Director: Terence Young
Joe Martin hasn’t always been the quiet man he is today. He hasn’t always had a boat and made a living taking tourists out on fishing trips. He hasn’t always had a wife and a twelve year old stepdaughter. Once upon a time he was in the military and has an even more complicated story than he wish to tell his wife. It turns out that he was one of four who escaped from a prison and that someone got killed during the escape. Joe, who didn’t want anything to do with the others violence fled the scene and let the other take the fall. Now they’re back with a vengeance and blackmail him into helping them with a heroin trade. Now he got no choice as his wife and daughter life are at stake.
Terence Young might be most known for the Bond films Dr. No and From Russia With Love and that ought to count for something. I mean, there is obviously ability in making movies there. In my opinion Dr. No might be the best Bond film of all times so you’d understand if I have high hopes for this one! And I actually saw it some years ago thiking it was a very good Bronson film! I told you already that me and a couple of friends of mine made it out business to see as many movies starring Charles Bronson as we could find, but I think this was one of those that we didn’t find for rental. This was shown on Swedish TV though. That’s how I remember it anyway.
I remember it as one of the better ones and considering we saw thirty or so of them that’s pretty good. Since I opened the shrine I made it my business to watch all of them again, and preferably more of them. There are different ways to get them these days, making it much easier to get. In short, we have the internet! Therefore I was a bit disappointed by this! It’s not a bad film in any way, but there is not so much of Charles Bronson in it. Liv Ullman steals the show totally actor wise (even though her English pronunciations are pretty bad) and James Mason is really good too! There are a few other supporting cast as well but I won’t get into them here. Except for Jill Ireland as a Hippie of course… All great actors!
But I can only take so much of case chases! I have a hard time watching the very long scene where Joe (Bronson) drives the serpentines with the police at his heals. I can’t stand the engine sound and can’t stand that the tires squeal at every turn. It doesn’t matter if there’s asphalt or sand. Plus that it’s very sloppy made. There are supposed to be three people in the car but at times I can only see the stunt driver. I might not have 20-20 vision but even if there in fact are three people (or dummies or whatever) and I don’t see it it’s still a failure!
And then there is the thing of the pace. It’s not very well edited. Much of the main suspense centers around Bronsons need to make it in time by car. But the scenes are so slow and dull that the fast driving doesn’t really matter, it’s still boring. So… Great acting and basically a great storyline with kidnapping, blackmailing and revenge but sloppy made – and not enough of Bronson…