Review by: Fusion3600
Posted on: January 28th, 2012
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Plot: What’s it about?

Oliver Procane (John Houseman) is a rich man, a rich man who loves to collect rare items and some of his pieces have been stolen. The items are valuable ledgers, not only worth a ton of cash, but important to Procane, so he wants them to be returned. In order to secure the safe return of the ledgers, Procane brings in Raymond St. Ives (Charles Bronson). St. Ives is a former crime reporter who now works freelance to support his love for the finer things in life, as well as his gambling addiction. So while Procane isn’t an ideal boss, the ten grand fee is more than enough reason to take the offer. After all, his freelance career is rather stagnant and if he wants to keep up his lifestyle, he needs the funds. The job even seems simple enough, just a quick negotation and pickup, not exactly rocket science. But when things take a turn for the worse and St. Ives is caught in a complex criminal operation, can he emerge unscathed?

Charles Bronson is known as one of cinema’s all time ass kickers, a rough and tough dude who relied more on his fists than wisdom. His tough guy persona carried him through countless pictures, including the brutal Death Wish series. St. Ives is a kind of updated take on classic crime films like The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, with middling results. I have to give director J. Lee Thompson and writer Barry Beckerman credit, as they are quite ambitious here, even if not all the efforts succeed. The writing winds up falling into the usual crime movie cliches, only without the needed results. So mired in cliches, the plot trudges forward, but lacks the momentum it needs. Bronson is solid, in one of his better roles, as he showcases his hard side, but also gets to a bit more acting than usual. St. Ives is not a bad movie, but it isn’t that good either, thanks to ambition that set goals that were really out of the reach of the filmmakers. Even so, if you’re a fan of Bronson or just can’t enough crime cinema, then perhaps St. Ives would be a decent rental.

Video: How does it look?

St. Ives is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This film is almost thirty years old and it shows some signs of wear, but the few flecks and dirt marks are bearable. This movie is steeped in gritty tones like browns and blacks, but some bright colors seep through and they never bleed. The flesh tones are also natural and free from distortion at all times, which is crucial. The contrast is sharp and true, with no shadow murkiness and very high visible detail levels. The print shows some wear & tear, but that is common for 70s cinema, so fans should still be satisfied.

Audio: How does it sound?

I don’t have much to say about the included mono option, as it handles the material, but offers little to praise too much. I didn’t hear much in terms of dated audio, but as expected of a 1970s mono track, this isn’t a pristine option. The music sounds decent enough, while the sound effects are clean also, no real complaints there. No problems with dialogue either, as vocals sound crisp and are free from distortion & such. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a brief behind the scenes featurette, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.

St. Ives
J. Lee Thompson
94 min.

  • (1.85:1)
  • Video Codec: MPEG-2
  • 1 Disc Set
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy