Mr. Majestyk

1974

Mr. Majestyk

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,575
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Mr. Majestyk Photos

Movie Info

Elmore Leonard's script for Mr. Majestyk was, like his novel, supposed to have concentrated on the plight of Chicano migrant workers; but what emerged on screen was extensively reshaped into a standard Charles Bronson vehicle. Battle-weary Vietnam veteran Vince Majestyk (Bronson) settles down in rural Colorado, hoping to make a living as a watermelon farmer. Despite his new-found pacifism, Majestyk can't seem to stay out of trouble, and he lands in jail, where he foils a breakout engineered by Mob boss Frank Renda (Al Lettieri). Offering to bring in Renda in exchange for his own freedom, Majestyk finds himself the main target of the Mob, who is also extorting vast sums of money from Vince's fellow farmers. It is bad enough when the crooks begin roughing up Majestyk's field hands; but when they ruthlessly machine-gun his entire melon crop, they've gone too far. Teaming up with Chicano labor activist Nancy Chavez (Linda Cristal) (any relation to Cesar?), Majestyk decides to track down the mobsters one by one and mete out retribution.

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Cast

Charles Bronson
as Vince Majestyk
Al Lettieri
as Frank Renda
Linda Cristal
as Nancy Chavez
Paul Koslo
as Bobby Kopas
Taylor Lacher
as Gene Lundy
Frank Maxwell
as Detective Lt. McAllen
Alejandro Rey
as Larry Mendoza
Jordan Rhodes
as Deputy Sheriff Harold Ritchie
Vern Porter
as Gas Station Attendant
Julio Tomaz
as Bert Santos
Burt Santos
as Julio Tomaz
Allen Pinson
as Kopas Muscle Man
Robert Templeton
as Kopas Muscle Man
Bill Morris
as Police Officer
Jim Reynolds
as Black Prisoner
Eddy Reyes
as Chicano Prisoner
Larry Cortinez
as Chicano Prisoner
Howard Beasley
as TV Reporter Ron Malone
Bus Gindhart
as TV Camera Crew
Tom Hickman
as TV Camera Crew
Kenny Bell
as Press Photographer
Max Reed
as Press Photographer
Luis Ramirez
as Labor Contractor
Alma Lawrentz
as Mrs. Mendoza
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Critic Reviews for Mr. Majestyk

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (3)

  • Majestyk is a multidimensional hero. He's socially conscious yet individualistic, half-smart and semi-tough, human enough to make mistakes and man enough to correct them.

    Sep 3, 2012
  • Trashy action pic directed with a calm dispassion by Richard Fleischer.

    Jul 28, 2017 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • A likable blend of bravado and villainy, with Bronson submitting his traditional thespian offering of deep squints, cynical chuckles, and reluctant heroism.

    Sep 27, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • The violence isn't unmotivated, or generic. Fleischer and Leonard establish the setting and premise well enough that it's damn near tragic when Renda shoots up Majestyk's watermelon crop.

    Aug 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Thanks for the memories Mr. Charles Bronson.

    Nov 16, 2007 | Rating: 4/5
  • An underrated Bronson vehicle with the strong, silent star at his most sympathetic.

    Oct 8, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Mr. Majestyk

  • Oct 03, 2010
    Richard Fleischer's gritty, forceful action drama, concerning a Vietnam veteran named Vince Majestyk, a Colorado watermelon framer, played sensationally by the late great Charles Bronson, in one of his best roles, he is wronged by a irritating, weasel-like, unscrupulous labor racketeer, Bobby Kopas, superbly played by Paul Koslo, who tries to force him to hired a worthless crew of bums and vagrants to pick his melons, instead of using his Mexican migrant workers he employed. Kopas pulls a shotgun on Majestyk, and ends up getting the shit kick out of him, for which Majestyk is arrested for and sent to the city jail, there he encounters a notorious Mob hitman, Frank Renda, played terrifically by the late character actor Al Lettieri, in a tremendous scene-stealing performance, who is waiting to be transferred to prison for murder. When Renda's mob associates stage a daring breakout during his prison transfer on a bus with Majestyk, but then Majestyk seizes Renda, and tries to make a deal with the police to exchange him for his freedom, the ruthless Renda escapes and is now hellbent on killing Majestyk personally, what follows is a rapid action thriller filled with shootouts, exciting car chases, and bare-fisted brawls. Astute direction by Fleischer, with a wonderful tongue-in-cheek script by Elmore Leonard, and a superb score by Charles Bernstein. Highly Recommended.
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2010
    All he wanted to do was pick his melons, but it seems that everyone wants to stop him from accomplishing that goal. Charles Bronson is as good as he's ever been, raging a one man war on the police and the mafia. It is the movie that Walking Tall wishes it could be and in many ways it is one of the better 70s action movies.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2009
    <i>"You keep talking and I'm gonna take your head off."</i> <p> 1974's <i>Mr. Majestyk</i> arrived during the most lucrative period of actor Charles Bronson's career; a time when movie-goers attended cinemas to see actioners like <i>Red Sun</i>, <i>Chato's Land</i>, <i>Death Wish</i> and <i>The Mechanic</i>. 1974 was most likely the best season of all for Bronson, as <i>Mr. Majestyk</i> and <i>Death Wish</i> were running in theatres simultaneously. While <i>Mr. Majestyk</i> lacks the social commentary of the vigilante actioner <i>Death Wish</i>, the film nonetheless packs a wallop and remains an enjoyable, competent showcase for Charles Bronson's superhero cool. Most interesting about the movie is the fact that screenwriter Elmore Leonard managed to transform the subject of the mistreatment of migrant workers into a vehicle for Bronson's violent heroics. <p> Bronson's character here is the titular Mr. Majestyk; a solemn watermelon farmer in Colorado who does not take kindly to anyone messing around in his watermelon patch. With harvesting time upon him, Majestyk hires a crew of migrant workers to pick the watermelons, but a local weasel named Bobby Kopas (Koslo) shows up demanding that Majestyk hire his men. After opening a can of whoop-ass on Kopas, Majestyk ends up in the local prison where he runs afoul with mafia hitman Frank Renda (Lettieri). Predictably, Renda is furious, and vows revenge on Majestyk. Of course, the enjoyment from here on in is watching Renda and Kopas bullying Majestyk, but them being unaware of the danger they're wandering into by doing so. <p> Elmore Leonard penned the script for <i>Mr. Majestyk</i>, and the usual rhythms of his hard-bitten prose are evident throughout. No revenge/vigilante cliché was left unused here, too, with Majestyk's best friend being mortally wounded, the love interest being placed in danger, the police being wholly incompetent, etc. The list goes on. Fortunately, there's a welcome amount of tongue-in-cheek humour within the film, and plenty of opportunities for Bronson to showcase the capabilities of his usual "don't fuck with me" screen persona. It's enough to trigger a few big dumb grins from time to time. Thankfully, too, the filmmaking is of a high standard here; director Richard Fleischer proved competent at handling moments of tension in particular. Coming from the heyday of the 1970s, the action is low-tech by contemporary standards but the violence packs a realistic punch. The climactic shootout is a humdinger, and there are some impressive chase scenes as well. Old school truly is the best school. <p> <i>Mr. Majestyk</i> additionally proves that a Charles Bronson revenge movie can be made about practically anything. In the <i>Death Wish</i> movies, Bronson avenged the death of loved ones. In <i>Mr. Majestyk</i>, Bronson avenges the death of his watermelon crop. There is even a scene depicting a bunch of gunmen callously blowing holes in a massive watermelon pile. When Bronson sees that his melons have been blown to smithereens, he emotes more than he did in all of the <i>Death Wish</i> movies combined. Sure, he merely lowers his head in anger and clenches his fist, but, considering Bronson's usual acting standard, this moment represents Laurence Olivier-type shit. As for the rest of his performance, Bronson played Majestyk with his usual quiet, stoic toughness, and his line delivery is frequently contrived. Like John Wayne, however, Bronson's fans attended his movies to enjoy his badass screen presence, and <i>Mr. Majestyk</i> delivers in this respect. However, it's Al Lettieri as Frank Renda who truly stands out here. Renda is a vicious brute, and it's easy to root against him. <p> The only real problem with <i>Mr. Majestyk</i> is that the set-up is too sluggish and laborious. If the movie was solely about Majestyk fending people off of his land, it would have been far simpler, more focused and all-round superior. Additionally, aside from pacing issues, <i>Mr. Majestyk</i> never truly stands out in any aspect; it's just an enjoyable, by-the-numbers action movie you will likely forget about a few days after watching. Nevertheless, it's a fun watch, and fans of Charles Bronson cannot afford to miss it.
    Cal ( Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2009
    How is it possible for a movie to be bad and "good" at the same time? Mr. Majestyk is bad -most of the scenarios are utterly unrealistic; impossible in real life. The mob, the police, just don't work the way that they do in this movie. On the other hand, Mr. Majestyk is good. Despite many flaws, Mr. Majestyk is well enough made and has interestingly portrayed stock characters with lots of action, and you want to keep watching to see what happens. The climax wasn't too incredible to believe. It works.. I dare say it could have been even more intricate and would have only been more effective. In the end, Charles Bronson is just plain fun to watch. Yes, it's true. Guys love Charles Bronson, and even this unrealistic movie is still tons o' fun.
    Steve S Super Reviewer

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