A crime novelist is hired by a shady character to negotiate the return of stolen confidential documents.


J. Lee Thompson


Ross Thomas (novel) (as Oliver Bleeck), Barry Beckerman (screenplay)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Raymond St Ives
John Houseman ... Abner Procane
Jacqueline Bisset ... Janet Whistler
Maximilian Schell ... Dr. John Constable
Harry Guardino ... Det. Frank Deal
Harris Yulin ... Det. Carl Oller
Dana Elcar ... Lt. Charles Blunt
Michael Lerner ... Myron Green
George Memmoli ... Shippo
Dick O'Neill ... Hesh
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Eddie (as Elisha Cook)
Jerome Thor ... Chasman
Val Bisoglio ... Finley Cummins
Burr DeBenning ... Officer Fran (as Burr De Benning)
Daniel J. Travanti ... Johnny Parisi


Abner Procane, top Los Angeles burglar, finds that somebody stole his plans for his next ambitious heist. He hires Raymond St. Ives, crime books writer, to negotiate the return of those documents. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's clean. He's mean. He's the go-between. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The New York Times said that this movie had a central character which was "the kind of private eye role that Humphrey Bogart used to do." See more »


About 10 minutes in when St Ives is is interrogated at a precinct a microphone is visible at the top of the screen. See more »


Det. Carl Oller: Every time we find a stiff, you're around, now why is that?
Raymond St Ives: I guess I'm just lucky.
See more »


Features The Birth of a Nation (1915) See more »

User Reviews

Houseman makes it worth seeing.
14 September 2014 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Charles Bronson stars as the title character in this twist-laden tale of intrigue. Raymond St. Ives is a crime writer who's currently in need of some cash. He's hired by a devious career criminal, Abner Procane (John Houseman), who's written down several journals of his misdeeds. It seems that Procanes' journals have been stolen, and he needs St. Ives to act as a "go between", or deliver money to the thieves while retrieving the incriminating documents. But nothing goes as planned, and St. Ives, an inquisitive sort as well as a cool customer, becomes determined to find out what he's gotten himself into.

Even speaking as a fan of Mr. Bronson, it's really the supporting cast that brings this one to life. Bronson is fun, but the other parts are very well cast and each actor gets a chance to make an impact. Houseman is utterly delightful, looking like he's having a high old time playing such a likable scoundrel. The incredibly beautiful Jacqueline Bisset plays his associate Janet, and Maximilian Schell his psychiatrist. Harry Guardino, Harris Yulin, and Dana Elcar play assorted detectives (Elcar has the most priceless line reading in the whole movie), and Michael Lerner, George Memmoli, Dick O'Neill, Elisha Cook Jr., Val Bisoglio, Burr DeBenning, and Daniel J. Travanti fill out the rest of the main cast. One great joy is in seeing future stars Robert Englund and Jeff Goldblum (Goldbum having made his film debut in "Death Wish" as one of the muggers) as two of the young hoods who accost Bronson at one point.

The story itself, based on a novel by Ross Thomas, does keep the viewers on their toes while they work, like Bronson, to figure out what's what. Director J. Lee Thompson, who would work with Bronson again throughout the 70s and 80s, handles it all with finesse, with fine cinematography by Lucien Ballard and equally fine music composed by Lalo Schifrin as additional assets.

If you're fan of Bronson, Houseman, or Thompson, then by all means give this one a viewing.

Seven out of 10.

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Release Date:

31 July 1976 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

St. Ives' Last Score See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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