Love and Bullets (1979)

PG | 104 mins | Drama | 31 August 1979

Full page view
HISTORY

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the project was developed after actor Charles Bronson agreed to star in a series of features for Sir Lew Grade’s ITC Entertainment. Screenwriter Wendell Mayes had scripted one of Bronson’s most successful pictures, Death Wish (1974, see entry).
       News items from the 3 Aug 1977 Var and 1 Nov 1977 DV confirmed that John Huston was originally signed to direct, but when he took ill, director Stuart Rosenberg was hired as the replacement. Production designer Stephen Grimes, a frequent collaborator with Huston, also left the project and was replaced by John De Cuir. Although Michael F. Anderson, Lesley Walker, and Tom Priestley are listed as co-editors in contemporary sources, Anderson received sole credit as “film editor” in the print viewed for this record.
       A 4 Mar 1978 HR brief noted that Michael Parrent was signed for a role, but his appearance in the final film is uncredited and has not been confirmed.
       The film marked the feature acting debut for British fashion model Lorraine Chase as the “girl friend” of “Vittorio,” as noted in a 2 Feb 1978 HR item.
       Actor Rod Steiger stated in production notes that he based his character “Joe Bomposa” on a real-life Chicago mobster who stuttered, while actress Jill Ireland was inspired by singers Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette to create her role of “Jackie Pruitt.”
       Principal photography was scheduled to begin 3 Nov 1977 in Switzerland, according to the 1 Nov 1977 DV brief. Production notes specified the following locations in Switzerland: Geneva, Kandersteg, Zermatt and ... More Less

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the project was developed after actor Charles Bronson agreed to star in a series of features for Sir Lew Grade’s ITC Entertainment. Screenwriter Wendell Mayes had scripted one of Bronson’s most successful pictures, Death Wish (1974, see entry).
       News items from the 3 Aug 1977 Var and 1 Nov 1977 DV confirmed that John Huston was originally signed to direct, but when he took ill, director Stuart Rosenberg was hired as the replacement. Production designer Stephen Grimes, a frequent collaborator with Huston, also left the project and was replaced by John De Cuir. Although Michael F. Anderson, Lesley Walker, and Tom Priestley are listed as co-editors in contemporary sources, Anderson received sole credit as “film editor” in the print viewed for this record.
       A 4 Mar 1978 HR brief noted that Michael Parrent was signed for a role, but his appearance in the final film is uncredited and has not been confirmed.
       The film marked the feature acting debut for British fashion model Lorraine Chase as the “girl friend” of “Vittorio,” as noted in a 2 Feb 1978 HR item.
       Actor Rod Steiger stated in production notes that he based his character “Joe Bomposa” on a real-life Chicago mobster who stuttered, while actress Jill Ireland was inspired by singers Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette to create her role of “Jackie Pruitt.”
       Principal photography was scheduled to begin 3 Nov 1977 in Switzerland, according to the 1 Nov 1977 DV brief. Production notes specified the following locations in Switzerland: Geneva, Kandersteg, Zermatt and Montreux. An aerial tram at the Trockener Steg summit was used to stage a gunfight, while the Berne-Lötschberg-Simplon railway and the Lötschberg Tunnel in the Swiss Alps provided the setting for a dramatic train sequence. As noted in a 2 Nov 1977 DV item, cast and crew relocated to Phoenix, AZ, in Jan 1978. Production notes explained that the Bomposa set was discovered near Camelback Mountain, outside of Phoenix. The owner of the $7 million mansion, designed by prominent architect Edward Durrell Stone, died before occupying the house, so the trustees of the estate were eager to rent the property to the production. The filmmakers built an exterior replica nearby, costing $300,000, in order to destroy it for the film’s final scene. Soundstage work occurred at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City, CA.
       After filming completed in Switzerland, a 21 Dec 1977 Var article reported that the husband and wife team of Bronson and Ireland had traveled on location with their entire family plus an entourage of ten to fourteen personnel, which was a security concern in the wake of an heiress kidnapping in the country. As a result, certain precautions were taken in Switzerland, including a press embargo on set. Additionally, Swiss police did not approve a shootout scene at the Geneva airport on account of hijack threats from the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, so the filmmakers relocated the action to the city’s luxurious Hotel Beau Rivage. The article also noted that the budget was $8 million and Bronson’s salary was $1.5 million, in addition to a percentage of the film’s profits and expenditures for his entourage. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1977.
---
Daily Variety
2 Nov 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 1979
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
31 Aug 1979
p. 19.
New York Times
14 Sep 1979
p. 5.
Variety
3 Aug 1977.
---
Variety
21 Dec 1977.
---
Variety
28 Mar 1979
p. 20, 36.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Sir Lew Grade presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
European photog
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
Still photog
Still photog
Elec supv
Gaffer
Key grip
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set dec
Set dec
Prop master
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Ward mistress
Men' costumer
Women's costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd
Prod sd
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod asst
Scr supv
Dial coach
Casting
Asst pub
Transportation capt
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod secy
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt driver
COLOR PERSONNEL
[Col by]
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Love and Bullets, Charlie
Release Date:
31 August 1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 31 August 1979
New York opening: 14 September 1979
Production Date:
began 3 November 1977 in Switzerland
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Phoenix, Arizona, organized crime boss, Joe Bomposa, has established a foothold in the city’s narcotics market and provoked an increase in drug-related fatalities with new dangerous products. At a coffee shop, Lieutenant Charlie Congers, who runs the Phoenix Police Criminal Investigation Unit, listens as Officer Durant reveals that his fiancée was a victim of an overdose; he wants to avenge her death by killing Bomposa. Congers warns that they need to catch the mobster through legal means. When the officer returns to his patrol car and starts the ignition, the vehicle explodes. At the hospital, Charlie is told that Durant will probably lose his arms and legs, if he survives. Later, local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief, Andy Minton, shows Charlie footage of the recent U.S. Senate hearings on organized crime, at which Jackie Pruitt, Bomposa’s girl friend, testified. Minton explains that Bomposa’s powerful associates were disappointed in Jackie’s scatterbrained performance at the hearing and fear she might leak incriminating evidence one day. To keep her alive, Bomposa hid Jackie at a Swiss chalet, guarded by a group of killers. However, the FBI discovered her whereabouts when one of the henchmen, Lobo, agreed to hand her over in exchange for a new identity. Minton wants Charlie to fly to Switzerland and bring Jackie back to testify again. On the plane, Charlie notices two FBI agents, Brickman and Cook, acting as reinforcements, but Charlie refuses their help. After Charlie checks into the Hotel Monte Rosa in Zermatt, Switzerland, he meets with Lobo and gives him the new identity documents. Meanwhile, Richie Huntz, the most ruthless of ... +


In Phoenix, Arizona, organized crime boss, Joe Bomposa, has established a foothold in the city’s narcotics market and provoked an increase in drug-related fatalities with new dangerous products. At a coffee shop, Lieutenant Charlie Congers, who runs the Phoenix Police Criminal Investigation Unit, listens as Officer Durant reveals that his fiancée was a victim of an overdose; he wants to avenge her death by killing Bomposa. Congers warns that they need to catch the mobster through legal means. When the officer returns to his patrol car and starts the ignition, the vehicle explodes. At the hospital, Charlie is told that Durant will probably lose his arms and legs, if he survives. Later, local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief, Andy Minton, shows Charlie footage of the recent U.S. Senate hearings on organized crime, at which Jackie Pruitt, Bomposa’s girl friend, testified. Minton explains that Bomposa’s powerful associates were disappointed in Jackie’s scatterbrained performance at the hearing and fear she might leak incriminating evidence one day. To keep her alive, Bomposa hid Jackie at a Swiss chalet, guarded by a group of killers. However, the FBI discovered her whereabouts when one of the henchmen, Lobo, agreed to hand her over in exchange for a new identity. Minton wants Charlie to fly to Switzerland and bring Jackie back to testify again. On the plane, Charlie notices two FBI agents, Brickman and Cook, acting as reinforcements, but Charlie refuses their help. After Charlie checks into the Hotel Monte Rosa in Zermatt, Switzerland, he meets with Lobo and gives him the new identity documents. Meanwhile, Richie Huntz, the most ruthless of Jackie’s guards, secretly follows Lobo and discovers that he is collaborating with the FBI. As Lobo departs Zermatt by train, Huntz fatally stabs him, and then telephones Bomposa in Phoenix to alert him about Lobo’s deception. Bomposa’s attorney, Monk, advises his boss that Jackie is a potentially dangerous witness to their illegal activities. Although reluctant to kill the woman he loves, Bomposa realizes that he must protect his business and hires Vittorio Faroni, an expensive, but skilled Italian hired killer, for the job. Meanwhile, Charlie infiltrates the Swiss chalet where Jackie is sequestered and subdues the guards. Pretending he is one of Bomposa’s trusted associates, Charlie escorts Jackie on a train leaving Zermatt. Along the way, he asks her to remove her conspicuous wig and makeup. As Charlie and Jackie disembark from the train and drive through the countryside, they are tracked by Faroni and his assistants, Cerutti and Machoni, who have joined forces with Huntz in the pursuit. Charlie soon detects their presence. At Kandersteg station, he and Jackie drive the car onto a train that ferries automobiles through the Alps. During the ride, Charlie assesses the location of the killers on board. As the train exits a tunnel, Charlie drives the car off the auto carrier and down a snowy hillside. The vehicle crashes into an electrical installation, but Charlie and Jackie escape before the car explodes. After spraining her ankle during the getaway, Jackie is irritated and demands to know why they are running. Charlie confesses that he is a policeman working for the FBI and plans to return her safely to Phoenix where she is expected to testify against the mafia. Using a sled, Charlie pulls Jackie across the snow and finds a barn. As they hide there, Cerutti discovers them, but Charlie is able to kill the assailant. Jackie finally believes Charlie and realizes that Bomposa wants her assassinated. As they continue to flee, Charlie and Jackie take an aerial tram from a mountain summit. At the end of the line, Machoni is waiting for them on the platform and shoots. Amid the screams of innocent bystanders, Charlie and Jackie slip away unharmed and retreat to a nearby hotel in Montreux, Switzerland. From there, Charlie contacts Brickman in Geneva, Switzerland, and alerts him that they will take a steamer across Lake Geneva that night. As Jackie rests, Charlie rigs a makeshift dart weapon using nails. That evening, Charlie conspicuously parks a rental car in front of the hotel to mislead Huntz, then guides Jackie through a back door. Before getting on the boat, Charlie immobilizes two thugs with nail darts. As they hear the steamer set sail, Faroni and Huntz are frustrated that Charlie has evaded their trap yet again. During the trip across the lake, Charlie and Jackie kiss. Although Charlie now realizes that Jackie is actually ignorant of Bomposa’s activities, he still wants to protect her out of love. The next morning in Geneva, Brickman and Cook greet the couple on board and dismiss Charlie from his duties. As Jackie kisses Charlie goodbye at the dock, Huntz is positioned with his sniper rifle nearby and shoots her dead. Although Huntz is suppressed by FBI agents, Faroni, who orchestrated the attack, walks away from the scene unnoticed. Back in Phoenix, Minton criticizes Charlie for the way he handled the situation in Switzerland and removes him from the case. However, Charlie ignores the orders and decides to avenge Jackie’s death. After threatening the attorney Monk, Charlie learns about Faroni’s involvement. Later, Charlie pretends to be an undertaker and delivers a coffin to Bomposa’s mansion, claiming the deceased is Jackie and the sender is Faroni. As Charlie drives away in the hearse, Bomposa reads a note on the casket that says, “Love and Bullets, Charlie.” When Bomposa opens the lid to see the face of his former lover once more, a massive explosion is triggered that obliterates the mobster and his estate. +

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.