He Didn’t Want To Be A Hero… Until The Day They Pushed Him Too Far.
Starring: Charles Bronson, Al Lettieri, Linda Cristal, Paul Koslo
Director: Richard Fleischer
1974 | 103 Minutes | PG
“I don’t care, you work for the union, you don’t work for the union. As long as you know melons.” – Vince Majestyk
As I continue my quest to make up for lost time with the late great Charles Bronson I decided to check out Mr. Majestyk after hearing many favorable things.
Vince Majestyk (Charles Bronson) is a mild-mannered Colorado melon farmer who finds himself at odds with a mobster and the target of a mob hit man.
Charles Bronson’s Vince Majestyk is the most badass melon farmer I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a Vietnam vet. And if I have learned anything from Rambo it’s that “When you’re pushed, killing’s as easy as breathing.” When the mob tries to push him around Majestyk pushes back. And when a known mafia hitman shoots, Majestyk fires back. But Vince Majestyk is more than simply a killing machine. He is also a bit of a ladies man and falls in love with the beautiful gypsy Nancy Chavez. Lucky for Majestyk, Nancy knows melons.
The supposed mobsters led by Bobby Kopas (Paul Koslo) aren’t very menacing at all. They seem extremely amateur. If it had just been them without Frank Renda they wouldn’t have stood a chance against Mr. Majestyk.
Frank Renda, the hitman, on the other hand is the real deal. He’s super tough looking. Al Lettieri just puts this part over the top. He actually looks like Vince Majestyk shouldn’t stand a chance against him. Of course, we find out about Majestyk’s past and all of a sudden these guys are dead even on the badass-o-meter.
As can be expected from just about any 1970s action movie, the action is NOT non stop. With that said, Mr. Majestyk maintains a level of suspense and intrigue that many action movies of its time were unable to achieve. The result is a slower paced action movie that never once feels like it is dragging.
The scene that probably sticks out above the entire rest of the movie has to be the car chase. There are actually a few chases in the movie and all of them are pretty decent but one stands heads and tails above the rest. Vince Majestyk is riding in the bed of his yellow Majestyk Brand Melons pickup with a shotgun while Nancy drives. Now that probably sounds pretty cool but you don’t know the half of it (unless you have already seen it). Nancy takes the truck off road and over all kinds of terrain as Majestyk goes airborne in the back of the truck. I can’t imagine how many trucks they must have wrecked during the filming of this scene.
The final act is really exciting. It is the closest thing you will get to non-stop action from the 1970s. Frank Renda and Bobby Kopas’ crew hole up in a cottage and Vince Majestyk looks to take them out.
Mr. Majestyk is definitely one of the absolute best Charles Bronson movies I have seen thus far. It’s a ton of fun and as much as I like the Death Wish series this gives all of them a run for their money. So glad I added it to my collection.