Prime Cut Reviews
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"Prime Cut" was considered highly risqué for its time based on its violence and particularly its graphic depiction of female slavery, including a scene depicting naked young women in pens being auctioned like beef cattle. It is also noted for its depiction of the beef slaughtering process, and a famous chase scene involving a combine harvester, in an open field. Seeing Lee Marvin in the shoes (in this case white loafers!) of a hit man or enforcer is not really something out of the ordinary as he did a few roles as specifically that. His performance is low-key and yet you know that Devlin is a highly dangerous man who won´t stop for anything when on a mission. Gene Hackman is in great and nasty shape doing yet another bad guy you truly mislike the minute he appears. "Prime Cut" is gritty and I love how Michael Ritchie has directed it with a touch of Hitchcock goes hillbilly. The action is pretty solid, even if it wobbles sometimes. I love as well that Devlin uses a Smith & Wesson M76 submachine gun which is a copy of the Swedish Carl Gustav M/45. The funny thing is that I have been looking at this movie a couple of times, but the cover was so shitty I didn´t think it would be any good. Then I found the movie in a remastered version with a different much more appealing cover in Berlin and thus I bought it. Meaning a dvd cover design does make a difference. "Prime Cut" is a gangster action/drama that stands out specifically with the very ugly view on female sex slavery, but also with great performances by Marvin and Hackman.
There are a number of memorable moments in which country cattle-hicks are depicted almost as a different race. A bloody gunfight breaks out during a country fair. At another time, a Cadillac and a combine-harvester go head to head, with results that are both grisly and comic! The final shoot-out comes as something of an anti-climax.
Prime Cut is a very off-beat piece of cinema that pulls few punches with regard to its subject matter, and still deserves its reputation for originality. Very enjoyable.