Thursday, 1 March 2012

Cold Sweat

They took his family, he took revenge

Captain Ross: 'Do you know how many pints of blood a man has? He has ten pints, and mine's pumpin' out, slowly but steadily, at an estimated rate of four pints per hour. Therefore, in another hour, I will have lost consciousness and finally "check out."

Cold sweat is a Italian/French production directed byTerence Young, a Brit who was best known for directing the first four James Bond movies. The plot focuses on Bronson's character Joe Martin, a quiet American, lives a quiet life in the South of France renting boats to tourists. He is happily married to Fabienne and has a twelve-year-old daughter named Michèle. But the quiet man has a past: ten years before, Joe (then Moran) had escaped with four other convicts, among whom the sadistic ex-mercenary Katanga. Seeing the latter brutally kill an M. P., Joe had abandoned his accomplices and left with the car. One day out of the blue the convicts pay Martin a visit & suddenly he & is family are in great danger.

Cold Sweat has a very impressive cast with Liv Ullmann best known for her work with legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman playing Bronson's wife. She starts off unaware of Bronson's secret past and comes across as a gullible character but as the film goes on and the stakes are raised you realise that she is tougher than she looks. Legendary Italian character actor Luigi Pistilli always pops up as a trigger happy villain.

Once Bronson's past catches up with him Ullmann & her 12 year old daughter are kidnapped by Captain Ross played brilliant by James Mason.
Jill Ireland plays the part of Mason's wife, she appears in the film as a carefree hippie & Bronson soon kidnaps her & Bronson sets up a swap which of course goes horribly wrong. I'm usually find Ireland a bit hit or miss on screen but I thought she did a pretty reasonable job this time around.

Bronson's character is one of his most memorable & one of my personal favourites. Joe Martin is confident, self assured & always in control of every situation he faces. Even though he & his families lives are in constant danger you always have the sense that he knows exactly what he is doing.

Bronson's physique is remarkable in this movie. He must of been working out as his arms look like they are going to pop out of his t-shirt at any given moment. Unbelievable to think he was almost 50 during the shooting of this picture. I don't think I've ever seen him look any meaner or leaner at any other stage of his career. He uses this to great effect in a couple of physical confrontations. Early on in the film he kicks a chair leg away and knees an intruder to the ground and snaps his neck in an exiting and well shot set piece. Despite the great supporting cast this really is Bronson's movie & he was payed handsomely for this part reportedly receiving $400,000 for his services.

Bronson shows off his weapons

At just 94 minutes long Cold Sweat is a tight & fast moving action/thriller with a few great set pieces and some good performances. Highlights include a breathtaking race against the clock via car chase across narrow French hillside roads. This is down to stunt co-coordinator Rémy Julienne who is best known for his car-stunts in many James Bond pictures, yet another great set piece.

With it's great cast, top end action scenes & Charles Bronson on top form Cold sweat is a highly entertaining and very memorable thriller.

Year: 1970
Director:Terence Young
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Also Stars: Liv Ullmann, James Mason & Jill Ireland
Character Name: Joe Martin
Age During Shoot: 49
Bronson Kills: 2
Bronson Rating: 9/10
Film Rating: 8/10


No comments:

Post a Comment