St. Ives (1976)

PG | 94 mins | Mystery | 25 August 1976

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writer:

Barry Beckerman

Cinematographer:

Lucien Ballard

Production Designer:

Philip M. Jefferies

Production Company:

Warner Bros., Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

       The 27 Mar 1972 Publishers Weekly announced the acquisition of the film rights to Oliver Bleeck’s novel, The Procane Chronicle (1972), by producer Stanley Canter. Referring to the project by its working title, The Procane Chronicle, a news item in the 21 Jul 1972 HR reported that Sidney Beckerman would co-produce with Canter, and Dick Richards was hired as director of the $1.5 million production, which was scheduled for principal photography Nov 1972 in Washington, DC and New York City, as well as the Burbank Studios. On 9 Aug 1972, Var stated that Beckerman’s son, Barry Beckerman was adapting the novel, and Richards was considering actors Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen for the role of “St. Ives,” but a 26 Sep 1972 DV news item reported that filming was rescheduled for Spring 1973. However, the film remained in limbo until the 20 Aug 1975 DV announced that the project, now titled The Last Score and starring Charles Bronson, was scheduled to begin principal photography on 27 Oct 1975. While Pancho Kohner not Sidney Beckerman, was listed as Canter’s co-producer, a director was reportedly undetermined. A news item in the 5 Sep 1975 HR announced that J. Lee Thompson was hired to direct the picture, which had been retitled St. Ives’ Last Score, and the 23 Sep 1975 HR referred to the film as St. Ives’ Big Score. The title had been shortened to St. Ives when the 4 Nov 1975 DV reported that principal ... More Less

       The 27 Mar 1972 Publishers Weekly announced the acquisition of the film rights to Oliver Bleeck’s novel, The Procane Chronicle (1972), by producer Stanley Canter. Referring to the project by its working title, The Procane Chronicle, a news item in the 21 Jul 1972 HR reported that Sidney Beckerman would co-produce with Canter, and Dick Richards was hired as director of the $1.5 million production, which was scheduled for principal photography Nov 1972 in Washington, DC and New York City, as well as the Burbank Studios. On 9 Aug 1972, Var stated that Beckerman’s son, Barry Beckerman was adapting the novel, and Richards was considering actors Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen for the role of “St. Ives,” but a 26 Sep 1972 DV news item reported that filming was rescheduled for Spring 1973. However, the film remained in limbo until the 20 Aug 1975 DV announced that the project, now titled The Last Score and starring Charles Bronson, was scheduled to begin principal photography on 27 Oct 1975. While Pancho Kohner not Sidney Beckerman, was listed as Canter’s co-producer, a director was reportedly undetermined. A news item in the 5 Sep 1975 HR announced that J. Lee Thompson was hired to direct the picture, which had been retitled St. Ives’ Last Score, and the 23 Sep 1975 HR referred to the film as St. Ives’ Big Score. The title had been shortened to St. Ives when the 4 Nov 1975 DV reported that principal photography was underway in Los Angeles, CA. According to the 15 Sep 1975 Box, the start date was planned for 27 Oct 1975.
       An article in the 3 May 1976 Box stated that Canter hoped to break new ground in the thriller genre with St. Ives. The producer was impressed with Bronson’s talent and professionalism, and reimagined the action star as “a man who abhors violence.”
       Reviews for the film were generally negative, with several critics pointing out its convoluted plot and heavy use of crime drama clichés. However, the 2 Sep 1976 NYT applauded the absence of explicit violence and found the film to be entertaining, despite its shortcomings.
      The end credits include the following written acknowledgment: "Filmed at The Burbank Studios, Burbank, California."
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Aug 1975.
---
Box Office
15 Sep 1975.
---
Box Office
23 Sep 1975.
---
Box Office
3 May 1976
p. 8.
Box Office
6 Sep 1976.
---
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 1976
p. 2.
LAHExam
25 Aug 1976.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Aug 1976
p. 16.
New York Times
2 Sep 1976.
---
Newsweek
13 Sep 1976.
---
Playboy
Dec 1976.
---
Publishers Weekly
27 Mar 1972.
---
The Cinemaphile
Jul 1972.
---
Time
11 Oct 1976.
---
Variety
9 Aug 1972.
---
Variety
7 Jan 1976.
---
Variety
21 Jul 1976
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Kohner Beckerman Canter Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still man
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
2d grip
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Set des
Leadman
COSTUMES
Men`s ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opt eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Unit pub
Casting
Prod secy
Secy to the prods and the dir
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Driver
Driver
Craft service
Caterer
STAND INS
Stunt gaffer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Procane Chronicle by Oliver Bleeck (New York, 1972).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Last Score
St. Ives' Big Score
St. Ives' Last Score
Release Date:
25 August 1976
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 25 August 1976
New York opening: 1 September 1976
Production Date:
begin late October 1975 in Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 July 1976
Copyright Number:
LP46544
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor®
Lenses/Prints
Filmed with Panavision Equipment®
Duration(in mins):
94
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On Sunday morning, 24 October, attorney Myron Green enters the room of his client, crime reporter-turned-novelist Raymond “Ray” St. Ives, at the Hotel Lido in Hollywood, California. Ray is awakened with the news that his ex-wife demands $1000 per month in alimony and that his publisher has rejected his last three chapters. However, Myron also brings Ray a job offer from elderly millionaire Abner Procane, who will pay $10,000 for Ray to act as liaison between himself and a thief who is ransoming Procane's belongings. Ray drives to the Procane estate, where he finds his host watching a silent film. Procane explains that five leather-bound journals were stolen from his safe, and the thief is demanding $100,000 ransom, which Ray is to deliver. The men are joined by Procane’s beautiful assistant, Janet Whistler, a former police officer who chose wealth over law enforcement. Following the thief’s instructions, Ray arrives at a laundromat at two o’clock a.m., carrying the money in a small flight bag. The laundromat is empty, except for a dead body in a clothes dryer. A passing patrolman, Officer Frann, discovers the body as well, followed by Detectives Frank Deal and Carl Oller. Ray is arrested and taken to the police station, where his friend, Lieutenant Charlie Blunt, vouches for him and identifies the victim as Jack Boykins, arrested sixteen times for theft. Upon release, Ray apprises Procane of his failed mission. The next morning, Janet visits Ray and asks him to return to the house that night for further instructions. In the early evening, Ray dines at a cafeteria frequented by several minor underworld ... +


On Sunday morning, 24 October, attorney Myron Green enters the room of his client, crime reporter-turned-novelist Raymond “Ray” St. Ives, at the Hotel Lido in Hollywood, California. Ray is awakened with the news that his ex-wife demands $1000 per month in alimony and that his publisher has rejected his last three chapters. However, Myron also brings Ray a job offer from elderly millionaire Abner Procane, who will pay $10,000 for Ray to act as liaison between himself and a thief who is ransoming Procane's belongings. Ray drives to the Procane estate, where he finds his host watching a silent film. Procane explains that five leather-bound journals were stolen from his safe, and the thief is demanding $100,000 ransom, which Ray is to deliver. The men are joined by Procane’s beautiful assistant, Janet Whistler, a former police officer who chose wealth over law enforcement. Following the thief’s instructions, Ray arrives at a laundromat at two o’clock a.m., carrying the money in a small flight bag. The laundromat is empty, except for a dead body in a clothes dryer. A passing patrolman, Officer Frann, discovers the body as well, followed by Detectives Frank Deal and Carl Oller. Ray is arrested and taken to the police station, where his friend, Lieutenant Charlie Blunt, vouches for him and identifies the victim as Jack Boykins, arrested sixteen times for theft. Upon release, Ray apprises Procane of his failed mission. The next morning, Janet visits Ray and asks him to return to the house that night for further instructions. In the early evening, Ray dines at a cafeteria frequented by several minor underworld characters. Questioning the owner, Hesh, about the Boykins murder, Ray is referred to Finley Cummins, a regular customer and a close friend of the victim. Upon leaving, Ray is accosted by three young hoods, who force him into a warehouse and try to throw him down an elevator shaft. Ray climbs the elevator cables to safety and defeats the assailants. Upon arriving at Procane’s home, Ray is greeted by Dr. John Constable, a psychiatrist, who dresses the friction burn on Ray’s hand as Procane watches another silent film. When Ray asks about Procane’s fascination with silent movies, the doctor explains that it is a form of therapy. Ray is given new instructions for the exchange: The money is to be delivered to the men’s restroom at Union Station on Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, Ray’s investigation takes him to a used merchandise dealer named Albert Shippo, who mistakes Ray for a police officer and admits to being offered the journals by Finley Cummins. That night at the cafeteria, Finley denies any involvement in the robbery or in his friend’s murder, and identifies safecracker Jimmy Peskoe as the thief. As Ray arrives at Peskoe’s hotel, the safecracker is thrown from his eighth-story window. Deal and Oller appear at the scene, ready to arrest Ray, but Lieutenant Charlie Blunt determines Ray’s innocence after questioning several witnesses. After Ray delivers the ransom and successfully retrieves the journals the next morning, he discovers that Procane has been involved in numerous elaborate, nonviolent crimes. Procane is relieved to have his journals back, but horrified to learn that four pages are missing from one of the volumes. Ray’s curiosity over the missing pages induces him to continue his association with Procane, and the old man welcomes Ray as a new partner. Later, Procane, Janet and Ray have dinner at an elegant restaurant, where they observe a meeting between George McDuff, president of International Electronics, his vice president, Marshal Chasman, and an Arab sheikh. The sheikh has arranged a $100 million sale to his government, and is negotiating a $4 million “service charge,” to be delivered at a drive-in theater the following Friday night. Procane’s plan for intercepting the service charge is contained in the missing pages, implying that the party who stole the pages will try to steal the money as well. After Procane excuses himself for the evening, Janet implies that Chasman betrayed his employer in exchange for sex. The following day, Officer Frann follows Ray into Hesh’s cafeteria and admits to trailing the writer since the Boykins murder. Frann says he knows who was in possession of the journals after the thieves were killed, then demands $20,000 for the information. Procane gladly supplies the money, but before Ray is able to deliver it, Frann is murdered with an ice pick. Upon returning to his hotel, Ray is fired upon by an unseen assailant in the lobby, who runs from the building after firing two shots. Ray arrives at Procane’s house the following afternoon and makes love to Janet in the guest room while the old man screens a film of a fireworks display. Later, after receiving confirmation from Chasman, Janet loads a pistol and drives to her post in a Los Angeles Traffic Department van. Ray and Procane drive to the theater and wait for the journal thieves to reveal themselves. When the Arab receives the money, two men wearing facemasks steal the cash at gunpoint and drive toward the exit, with Ray and Procane in pursuit. When the thieves are stopped by a street closure, Janet aims her gun at them and demands the money. As Janet is about to be shot, Ray creates a distraction and she kills both masked men. Before the masks are removed, Ray has already deduced that the dead men are Detectives Deal and Oller. Upon returning to Procane’s home, the team celebrates with a drink, and Ray explains how he knew Deal and Oller were responsible for the deaths of Boykins and Peskoe, though he has not determined Frann’s killer. Dr. Constable suddenly appears from the shadows with a gun pointed at Procane, while Janet trains her weapon on Ray. The psychiatrist and Janet believe that they are grossly underpaid and have decided to kill Procane for the $4 million. Because Ray is a witness, he will be killed as well. Procane is deeply hurt and apologetic, but Constable has no patience with the old man and kills him. Ray turns off the lights and escapes to the pool house, where he finds a pistol. When Constable and Janet follow him outside, Ray kills the doctor. As Janet tries to convince Ray not to shoot her, Lieutenant Charlie Blunt appears and she fires a shot before Ray disarms her and throws her into the pool. Inside, Ray identifies Janet as Officer Frann’s killer. As Ray turns to leave, Janet asks Charlie to help her change into dry clothes. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.