Phoenix cop Charlie Congers develops a personal hatred for mob boss Joe Bomposa. Congers sees the devastating effects of Bomposa's drug trade on the community. He thinks it's his duty to personally go after Bomposa who's protected by an army of lawyers, money and political power. Often charged but never indicted for any offense, Bomposa continues his illegal activities. But out of the blue an opportunity presents itself when Bomposa's girlfriend, ditsy blonde Jackie Pruit, is called to testify before a Senate investigation committee. Despite Miss' Pruit unwillingness to co-operate with the Senate investigators, Joe Bomposa grows worried that she might talk to the cops, after all. His mobster friends and his lawyer advise him to send her away in Switzerland, on a vacation, far from the Senate investigators. However, when they get information that FBI agents are after her, they decide to contract a hit-man to have her killed in Switzerland. Not having a mandate to operate on Swiss soil,...Written by
UK cinema and video versions were cut by 1 min 24 secs to remove a gunshot impact and to heavily edit the scene where Charlie makes nail darts for a homemade blowpipe. The cuts were restored in the 2000 Widescreen release. See more »
What's on mind love definitely more so than bullets. The premise seems rather straight-forward, but within the context is a primarily downbeat and melancholic angle. The crime/thriller slant is pretty low-key (as the chase scenes leisurely tick along) with the main focus being on the three performances; Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland and Rod Steiger and the eventual bonds that are crafted and from that the situations that occur. Love follows on tragedy also with guts and grit winning out.
Police detective Charlie Congers has been picked to head to Switzerland to rescue an ex-mistress of crime boss Joe Bomposa who now wants her dead. Getting her first means a chance to probably convict Bomposa, but is she as innocent as she claims to know anything of importance about his crime ring.
I'm not particularly surprised to see this Bronson outing become a forgettable title in his career that rarely sees daylight, and those who had seen it mainly want to bombard it for being tedious and bland. I didn't feel that at all. It has a very European vibe to the get-up with a stylish and almost uncommon development. Stuart Rosenberg's textured direction (who replaced John Huston) is economically surefooted, as he works with the beautifully moody and authentic European backdrops (that the compelling cinematography frames) and constructs moments of high-strung suspense. Plentiful they're not, but those few are well-executed. I just wished that the dangerous side wasn't kept in check. Writer Wendell Mayles' (the man behind 'Death Wish') minimal screenplay is simply old-fashioned and the pacing is quite relaxed. Concisely structured. but nothing surprises well the final climaxes do come up and pinch you. Were I thought it achieved a rather powerful imprint was because of Lalo Schifran's arousing score. It was exotic, colourful and flavoured. Never did it not make some sort of impression. I would say it's up there with his inspired score for 'Dirty Harry (1971)'. He knows how to place the action or feelings on screen with music and successfully push the buttons.
A strong cast do a serviceable job. Bronson's impassively stalwart turn fits accordingly and his chemistry with an empathic Jill Ireland (his actual wife) pays dividends. She was practically in nearly every movie he made during this period. Rod Steiger puts in an outstandingly staggering performance that grows with believable weight. Henry Silva and Paul Koslo hold up well in the bad guy roles. Also featuring with fine turns are Bradford Dillman, Strother Martin, Michael V. Gazzo and Val Avery.
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