Vietnam vet and ex-con Vince Majestyk (Charles Bronson) just wants to live quietly on his Colorado farm, where he hires migrant pickers to harvest his melon crop. When he won't replace them with pickers provided by small-time racketeer Bobby Kopas (Paul Koslo), Kopas threatens him with a rifle. Vince disarms him and drives him off. However, Kopas files a complaint, and Vince is arrested. He's being taken to court with Mafia hit man Frank Renda (Al Lettieri) when the police bus transporting them is ambushed. In the confusion, Vince drives off with the still-handcuffed Renda. He offers to return Renda if the police will let him finish harvesting his melons, but Renda escapes with help from his girlfriend, Wiley (the cooly beautiful Lee Purcell). Still in trouble with the police, Vince now has a hit man seeking revenge as well.
MR. MAJESTYK pits the taciturn Bronson against the volatile Lettieri. Intricately plotted by master crime novelist Elmore Leonard, directed by veteran Richard Fleischer, and shot on location in Colorado, MR. MAJESTYK is notable for its action set pieces, especially the beautifully shot and edited ambush of the police bus and the quirky machine gun assault on Vince's melons.
Vince Majestyk, an ex-con and Vietnam vet, finds his efforts to run a legitimate business thwarted at every turn by both the Mafia and the police. When he finally reaches the limit of his patience, he takes up his rifle and hunts down his tormentors.
Theatrical Release |
MR. MAJESTYK was shot in and around three locations in Colorado--Canon City, La Junta, and Rocky Ford.
Master crime novelist Elmore Leonard began as a writer of Westerns, providing the original stories of two distinctive 1950s Westerns--Delmer Daves's 3.10 TO YUMA and Budd Boetticher's THE TALL T. In 1972, Leonard wrote the screenplay for the Clint Eastwood Western JOE KIDD, which was directed by John Sturges. Then, at Eastwood's request, he wrote the screenplay for MR. MAJESTYK. But, in the meantime, Eastwood acquired the script for HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, and MR. MAJESTYK became a Charles Bronson project. After completing the screenplay, Leonard novelized MR. MAJESTYK. Many of Leonard's crime novels have been filmed, including 52 PICK-UP by John Frankenheimer, CAT CHASER by Abel Ferrara, GET SHORTY by Barry Sonnenfeld, TOUCH by Paul Schrader, JACKIE BROWN (from the novel RUM PUNCH) by Quentin Tarantino, and, perhaps best of all, OUT OF SIGHT by Steven Soderbergh.
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