Review: ‘Year of the Gun’

Year of the Gun is a competent but routine thriller [based on Michael Mewshaw's book] about a young American novelist in 1978 Rome who accidentally hits upon a terrorist kidnaping plot.

Year of the Gun is a competent but routine thriller [based on Michael Mewshaw’s book] about a young American novelist in 1978 Rome who accidentally hits upon a terrorist kidnaping plot.

Andrew McCarthy plays an expatriate US journalist who’s doing quite nicely in Rome with a rich Italian g.f. (Valeria Golino) and the insistent attentions of a beautiful and nervy American photojournalist (Sharon Stone). Trouble is, Stone wants in on a book she believes he’s writing about the Red Brigades terrorists, and McCarthy knows he can’t pull the book off unless it stays a secret. Stone leaks it to a mutual friend (John Pankow), a university prof who leaks it to the Red Brigades, and suddenly the two Yanks are imperiled.

Stone adds some interest as the provocative photographer, though one never knows what makes her character such a maniacal careerist. McCarthy is merely servicable in the lead. Director John Frankenheimer and cinematographer Blasco Giuarto do a standout job with the taut, hysterical action scenes.

Year of the Gun

Production

Pressman. Director John Frankenheimer; Producer Edward R. Pressman; Screenplay David Ambrose; Camera Blasco Giuarto; Editor Lee Percy; Music Bill Conti; Art Director Aurelio Crugnola

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 111 MIN.

With

Andrew McCarthy Valeria Golino Sharon Stone John Pankow Mattia Sbragia George Murcell
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