Mr. Majestyk (1974)

Vince Majestyk farms watermelons. A retired U.S. Army Instructor and Vietnam Vet, Majestyk must get his crop in to keep his farm as a local hood and mafia hitman interfere. Directed by Richard Fleischer, written by Elmore Leonard, and a poster in Budd’s trailer in Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), Mr. Majestyk (1974) stars Charles Bronson as the farmer forced to defend himself any way he can. Violence erupts as pride and fruit are up for grabs. Co-starring Al Lettieri and Paul Koslo, photographed by Richard H. Kline, and scored by A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) composer Charles Bernstein, Mr. Majestyk is that rare movie that can’t be compared to any other. A Southwestern mash of action yarn and folksy character study brewed for maximum impact. Is this one to remember or a fruit plate?

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Trailer to Mr. Majestyk (1974).

Charles Bernstein’s score to Mr. Majestyk (1974).

Actress Lee Purcell on Mr. Majestyk (1974).

Richard H. Kline on Mr. Majestyk (1974).

The chase scene from Mr. Majestyk (1974).

Watermelon Massacre.

I remember this movie, but just enough to associate the title with Chuck Bronson. The chase scene was not familiar to me at all, but I definitely remember the watermelon massacre. The music during that scene is just so out of place.

I do have a complaint against this movie, however, as I am relatively sure that it was the inspiration for the career of one Leo Gallagher, of Sledge-O-Matic fame. Mr. Majestyk was released in July of 1974, and Gallagher made his first appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in December of 1975. I rest my case.

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I have never seen this movie, but I was drawn to the “Watermelon Massacre” and watched the clip above.

Now I’m not saying that this movie was created just so they had an excuse to fire weapons at a huge pile of watermelons, but if I were a filmmaker, I’d absolutely be tempted to create a whole movie just so I could film people firing weapons at a huge pile of watermelons.


Yeah! I’d say an extremely memorable film, in the sense that it had Bronson at his (lengthy) prime, and “that guy from The Godfather” in it (Al Lettieri), a bunch of melons, and the whole farm labor activism tie-in.

Is the movie slightly tedious or action-packed? I couldn’t really say…both, probably.

Did not know there was a poster in Budd’s trailer…but I remember some other movie (not sure which or by whom) had somebody call somebody “Mr. Majestyk” in a kind of underworld/gangsterish setting.


The Mr. Majestyk (1974) poster in Budd’s trailer.