Love and Bullets (1979 film)

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Love and Bullets
Love and bullets.jpg
Directed byStuart Rosenberg
Produced byPancho Kohner
Written byWendell Mayes
John Melson
StarringCharles Bronson
CinematographyFred J. Koenekamp
Anthony B. Richmond
Edited byMichael F. Anderson
Distributed byAssociated Film Distributors
Release date
Running time
103 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom
United States
Budget$8 million[3]

Love and Bullets is a 1979 film directed by Stuart Rosenberg.[4] Starring Charles Bronson,[4] it is based on a screenplay by Wendell Mayes and John Melson.[4]

The film was originally to have been directed by John Huston and advertisements were taken out in Variety to promote this fact. Huston apparently did film some scenes but walked off the set after disagreements with the producers. Veteran director Rosenberg stepped in on the troubled production. The resulting movie received almost-unanimously poor reviews.[citation needed]


Phoenix Police Detective Charlie Congers is tasked to assist the FBI in bringing a gangster's girlfriend, Jackie Pruitt, back to the USA to testify. The FBI thinks she can give inside information to law enforcement that will put Joe Bomposa behind bars once and for all.

It turns out that Pruitt doesn't know much of anything useful to the FBI. The trouble is, Bomposa wants her dead anyway, feeling betrayed, while Congers is falling in love with her. Bomposa has her shot while she embraces Congers before she leaves for the US under the protection of the FBI.



In 1977 it was announced that John Huston would direct Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland in Love and Bullets from a script by Wendell Mayes, who had written Bronson's hit film Death Wish. Finance would come from Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment.[5] It was part of a $97 million slate of movies Grade was making which also included The Legend of the Lone Ranger, Movie Movie (then called Double Feature), The Boys from Brazil, Raise the Titanic, The Golden Gate from the Alistair Maclean novel (never made), Escape to Athena, The Muppet Movie and Road to the Fountain of Youth with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope (which was never made). Filming on Love and Bullets - then called Love and Bullets, Charlie - was to begin in Managua, Nicaragua on 3 November 1977. By this stage Huston had fallen ill and been replaced as director by Stuart Rosenberg.[6]


Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, "Love and Bullets is a hopelessly confused hodgepodge of chases, killings, enigmatic meetings and separations, and insufferably overacted scenes by Steiger alternating with alarmingly underacted scenes by Bronson ... It's all texture and no plot, which is fine for a travelog but not so hot for a thriller. There's so little dialog we begin to suspect that's deliberate: Has the wordage in this movie been kept to a minimum to make it easier to dub for the international market?"[7] Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, "The British-born Miss Ireland has no luck in affecting a hillbilly accent, and as a comic pretense she's simply not there. However, she and Mr. Bronson approach each other with an appealing ease, which would be more appealing if it were not the movie's only selling point. Mr. Bronson grows ever more coolly dependable with each new film, but 'Love and Bullets' is too clumsy to show him off to much advantage."[8] A review in Variety reported, "There are hints throughout of sharper characterizations and less superficial relationships, but these are hampered by unambitious dialog and repeatedly trite situations."[9] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two stars out of four and called it "a dull, dull chase film"[10] that "works only as a travelog for Swiss ski resorts, and it would have been improved vastly if it contained subtitles identifying the fancy lodges Bronson and Ireland occupy."[11] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called the film "an instance of the familiar made diverting through some decent writing, taut direction and solid principal performances by Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland and Rod Steiger."[12] Richard Combs of The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "Love and Bullets may not be the worst, but it is a relatively dismaying example of the Lew Grade entertainment formula: as locations, production values and clichéd set-pieces proliferate, scripts increasingly look like shaggy-dog stories desperately in search of a point, and actors are left to do their own thing as their characters disintegrate."[13]


  1. ^ "Love and Bullets credits". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Love and Bullets - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Love and Bullets - History". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Maslin, Janet (14 September 1979). "Film: 'Love and Bullets' Stars Charles Bronson:Bringing Home the Moll". The New York Times.
  5. ^ FILM CLIPS: Tarzan! Superman! Now Sheena! Kilday, Gregg. Los Angeles Times 3 Aug 1977: h7.
  6. ^ FILM CLIPS: Lew Grade's $97 Million Projects Kilday, Gregg. Los Angeles Times 15 Oct 1977: b9.
  7. ^ Roger Ebert. "Love and Bullets".
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet (September 14, 1979). "Film: 'Love and Bullets' Stars Charles Bronson". The New York Times. C5.
  9. ^ "Film Reviews: Love and Bullets". Variety. March 28, 1979. 20, 36.
  10. ^ Siskel, Gene (September 28, 1979). "Siskel's Flicks Picks". Chicago Tribune. Section 3, p. 6.
  11. ^ Siskel, Gene (September 17, 1979). "Swiss scenery works harder than Bronson in 'Love and Bullets'". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 4.
  12. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 31, 1979). "Bronson, Ireland in Alpine Caper". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 19.
  13. ^ Combs, Richard (April 1979). "Love and Bullets". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 46 (543): 74.

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