Top detective Lou Torrey is transferred to Los Angeles and uncovers a plot by a Sicilian mafioso to use Vietnam War veterans to murder all his enemies in a rerun of the "Sicilian Vespers" when the previous generation of Sicilian mafiosi were all killed on a single day. Torrey gets various clues that something big is about to happen, but will he discover what is planned before the big day?Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
At the beginning when Lou shoots the armed teenager during the apartment raid, the teenager clearly falls over the railing of the fire escape, but in the next shot, he's hanging upside down by his legs on the railing. See more »
Actor Gene Woodbury is credited in opening credits only. See more »
The footage of Lawrence darting round the room shooting the dead/injured mafia dons with a pistol (to ensure all are dead) after the window fall was cut from the original UK cinema version by the BBFC. The 1986 RCA/Columbia video was fully uncut. See more »
Charles Bronson plays tough Detecitve Lou Torrey who finds himself investigating a murder, which no one seems to know what it's connected to. After getting a name the investigation grows deeper and more and more bodies begin to pile up. Soon Mafia boss Al Vescari (Martin Balsam) enters the picture.
In a lot of ways this film borrows from DIRTY HARRY. Bronson is basically playing the same type of character, although this movie makes sure to show his character as someone who isn't a racist but instead someone who will beat you no matter what your color is. The film touches on several issues including racism but there's no question that the viewer isn't meant to think too much. Instead this is just a fast-paced action movie that has a lot of fights, a lot of gun battles and of course the lead doing what he does best.
It's really interesting watching the films that Bronson and director Michael Winner made during this period. In many ways this one here contains the most violence and it's certainly the most action pack. I'd say that the story has a bit too much going on as there's a lot of plot here for this type of movie but thankfully the screenplay basically just puts Bronson into one dangerous situation after another. This is a great thing because he shoots bad guys, beats confessions out of people and basically does whatever he can to get the job done.
Bronson is quite good in the picture and once again he isn't given too much dialogue. The actor always acted with his body and he would have been perfect in the silent era. He turns in a very good performance here and really packs a punch with the role including some very funny bits of dialogue. The supporting cast is also very good with Balsam doing a good job in the Mafia role and especially a scene set in a cemetery. You've also got Jack COlvin, Norman Fell and even John Ritter in an early role.
THE STONE KILLER has a lot of good things going for it but the action and stunts deserve a lot of credit. As you'd expect for the era, there's a pretty good car chase as well as plenty of scenes where bullets are flying and bodies are dropping. Fans of Bronson will certainly eat this one up but he and the director were about to make their masterpiece the following year with DEATH WISH.
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