Violent City (1970)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Thriller


Violent City (1970) Poster

A hitman is double-crossed by his girlfriend and barely escapes a murder attempt. He then sets out to take his revenge on the woman and the gang boss who put her up to it.


6.4/10
2,068

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  • Violent City (1970)
  • Charles Bronson in Violent City (1970)
  • Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland in Violent City (1970)
  • Charles Bronson in Violent City (1970)
  • Violent City (1970)
  • Violent City (1970)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


24 January 2008 | Coventry
8
| Charlie & Telly in a gritty 'n great urban western!
There's absolutely no way that any movie can start off better than "Violent City". Charlie Bronson on a yacht with a ravishing blond chick, then moving onto land where the couple immediately gets subjected to a wild car chase through extremely narrow streets (and over stairs!) and ending with a violent shootout! And all this time not a single word is being spoken by anyone and all we here are the sounds of squeaking tires, snorting car engines and Ennio Moricone's umpteenth fabulous soundtrack. The first ten minutes of "Violent City" are so damn brilliant I was even tempted to stop watching the film because I honestly feared things could only go downwards from that point, ha! Luckily it didn't. Sure the pacing slowed down a bit (only a little bit, mind you) but a great film unfolds itself, with a simplistic but nevertheless compelling plot, gritty atmosphere and terrific acting performances by Charles Bronson (as the silent as always but deadly killer), Telly Savalas (as the sneering, sleazy and eccentric super-villain) and Jill Ireland (as the bimbo who appears to screw around with half of the city). Jeff is a retiring hit man who completes one more personal killing job when a former friend double-crosses him, leaves him for dead and runs off with his lady friend. Jeff's spectacular payback, executed at a race car circuit) gets him noticed by the big boss of the city's organized crime network. He wants Jeff to be a part of his successful crime-family, and when he refuses an exhilarating and testosterone-packed cat and mouse game ensues. The plot isn't highly original, but several independent sequences are magnificent, like the aforementioned opening, the intense finale or – most of all – the scene where Vanessa gets introduced to Weber (Savalas) in a restaurant. Sergio Sollima is a gifted director, who primarily earned his fame in the spaghetti western genre ("The Big Gundown" and "Run Man Run"). That's also exactly what "Violent City" often resembles; a gritty urban western with Bronson in his familiar role of lone outlaw passing through a town where no one can be trusted. If I understood correctly, the titular violent city is supposed to be Michigan, where strangely everyone speaks a combination of English and Italian. Funny detail on the Dutch DVD-release is that the dubbing is incomplete. Some of the dialogs start in English but halfway the conversation swifts to Italian and back to English again. Not at all bothering, especially not in case you looked forward to this movie as much as I did.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of this movie's main English titles is "The Family" but the film is also known as "Violent City". Star Charles Bronson would later star in three other "Family" titled filmed productions. These were made for television and were the "Family of Cops" series of tele-movies [See: Family of Cops (1995), Breach of Faith: A Family of Cops II (1997), and Family of Cops III: Under Suspicion (1999)].


Quotes

Vanessa Shelton: It's hopeless, you'll never believe me.
Vanessa Shelton: It's terrible, really, to be the way that I am. I'm always getting things wrong.
Vanessa Shelton: I was Coogan's girl when I met you.
Vanessa Shelton: He was terribly jealous. He realized right away something had changed. He had me followed, ...


Goofs

In the shooting scene after Coogan and Vanessa left in the Porsche, the P08 Luger, with which Jeff kills his three pursuers, is seen at one moment in a take from behind with the breech opened (magazine empty) and in the very next moment in a take from the front with the breech closed (pistol loaded). This continuity-error is about ten minutes into the movie, in a scene where Jeff lies in the sand and shoots the last attacker on the other side of the burning car.


Crazy Credits

The end titles are brief, lasting little more than thirty seconds, accompanied by Ennio Morricone's dramatic theme. The credits run out after a mentioning of a wig supplier. Blank screen. The theme music continues gloriously, till eventual completion.


Alternate Versions

The Anchor Bay DVD version restores eight minutes of footage originally cut by United Artists for the U.S. release. Because these scenes were never dubbed into English, they are presented in their original Italian language with English subtitles.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Action | Crime | Thriller

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