St. Ives

1976

Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

10
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 33% · 12 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 40% · 100 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.2/10 10 2816 2.8K

Top cast

Charles Bronson as Raymond St Ives
Robert Englund as Hood #1
Jeff Goldblum as Hood #3
Jacqueline Bisset as Janet Whistler
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
863.07 MB
1280*690
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 34 min
Seeds 9
1.57 GB
1920*1036
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 34 min
Seeds 17

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by paul_johnr 5 / 10

Thompson and Bronson team up, are hurt by weak script

My first experience with the films of director J. Lee Thompson and Charles Bronson came during the mid-90s when I watched a heavily-cut version of '10 to Midnight' on basic cable. Since then, I have viewed these several films in almost reverse order, eventually jumping back to 'St. Ives,' their first pairing in 1976.

'St. Ives,' while being the first Thompson/Bronson film, was also one of the last major studio productions involving these two men. Eventually, they were turning out cheap but effective potboilers for the Cannon Group, including '10 to Midnight' and 'Murphy's Law.' And this is probably why 'St. Ives' can produce unfair expectations; while on a fairly large budget, the film is just one of many high-crime thrillers that were released in its day and sells itself as little more than that.

Bronson stars as Raymond St. Ives, a former Los Angeles crime reporter who is lackadaisically trying to earn his way as a novelist. Having recently divorced his wife and taken up residence at a cheap hotel, St. Ives is under demand to pay $1,000 a month in alimony. Raymond has a thirst for high living and gambles non-stop, habits that have left him short of cash; to pay the bills, he takes advice from his lawyer Myron (Michael Lerner) to act as a go-between for millionaire Abner Procane (John Houseman) and his assistant Janet Whistler (Jacqueline Bisset), who need to exchange ransom money for stolen journals that contain unsavory business dealings. While trying to complete the transaction, St. Ives stumbles upon one dead body after another and requires the help of his police lieutenant friend Charlie Blunt (Dana Elcar) to bail him out each time. Intrigued as a former journalist and in need of 'writing material,' St. Ives stays employed to Procane while trying to account for the murders.

While the cast of 'St. Ives' acquits itself under Thompson's straightforward direction, the film suffers from an erratic plot line and a script by Barry Beckerman that loses energy as it progresses. The first half of 'St. Ives' is quite engaging, as it tracks Raymond's activities as a go-between and his investigations of Procane. But out of nowhere, St. Ives decides to become a member of Procane's illegal operations while hoping to uncover the truth. The whodunit theme becomes one of mini-espionage as a result, with Bronson looking far too passive. By the film's conclusion, Bronson seems almost a marginal character, no longer the main person of focus. Barry Beckerman's script (based upon a novel by Ross Thomas) also has a comic tone so predominant that it's nearly impossible for any true conflict to develop. The film gathers no momentum and becomes pedestrian.

A large part of why 'St. Ives' fails in its second half is the growing presence of Jacqueline Bisset, who was terribly miscast as Janet. Bisset's role as the henchwoman requires a character actress who mixes cold-heartedness with just enough good looks to attract Raymond. Whether it's because Bisset looks taller than everyone else, has a pleasant voice, or is just plain gorgeous, she has such a wonderfully feminine presence that you could never really buy into the idea of Janet killing people. To make matters worse, Bisset is so dominant as an actress that she steals our attention while not having very much to do. John Houseman is very balanced as Procane, but supporting roles by Maximilian Schell as Dr. Constable and Dana Elcar (who never removes his hat) as Charlie Blunt are flat and undemanding.

With regards to technical work and production vales, 'St. Ives' eclipses all of the later Thompson/Bronson films that lasted until 'Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects' in 1989. But for all of the excellent cinematography by Lucien Ballard and wonderfully-styled music by Lalo Schifrin, there are laughable moments such as a dead body whose eyes move and a drive-in movie screen that repeats the same footage at least three times. The few 'action' scenes involving Bronson aren't necessary and do little to generate tension. The concluding shootout is also disorienting, a bungle to follow.

While 'St. Ives' is not a bad film, it is hopelessly mediocre. Still, fans of Bronson and Jacqueline Bisset should find portions of the film enjoyable. At best, it is a charming time-killer that deserves an occasional broadcast on television. Its DVD is available from Warner Home Video and nicely presented in widescreen with Dolby enhancement of the original mono track; French 'dubbing' and three-language subtitles are provided. This disc includes a brief featurette on the making of 'St. Ives,' with the rare occurrence of Bronson discussing his craft. The original theatrical trailer is also supplied.

** out of 4

Reviewed by sol-kay 7 / 10

This guy is no Saint

(Some Spoilers) Priviat eye-like movie with retired newspaper columnist and now unpublished book author Raymond St. Ives, Charles Bronson, getting hired to be the go between in a switch of $100,000.00 for a number of personal ledgers of eccentric multi-millionaire and criminal master-mind Abner Procane, John Houseman. At first the job that the down and out St. Ives has seems to be a lead pipe cinch. The $10,000.00 that he'll get for it will come in handy for the compulsive gambling habit that he has and he thinks nothing of it.

Going to an all night laundromat in L.A to pick up the ledgers and hand over the cash for them St. Ives finds the person that he's supposed to do the switch with stone cold dead,Jack Boykins ,Jerrid Brutsche, is found spinning in a washer-dryer with his neck broker. What was to be a simple delivery and exchange for St. Ives turns out to be a string of murders. All that leads to a $4,000,000.00 pay-off, for a number of pages from Procane's ledgers that has information of his dealing with the president of International Electric George McDuff, Norman Palmer. McDuff is involved in setting up an under the table deal with a member of the Saudie royal family that would net him at least a one hundred million dollar contract.

Classy and well acted "St.Ives" has the beautiful Jackie Bisset, Janet Whistler, as the femme fatal in this film-noir drama set in 1976 L.A. John Houseman seems to be really enjoying the role that he has as criminal master mind Abner Procane who prides himself as never committing any act of violence in his long and successful crime career. The non violent Procane only in uses his smarts and soring intellect to get where he's gotten and not any rough stuff. As if he were playing a number of games of championship chess all which was so accurately recorded by him in the stolen ledgers.

Jackie Bissett is as gorgeous as ever as Porcane's aid, or partner in crime, Janet Whistler who turns out to be playing both sides of the law to get just what she wants. Maximillian Schell pops up in the movie every now and then as Porcane's personal psychiatrist, Dr. John Constable, who has more on his mind that the fantasies and fears of his patient.

The movie has a movie within a movie scene when we see the switch between the valuable information in Procane's ledger between go-between's of the Saudie Sheik and McDuff that leads to a bloody shoot-out outside the drive-in movie where the switch was made. Charles Bronson's St. Ives as usual overcomes the odds to get to the bottom of the case that he's on that for one of those involved ends up at the bottom of Abner Procane's giant swimming pool.

Bronson is pushed around and beaten up a number of times in the film but like in all of his movies he comes out on top in the end, especially with Miss. Bisset. The movie at the drive-in seemed to have a film that had an hour and a half long cattle stampede. This made me wonder if the film-makers of "St.Ives" got that idea from the great bad-movie director Ed Wood and copied it off from the legendary buffalo stampede of the Ed Wood directed film "Glen or Glenda".

Reviewed by lost-in-limbo 8 / 10

Money talks.

Ex-crime journalist Raymond St Ives is struggling for doe, due to his gambling addiction and his slow progress of his unfinished novel. His offered a job as a "go-between" for the strange, old wealthy Abner Procane. He'll be payed 10,000 dollars for the job, to hand over cash for the exchange of Procane's stolen ledgers. However since he takes the job, nothing seems quite right and this leaves St Ives trying to put together what happened at the bungle exchange.

Director J. Lee Thompson along with actor Charles Bronson ( the first exercise to kick start their long-listed collaborations together) churn out a acceptable time-filler in the shape of the luxuriously smooth and constantly busy comic-crime caper "St Ives". Underlining the atmospherically exotic style is Thompson's sophisticatedly tidy direction, along with Lucien Ballard's handsomely crisp cinematography and Lalo Schifrin's high-strung score of sizzling jazz arrangement. The screenplay by Barry Beckerman is sleek, but overly knotty and perplexing in its deliberate developments of a devious layout. Still it stays conventional to the scheming and shady connections lurking around nearly every corner, and this generally engages. Sometimes not deliberately so, like often mentioned 'drive-in' sequence. The offbeat script can loose shape (even though it manages some quite cheeky dialogues), and begin to slumber off in the pulpy latter end of the film. The action is quite little, but pacey with some well performed and animatedly stylised stunts. The production managed to get a hold off a sensational cast. Charles Bronson in the lead as St Ives eases into the performance nicely. Jacqueline Bisset adds a sumptuously classy touch. John Houseman is very fun, and Dana Elcar gets some memorable scenes. Maximilian Schell hones in one hammy entrée turn, and Harry Guardino and Harris Yulin likewise are amusing. Also look out for some diverting performances from up-and-coming Robert Englund and Jeff Goldblum as two petty crooks. Michael Lerner and Elisha Cook Jr show up in minor roles too.

An elegantly charming enterprise with an excellent Bronson performance and great support.

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