Ex-crime reporter Raymond St. Ives has elegant taste, a yen for gambling and an unfinished novel in his typewriter. When he crosses paths with sinister Oliver Procane, he gets something else: a price on his head. St. Ives ... more »is a hard-boiled update of classic mystery thrillers, particularly The Maltese Falcon. Charles Bronson is smoothly right as the clever title character, at odds with petty crooks and high-rollers, among them Maximilian Schell as a whining lackey and Jacqueline Bisset as a modern femme fatale. But the show is stolen by John Houseman as the devilish Procane, a worthy successor to Sydney Greenstreet. Elisha Cook, Daniel J. Travanti, Jeff Goldblum and Robert Englund are also featured in this sleek, funny caper. DVD Features:Featurette:Theatrical Trailer:« less
"Charles Bronson shows the crittics that he can act in a more
complex murder/mystery than his usual tough guy revenge films
and do an outstanding Job. Bronson Plays Ray St.Ives a famous
crime reporter turned author who is in finacial trouble takes
a job offered to him by his lawyer to act as a go between and deliver a huge sum of money to those who have stolen incrimanating ledgers from a devious, eccentric old crime kingpin(John Houseman)So after failed attempts to deilver the money for the ledgers the exchange does get transacted but their are four pages missing from the ledgers than Bronson blackmails Houseman to take him on the mission to find the missing pages putting himself in danger. This is definalty one of the best films of the seventies and certainly one of the best films
Charles Bronson has ever done. Here he plays a smart,cool type
of indivdual who uses more words than his fists. Great cast
includes Jacquline Bisset a red head beauty just at the start
of her carrer played the femme fatele to a T. I'ts a shame Bronson didn't do more of these type of films because the man can
act beyond his usual tough guy exploits and he proves that in
Above average Bronson flick...
trebe | 06/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Bronson is Ray St. Ives, an ex-LA cop, turned struggling writer. A man who could use a decent payday to help offset his gambling losses and alimony bills. Excentric Abner Procane (John Houseman), has had some valuable ledgers stolen, and offers St. Ives a job as the go-between in the ransom process.Things get off to a rocky start, when at the rendezvous at a laundromat, a dead man turns up spinning in a washer and no exchange takes place. Others are interested in the ledgers too, and as St. Ives investigates, attempts are made to get him off the case, and more bodies start turning up as well. Eventually he does get the ledgers back, and then becomes involved in an off beat robbery scheme. The plot works well up to a point, and then credibility begins to fade. The ending does wrap up the loose ends, and features a surprise or two, and a teaser. It is amusing to see the usually upright Houseman, as a criminal type, dressing up in a "cat burglar" outfit for nocturnal activities. The rest of the cast is also interesting. Jacqueline Bisset, is a former cop in charge of Procane's security, and Maximillan Schell is Procane's psychiatrist. Underrated Dana Elcar is St Ives's buddy on the force. Also appearing are Harry Guardino, and Daniel Travanti, and as young hoods, Jeff Goldblum and Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund. Lalo Schifrin does some nice work on the score. And veteran J. Lee Thompson (Guns of Navarone) directs one of Bronson's better efforts. Worth a look if you get the chance."
One Of Bronson's Best
Kay's Husband | Virginia, U.S.A. | 05/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I first saw this film in a theatre in Summer, 1976, and have since watched it on TV several times, awaiting the day the DVD would be issued.
It is easily said that this is not only one of my favorite Bronson films, but just one of my favorite films in general. There is an ambience or quality to this film that just reaches out to me. Everything just works.
The other reviews listed here sum up the movie pretty well. But I will say I am surprised that only one reviewer mentions in passing one role that helps make this movie, and that is the one played by Dana Elcar. Elcar plays a detective on the police force who is not only friendly to St. Ives, but somewhat protective by the latitude he offers. At the ending, it is of course natural that Dana Elcar's character is called in by St. Ives to help tidy up the messy details. Dana Elcar was a supreme actor both in the movies and on TV, and it is true tragedy that he ended life going blind.
If you enjoy Bronson movies, or laid back, cool detective movies this one is for you. Now, if I can just locate that great looking cafeteria in this movie I will be all set. Ray St. Ives sure knew where to eat, but never learned not to bet on the Los Angeles Rams!
BRONSON AT HIS COOLEST !
Film Fanatic | Minneapolis | 08/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's King of Kings Charles Bronson time again. When my son recently put on the tape of 'St. Ives' and I heard the great score by Lalo Schifrin during the opening credits, I just had to run into the living room. I remember this score from 'St. Ives' being used by the ABC sports channel on many an occassion in the late 70's/Early 80's. Another Bronson film theme that used to be used very often on TV and in other places was the great score from 'Breakheart Pass'. Both these films' themes are to die for. This is one cool film reminiscent of the great mystery films of the 1940's. It's well acted, well directed, well scored and very entertaining. Watch it and you will see what I mean. "
Resist Your Impulse to Shut it Off....
Linda McDonnell | Brooklyn, U.S.A | 03/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...because this is a very funny movie, if you just give it a chance. My brothers taped this years ago, and took to watching it again. The first few times, the cheap 70s look it had made me beat a trail out of the room, but then one day I sat and watched it. And was surprised at how entertaining it is!Bronson is a failed crime writer who, because he IS so down on his luck, accepts a job as a bag man to deliver a sizeable amount of money to those who have stolen the notebooks of a legendary old crime planner, John Houseman. He's an odd bird who sits in the dark sobbing at old silent movies while his pseudo mistress Jackie Bisset saunters about the mansion wearing the most appalling moumous. Houseman's doctor Maximillian Schell is on hand as well in the mansion, well characterized with a perpetual runny nose that must be blown. Things should go off smoothly, except that by the time Bronson appears at the laundromat drop off point, someone has stuffed a corpse in a dryer. Poses some difficulties, you might say, especially when the police just happen along and take Bronson in for questioning. And that's just the start of it. There will be a few more murders, a sexy scene or two with Ms. Bisset, and an exciting chase scene with Mr. Houseman through a drive-in movie as cattle stampede continuously across the screen. That's one of the details I like the movie for, incidentally: you can rewind it all you want, and you'll only see cattle on the screen, never any cowboys.What makes "St. Ives" appealing is that despite its cheap look, every single performer is delivering a good performance. Nobody is walking through their part. There are some great lines too, as when Houseman is being somewhat confidential with Bronson towards the end, talking about how he disagrees with psychologists who equate a fear of death with a fear of impotence: "Besides, I've always BEEN impotent, so why should I fear it?" If you want to smile to yourself a lot while watching a movie, then put a copy of "St. Ives" in the machine and let it roll."