Mr. Majestyk (1974)
Reviewed on 2010 April 28
A Seventies Charles Bronson vehicle, which means the testosterone and polyester are both equally thick, but entertaining in their own way.
Vince Majestyk (guess who) is a melon farmer, both literally, and in terms of sheer toughness, perhaps also in the sense of that silly dubbed euphemism sometimes used by basic cable. Mostly though, Majestyk just wants to farm his crops in peace. I’ve always said sometimes the most innovative stories come from people being denied something that should be easy, and this is a good example. After picking a crew of people to help him bring in his cash crop, they arrive at his land to find a local connected thug, Bobby Kopas (Paul Koslo), already took the liberty of providing Majestyk with a crew. Kopas suggests his men should be used, if Majestyk knows what’s good for him. Majestyk naturally objects, to put it mildly, and whether he knows or cares who he’s really dealing with is irrelevant, because clearly, neither do they.
The acting is sometimes stiff and it sounds crazy to see a western-style brawl over produce, of all things, but this had Bronson, and they broke the mold when they made him. I always feel the most frustration (or vindication, when they get even) for a person who just wants to be left alone to live their life and here we have a guy that is being harassed over a garden. It’s his livelihood but it’s still a garden, and I think that’s what makes us empathize with the guy. Al Lettieri was also a good villain as mob goon Frank Renda. There’s a great chase scene featuring a Ford pickup, which I’ll show people when they ask me why I insist on having a truck. It simply explains my love for pickups better than I ever could.
Three chocolate morsels.