Review: ‘Borderline’

This Charles Bronson vehicle tackles a serious subject - the profiteering in illicit Mexican immigration - with workmanlike dramatic skill and a notable preference for realism over hokum.

This Charles Bronson vehicle tackles a serious subject – the profiteering in illicit Mexican immigration – with workmanlike dramatic skill and a notable preference for realism over hokum.

The film’s big name is self-effacing almost to the point of elusiveness. As a long-serving, compassionate border patrolman, Bronson is hunched and hated virtually throughout; his face is mostly masked by heavy shadow.

The professionally-honed, conventional plot pits him against a younger, ruthless racketeer who runs wetbacks across the border at an exploitative price on behalf of a US business corporation.

Newcomer Ed Harris is memorable as the frontline villain, displaying screen presence to match the star’s and thus injecting a powerful sense of danger.

Borderline

Production

ITC. Director Jerrold Freedman; Producer Martin Starger; Screenplay Steve Kline, Jerrold Freedman; Camera Tak Fujimoto; Editor John Link; Music Gil Melle; Art Director Michael Levesque

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1980. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Charles Bronson Bruno Kirby Ed Harris Karmin Murcelo Michael Lerner

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