The Stone Killer
|The Stone Killer|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Winner|
|Produced by||Michael Winner|
|Written by||John Gardner (Book: A Complete State of Death)
|Music by||Roy Budd|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$1,300,000 (US/ Canada rentals)|
The Stone Killer is a 1973 action thriller film starring Charles Bronson and directed by Michael Winner. It came out in between The Mechanic and Death Wish, all three of which teamed up actor/director Bronson and Winner. Norman Fell and John Ritter appear as cops in this film, not too long before the TV series Three's Company. Character actor Stuart Margolin plays a significant role; he also appeared in Death Wish.
The film involves a plot by a present day (1973) Mafia don (Martin Balsam) to avenge the killings of a group of Mafia dons back in 1931 ("The Night of Sicilian Vespers") with a bold nationwide counter-strike against most of the current Italian and Jewish syndicate heads using teams of Vietnam vets instead of Mafia hit men. ("Stone killer" means a Mafia hit man who is not himself a member of the Mafia.)
Bronson plays a gritty, independent detective who stumbles across the plot when a washed-up former hit man is killed under circumstances that make it clear that it was an inside job and that Mafia were involved. He then slowly uncovers the clues that point to a seemingly impossible plot.
- Charles Bronson as Lou Torrey
- Martin Balsam as Al Vescari
- David Sheiner as Guido Lorenz
- Norman Fell as Daniels
- Ralph Waite as Mathews
- Paul Koslo as Langley
- Stuart Margolin as Lawrence
- Jack Colvin as Jumper
- John Ritter as Hart
During the shootout in the parking garage at the film's climax, stunt Coordinator Alan Gibbs' seat-belt snapped and his head struck the steering wheel, causing him to sustain serious injuries in one of the numerous car crashes that take place. The cars were rentals from Hertz, who were so concerned with damage that they sent a representative to the set to reclaim them. Winner supposedly told the rep, "You should be glad we're crashing your (expletive) awful cars. You'll be able to write them off completely and get nice new ones."
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