violet, the other girl that was with me. She's my sister... well, not truly but we're closer than that. Violet and me we'd climb into each other's bed when it was really cold in the winter time and hug each other really close. Sometimes we'd...
See more »
In all of the marketing media, Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman were both billed above the title. However, in the opening credits, only Marvin is. See more »
In 1972, critics were so offended by the violence of this film (they were easily offended, back then), that they almost wholly missed the film's humanistic message - which is strange, because I doubt a film could state a theme more explicitly without getting didactic. If this films evades such lecturing - and it does - it is largely due to the exceptional understated performance of Lee Marvin; I didn't think anyone could wear white loafers and still look cool, but Marvin pulls it off. His utterly deadpan approach underscores his character's rapid responses to crisis situations - a truly dangerous man because no one expects him to be dangerous, he just looks cool. Michael Ritchie's direction is also noteworthy; he uses some strategies that also appear understated, thus giving the film a grittier feeling than one might expect from its MidWest locale. And there are some risky editing gambits (like the combine-car collision sequence) that, even when not totally successful, are efforts to be respected exactly for the risk undertaken. There are some drawbacks to the film - the ending (which I won't reveal) is entirely of its era, and a little embarrassing now; Gene Hackman's performance is a throwaway, when it needs to be as confrontational as Marvin's is cool; but the weakest point of the film is its sense of history: This script wanted to be a period piece set in the 1930s; the criminal underworld which these characters inhabit was a victim of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre (which put an end to the Irish mob in Chicago). To get a feel of the film that screenwriter Dillon really wanted to make, see "Road to Perdition". BUt taken on its own terms, and allowing that it is a genre film (and never pretends otherwise, really), this is a highly entertaining gangster film, with a grand performance by Lee Marvin.
23 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this