"That's from the back cover on the DVD. I guess what they're saying is, "This is a GOOD Bronson movie." Indeed -- ANY movie written by Lina Wertmuller and scored by Ennio Morricone is bound to be at least interesting, no matter the subject or the star. *Violent City*, set in New Orleans but Italian-produced (and directed by journeyman Sergio Sollima), is a really nasty piece of work that explores the seamy underbelly of petty organized crime and its contract killers. Charles Bronson plays a retired independent hitman hilariously named "Jeff". At first, he gets our sympathy. He's a nice guy, on the surface: well, he's nice as long as he's got a yacht and a hot broad to play with. But when things turn sour -- when he's double-crossed by the hot broad and an old pal -- he shows his true colors as a thoroughgoing b---ard. He's a remorseless killer with a rapist mentality. But in the milieu of *Violent City*, one can hardly single Jeff out for condemnation: it's every man (and woman) for him/herself. No good guys, here. Speaking of the woman, Bronson's wife Jill Ireland nicely brings to life Wertmuller's brilliant conception of the Dumb Blonde who hides the heart of a Medusa. Telly Savalas also makes an impression as the New Orleans kingpin who puts a roadblock in Jeff's plans for revenge. Savalas, wearing gigantic eyeglasses, gives us an oddly sympathetic Mob boss. (Bronson, btw, is terrible as usual, but so what?) I think I'll refrain from giving out plot details, because the movie depends on its plot twists to keep the audience hooked. Seekers of the "visual aesthetic" will definitely be hooked by the superb locales. Sollima manages to avoid the Quarter almost entirely: the majority of the location shots are in the seedy ghettos, swampy suburbs, and shipping docks of New Orleans. Never has this city looked so ugly and untouristy (no cliched scenes of the main characters wending their way through Bourbon St., et al.), but the scenery certainly befits the savage storyline. In any case, ALL will be impressed by the violent, slowly operatic finale. *Violent City* is a classic example of "neo-noir" at its conception in the early Seventies. It's a gem ripe for discovery. Especially recommendable to fans of Sam Peckinpah: the concerns with masculine power, and the blending of sex and violence, will make the Peckinpah fan feel right at home."
This is "The Family" re-titled...
harry44callahan | Columbus, OH | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First I want all Bronson fans to know that this movie was originally out as "The Family" back in the 70's! I had been looking for Bronson in "the Family" for a while, when a friend told me the plot of this one and I immediately realized it was "The Family"! Why the studio re-titled it is unknown to me and I believe will only confuse Bronson fans looking for this title. The movie itself is classic Bronson fare and if you're a fan who has not seen it, you will enjoy it. Good Bronson action with witty Bronson one-liners. Hey, Telly Savalas is in it too- what more can you ask for!"
This is, to me,is charles bronson's masterpiece!
Ramone P. Menon | 03/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"yep. you read that headline right. i have blasted bronson's later work like the DEATH WISH series, 10 TO MIDNIGHT, THE EVIL THAT MEN DO, MURPHY'S LAW, KINJITE, etc. you have to check on his earlier work which he did very well. he was tough, no nonsense, no remorse. his best films were THE DIRTY DOZEN, HARD TIMES, TELEFON + he did some italian actioners like RIDER IN THE RAIN & to me, his best film of all, VIOLENT CITY. it is shown on tv, where i saw last night, as THE FAMILY. an underrated 1970 treasure well directed by sergio sollima. bronson's wife jill ireland is perfect and very beautiful here. telly savalas is a hoot trying to squeeze out a new orleans accent as a mob boss. i won't get into the plot since i've read the other amazon reviews including 1 spoiler review. oh my, keep your ears peeled for ennio morricone's spectacular score. ranks right up there with ennio's GOOD, BAD AND THE UGLY theme. like i said, i won't do spoilers but the climax is well done with silence with the crackling sounds of bullets shattering glass and i did jump when that occurred. despite silence, jill ireland yells out her final line which i read her lips well. it is sad. i am glad VIOLENT CITY is on dvd. the widescreen is terrific! it is about time!"
Italian Crime Flick with Charles Bronson
whitetrashmutant | Clayton, NC USA | 12/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Good Italian hitman movie boasts a good Charles Bronson performance. The climax was really unique. If you like this, then check out Revolver by the same director."
The Beauty Of Violence
Ramone P. Menon | oxford, england | 11/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a relatively unheard of Bronson movie, which should take its place on the mantel of other great Bronson works such as Mr. Majestyk, The Mechanic, Rider on the Rain and Once Upon a Time in the West. Bronson is the cold killer in this film, and as anyone who has seen The Mechanic knows, no one plays cold blooded killer better than Charles Bronson. Only in this film Bronson is caught between being a "professional" and his love for the double crossing Jill Ireland. The director Sergio Sollima plays with this relationship and also with the audiences' minds by building up anticipation and delivering something they are expecting, but delivering it in the most shocking way possible. Sollima knows the rules of the genre he is working in and he toys with it. In turn this brings out some of the most innovative narrative that cinema has ever seen. Adding salt to the already tasty dish is Ennio Morricone's moody score, which has the undertones of a spaghetti western being played out in the present time. The score is layering every pore in Bronson's face as it is the film. The cinematography is perfect, as it entices the plot to move furthur on in the beautifully created shots and colours of the film. COOL is the word to sum up Violent City."