Mr Majestyk (1974) Video Store Action Heroes 4 x Action Packed Bronson VHS Movie Memories

Mr Majestyk (1974) movie poster charles bronson gun melons action heroes

Here’s the second Video Store Action Heroes collaboration between four likeminded movie dudes from the golden era of the video rental scene. Starring Todd from Cinema Monolith, Mike from Mike’s Take on the Movies, Greg at Destroy All Fanboys, and myself Mikey here at Wolfmans Cult Film Club.

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This time it was to pick a Charles Bronson movie not featuring the usual by his side, Mrs Bronson AKA Jill Ireland. A hard task when you think Charlie and Jill made 15 films together but luckily our CB was a film making machine.

Mr Majestyk (1974) VHS cover image charles bronson gun melons action heroes

There I was a teenager browsing through the countless action VHS cassette tapes in my local video store when I hit the cover with the tough tashed shotgun holding Charles Bronson. It was called Mr Majestyk and with taglines on the box like “He didn’t want to be a hero….. until they pushed him too far!” and “For Mr Majestyk, It was KILL – or be KILLED!” This young wannabe bad boy Bronson bounced straight to the counter and within ten minutes I was excitedly sat there watching what Bronson was gonna to be up to this time. Is he gonna be a boxer, a cop, maybe a detective? a hit-man? (insert pulling needle across record sound clip here)…….. WTF! A melon farmer, you gotta be kidding!

Mr Majestyk (1974) charles bronson big smiles for Linda CristalMr Majestyk (1974) charles Bronson farmer picking packing melon truck

Charles Bronson plays Vince Majestyk, a man sure to have some kind of Mexican superpower? Like Popeye and his spinach, Vince mashes up melons and rages out. Well not this time unfortunately though I think they missed a trick here. They could’ve written in the script that Majestyk utilised his commodities to his advantage. Sure he could of constructed a melon cannon of sorts, handheld for smaller melons or a shoulder device for the meaty ones? When they came for him in the night he could’ve balanced melons above doors or at the top of the stairs. Maybe even making a melon Mr Majestyk shape in his bed to fool bad guys snooping about!

Mr Majestyk (1974) bad guy Bobby Kopas (Paul Koslo)

But hey we know that the man Bronson don’t need no tricks or gimmicks. Bronson is superpower in his own right, kicking, punching and smashing his way through whatever baddie you throw at him. This time he has two, one annoying weasel like Bobby Kopas (Paul Koslo) and the beast-like Frank Renda (Al Lettieri). Both are about to appear and make poor Majestyk’s melon picking life very difficult.

Vince Majestyk – “Come on, Frank, let’s finish this! I got work to do!”

Mr Majestyk (1974) bad guy hitman jail Frank Renda (Al Lettieri)

All our hero wants to do is pick this seasons crop before the 160 acres of melons go past their sell by date. He’s a humble farmer willing to pay a fair price for his skilled team of pickers. He’s also happy to help out a struggling family when he can and with a run in with the lovely Nancy Chavez (Linda Cristal) he offers her a job.

Mr Majestyk (1974) charles bronson jeep driving Linda Cristal

The trouble starts with Bobby Kopas (if this was ever remade, Walton Goggins would be perfect for this part) working for a local gangster to force unskilled labour on the Majestyk land. Little did they expect that Vince is a Vietnam veteran with venom in his tail.

Vince Majestyk – “You make sounds like you’re a mean little ass-kicker… only I ain’t convinced. You keep talking and I’m gonna take your head off.”

Mr Majestyk (1974) Al Lettieri Charles Bronson Lee Purcell wiley

What with runnings with the cops, some jail time and a prison break. He somehow manages to annoy and belittle hitman Frank Renda. Frank is like a wild animal and takes it extremely badly. He’s determined to make Vince’s life hell. Vince is a tough cookie and there’s nothing getting in the way of his beloved melons.

Mr Majestyk (1974) charles Bronson farmer packing melon

Tagline – He didn’t want to be hero… until the day they pushed him too far.

Can Vince get his harvest in? Can his good friend Larry Mendoza (Alejandro Rey) and his new tough girl Nancy Chavez help with his problem? Why take the easy road when you can take the bumpiest stupidest mountainous terrain there ever was, which only gains a few seconds? Oh! Why does he salt his beer?

Mr Majestyk (1974) Alejandro Rey Linda Cristal helping Charles Bronson

  • Mr Majestyk was written as a screenplay by renown American novelist Elmore Leonard and directed by Richard Fleischer who has a massive filmography of classic films like Red Sonja (hehe I kid), Soylent Green, 10 Rillington Place, The Narrow Margin, Tora Tora Tora and The Last Run to name a small few. The soundtrack is by Charles Bernstein who gives Vince his own kind of theme tune. There’s a few funky numbers on there too. The soundtrack never got a release at the time, though it was put out by the label Intrada in 2009. Unfortunately now it goes for silly money on CD. Cheaper for wallet, similar sounding is Charles Bernstein’s Gator soundtrack.
  • Wolfman random bonus feature. There’s actually a 1979 Turkish remake called Karpuzcu and from the poster and the trailer it looks delightfully ridiculously bonkers brilliant. Here’s the trailer on Daily Motion.
Mr. Majestyk (1974) The Turkish version 1979 Karpuzcu
Yeah it might be rubbish but it’s got a fantastic poster.

It had been maybe 30 years since I last saw it. You know what, I still remembered everything and that recurring theme tune had embedded its way into my soul. A real pleasure to have revisited. Thanks for tuning into our little adventure, please be sure to check the other guys posts. Todd went for The Stone Killer (1973), Gary gave The White Buffalo (1977) a go and Mike choose The Evil That Men Do (1984).

Next time we are heading in the realms of science fiction. .

Till the next time….. “Keep your hands off my melons, Amigos!” Happy viewing. Mikey Wolf

PS  – Here’s the last Video Store Action Heroes Post The Hidden

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15 thoughts on “Mr Majestyk (1974) Video Store Action Heroes 4 x Action Packed Bronson VHS Movie Memories

  1. One of the few ’70s Bronson films I’ve seen, and it doesn’t do a bad job of bringing Elmore Leonard’s novel to the screen. Like you, it’s been years since I’ve seen it, so I probably remember more from the book than the movie (and I still recommend you read the book). I’d forgotten that it was directed by Richard Fleischer, who did such great work with Red So…wait, I mean The Narrow Margin, and I’d completely forgotten that it featured Lee Purcell…yum!

    Love the inclusion of the video box cover…did you notice the film was also available in Beta? And perhaps this should’ve been a Paul Koslo blogathon…he starred in my Bronson film, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Lee Purcell was a stunning edition to the action. I hot footed to google her after the film finished. Possible bikini shots in Big Wednesday! Not seen it but now I will. Something’s gotta soften up all those sharp pectoral angles with Busey and Vincent strutting around.

      I do have a fair few old paperbacks of 70’s films I’ve collected over the years but I haven’t got Majestyk. I will keep an eagle eye out for it when rummaging around charity shops….

      Oh yeah Beta, was that before Betamax? or maybe just shortening the name. I never had Betamax though I did always hear from many people that they were superior in quality than VHS though I bet it was really noticeable at the time. I did like the smaller cassette boxes though.

      Amazing, Paul Koslo popped up all over the place. Such a memorable face though I’m afraid it’s only doing this post that I now know his name. But thats one of the reasons we do this for.

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    1. “and it wasn’t modified to take this terrific beating” well that would certainly sell it. They put that truck through the craziest terrain, sure it spends more time in the air than on the ground. Then when it hits the dirt with a mean pounding it just keeps on trucking, man oh man does it take a beating. WOW that has to be one of the best car ads ever and free advertising too. I can see why you would of wanted one. Damn I want one too now! Nice one Gary.

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  2. This is a great Bronson example of the Era and 2 of the best things aside from the great one liners are Koslo and Lettieri. The better the villains the better the film I always say. I learned something…. No idea of a remake. Maybe they could do it all over again with Robert Bronzi. Salma Hayek in the Crystal role. Bring Goggins along but who is gonna play AL and play it mean? Gary Oldman the chameleon?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hmmm… Hollywood’s current trend is to make at least one villain a woman and/or POC, so I’d half expect Al’s part to be recast with a good actress who can play a it up as evil as it gets and be 100% believable to audiences.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ummm that makes it more difficult to pick a cast. Maybe Alfre Woodard could take the Al role. She was pretty tough in Luke Cage. Actually scrub that, Mo’Nique, she was nasty in Precious, yeah I could see her pulling off the hit-man swagger of Al but in her own unique style.

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    2. Yes Mike you are so right, “good” Villains make a good film. Koslo and Lettieri are superb. I just googled Robert Bronzi!!! WTF seriously wtf! he is a clone of Bronson! It’s freaking me out looking at him, that is so weird. Well yep he gets the lead role without doubt. Then Salma “fans my face” Hayek is for sure, top choice bro. Would push her in a more combative role with her wearing a melon patterned bra over her natural melons for a bit of tongue in cheek-ness.
      In an against type I’d try comedian and musician Matt Berry in the Al Lettieri part. What he lacks in bruteforce and anger he will make up with his bearlike looks and banterous wit.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you are so right, so many great lines and that one is one of the best.
      All the banter between Lettieri and Bronson is brilliant too. Majestyk is just not that bother about annoying the beast Frank. Quite happy to poke sticks at the bear and drive him crazy just so he can get back to his melons. Such a great film. Thanks for popping on in. All the best… Mikey

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