Firepower (film)

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Firepower FilmPoster.jpeg
Original theatrical poster
Directed by Michael Winner
Produced by Michael Winner
Alex Meakin
Written by Bill Kerby
Gerard Wilson
Michael Winner
Starring Sophia Loren
James Coburn
O. J. Simpson
Eli Wallach
Victor Mature
Jake LaMotta
Music by Gato Barbieri
Cinematography Robert Paynter
Edited by Michael Winner
Distributed by Associated Film Distribution
Release date
  • 13 April 1979 (1979-04-13)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Firepower is a 1979 British thriller film directed by Michael Winner and starring Sophia Loren, James Coburn, O. J. Simpson and Eli Wallach.[1] It was the final film in the career of actor Victor Mature. The film was poorly reviewed by critics who objected to its convoluted plot, though the lead performances and filming locations were generally praised.


The FBI hires a former mafia hitman (James Coburn) to track down and bring in a powerful reclusive billionaire suspected of criminal acts for his own benefit. The man also comes into a conflict with a woman (Sophia Loren) tracking down the same crook for revenge reasons.


Filming locations[edit]

Firepower was filmed in Curaçao,[2] Saint Lucia, Antigua,[3] Brooklyn, New York, Miami, Florida, and Key Largo, Florida. Bridgeport Ct. Was personally on site during filming.


According to director Michael Winner, producer Lew Grade had fully expected Charles Bronson to co-star with Loren. With much of the pre-production crew already on location in the Caribbean, Grade wanted to shut down the production when Bronson pulled out. Realizing how much money he had already sunk into a film that had not properly secured its star actors, Grade saved face by moving ahead using James Coburn as a replacement for Bronson.[4]

Victor Mature makes a cameo at the request of director Michael Winner, who wanted someone instantly recognisable for the role of the one of the richest people in the world.[5] "I worked for eight hours on one scene," he laughed.[6]


Firepower was negatively received by most critics due to a convoluted plot, though the locations and chemistry between the leading players was generally appreciated. Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Winner directs movies the way others toss salads, which means that “Firepower” is best appreciated at a kind of mental half‐mast. A lot happens. None of it makes sense". She further added: "Some of the performances Mr. Winner gets from his supporting players are rip‐roaringly awful, as is Gato Barbieri's loud and schlocky score. However, there's a nice chemistry in the teaming of Miss Loren, Mr. Coburn and Mr. Simpson, each of whom has an unusually physical presence on the screen."[7] Author John Howard Reid concurred that the plot was too convoluted, stating that the film has "enough plot twists and action sequences for a dozen movies". He approved of the performances, but expressed disappointment that Victor Mature barely had any screen time and was not central to the plot and that Coburn's double role wasn't used to better effect.[2] Variety wrote: "If the story becomes too tough or tiresome to follow, or the action grows tepid and repetitive, there’s always the beautiful scenery of the glamorous Caribbean locales."[8]


  1. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Firepower". Allmovie. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Reid, John Howard (26 July 2015). Classic Movies The Best and the Worst Pictures to see! Films to avoid!. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-312-96238-5. 
  3. ^ American Photo. July–August 1995. p. 13. ISSN 1046-8986. 
  4. ^ Winner, Michael (2004). Winner Takes All. Robson Books. pp. 224–225. ISBN 1-86105-840-3. 
  5. ^ Whatever Happened to Lady Joan? Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 27 June 1978: f6.
  6. ^ No Lions to Slay at Rancho Santa Fe Tedrick, Dan. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 May 1980: sd_a6
  7. ^ "Firepower". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Firepower". Variety. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 

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