Charles Bronson Just been himself - Messes a up a line on Caboblanco
Charles Bronson Jason Robards J. Lee Thompson Dominique Sanda Fernando Rey Jerry Goldsmith film noir adventure beautiful Mexican location quirky characters Mexico Casablanca score post war Peru Cabo Blanco
The gorgeous coastal town used in Caboblanco was in fact once a favorite retreat of members of a corrupt Mexican regime. The deluxe hilltop mansion, the thatched hotel-bar that Bronson's character runs, palapas lined up at the water's edge, a bare-bones, dingy police office, and so forth: you can't ask for a more convincing backdrop for this tale of international skullduggery.
Caboblanco also gets points for Bronson's spot-on portrayal of an ex-pate living in Mexico because he probably can't go home, the complex and riveting performance by Fernando Rey, and for filling out the cast with several supporting players in a non-linear presentation. There is a denouement at the end, but the film's mood and pacing are not obvious in working to that conclusion. In other words, Caboblanco succeeds in making a viewer feel he/she is eavesdropping on lives in progress.
Admittedly, this is a piece of entertainment, but it strives for something more, and it is NOT an imitation of Casablanca, by a long shot.
Director J. Lee Thompson and actor Charles Bronson always made an interesting team, and this particular effort was the last one I needed to see. Compared with most of their collaborations in the 80s, this is a diamond in the rough and quite an off-kilter, old-fashion adventure / mystery story that sets out to be intriguing and creates a nice feel of the times, than anything relying on Bronson handing out nasty punishment. Well on that point, the violence when it does eventuate is surprisingly brutal, if quick and too the point. When it happens, it comes from nowhere. However Bronson is given a chance to spread his wings, and act with confidence and stalwart appeal. It's a terrifically surly, down-played performance by Chuck in a suitable heroine role. Working off Bronson is a tremendously solid cast. Jason Robards' is subtly powerful in a fine turn and Fernando Rey's sly style always amuses. Dominique Sanda displays a potently classy presence. The support cast rounding it off are just as good with Simon Mac Corkindale, Dennis Millar, Clifton James and Camilla Sparv.
Looming from the presentation is a film-noir tone, and I don't really get the 'Casablanca' references (from it being a rip-off to an unfunny spoof) made about it. There's no denying it's rather talky though, but the script is involving and smartly weaved together. This works due to the screenplay having a busy (if muddled) plot and still keeping a breezy (almost brooding) air to it. Some contrived, and convenient actions occur, and the drama can seem a little uncertain. But it never becomes a worry. Also how they used the breathtakingly erotic Mexican backdrop in the action was accordingly staged and well-framed. Talk about nice sight seeing. The swirling, wide-screen camera-work had that ability to capture that organic sense of place, although the underwater shots came off terribly murky. Thompson's direction is undoubtedly workman-like, slow and effective on a much larger scale, despite the dreary look to its visual styling. Jerry Goldsmith's rousing melancholic score is picture-perfect. Everything boils up to an thrilling climax, as the calmness makes way for a stormy (literally) confrontations of two men, who share something in common, but how they go about things are entirely different. They have a past they like to forget, and this is their chance for that to happen and put away that lingering fear of something catching up.
One of Bronson's interestingly obscure oddities, which unjustly flopped and deserves an audience.
Death Wish Mr. Majestyk Breakout The Stone Killer The Mechanic Chato's Land The Valachi Papers Chino The Valdez Horses Soleil rouge Red Sun Someone Behind the Door Cold Sweat Violent City The Family Città violenta You Can't Win 'Em All Passager de la pluie, Le Rider on the Rain Twinky Lola C'era una volta il West Once Upon a Time in the West Adieu l'ami Farewell, Friend Honor Among Thieves Villa Rides Guns for San Sebastian Bataille de San Sebastian, La "The Virginian"
The Dirty Dozen Battle of the Bulge The Sandpiper Guns of Diablo 4 for Texas
The Great Escape X-15 The Magnificent Seven "Man with a Camera" Hard Times
The Streetfighter Breakheart Pass St. Ives From Noon Till Three Raid on Entebbe
The White Buffalo Telefon Love and Bullets Caboblanco Borderline Death Hunt Death Wish II 10 to Midnight The Evil That Men Do Death Wish 3 Murphy's Law
Act of Vengeance Assassination Death Wish 4: The Crackdown Messenger of Death Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects The Indian Runner Donato and Daughter Death Wish V: The Face of Death Family of CopsGang War Machine-Gun Kelly