RIFF Movies Archive

Charlie Valentine

United States, 2009, 35mm Technoscope - Color - 96min 30secs

Jesse V. Johnson

Raymond J. Barry, Michael Weatherly, James Russo, Tom Berenger, Steven Bauer, Keithe David, Maxine Bahns

Jesse V. Johnson

Jonathan Hall

Cari Coughlin

Terrance Weldon

Stacy Ellen Rich

Marcello De Francisci

Jennifer Ricciardi

Ted Warren & Ray Cavaleri

American Media Group

Gorilla Pictures


CHARLIE VALENTINE is an “old school” gangster, a man of great wisdom and even greater class. Unfortunately, he’s also quite poor (he’s spent all his money on women, gambling and the rest of those things commonly known as The High Life), and since he isn’t getting any younger he realizes he needs a load of money if he’s going to be able to retire.He aims to get this money by heisting his own boss – the cutthroat mobster ROCCO. Unfortunately, the heist goes badly as heists tend to do – Charlie not only fails to get any cash, but also all of his co-conspirators are either captured or killed by Rocco. Charlie steals Rocco’s Ferrari and takes off before Rocco can grease him. Charlie selfishly leaves a wounded comrade behind to be tortured by Rocco – but that’s Charlie’s credo: when things get too “hot”, you’ve got to run if you’re going to survive, even if that means abandoning friends and family to the Fates.Speaking of family, Charlie needs somewhere to hide out from Rocco’s wrath, so he travels from the East Coast to Los Angeles where he reunites with his son DANNY. Charlie abandoned Danny and his mother back in the 70s, finding himself unable to live a “straight” life as a family man. Though Danny’s mother ultimately died of grief waiting for Charlie to return, Danny still takes Charlie in with him.Danny turns out to be an ex-con himself, a sloppy amateur criminal who, unlike Charlie, keeps getting nailed by the cops and sent to prison. So to pay Danny back for offering him shelter, Charlie teaches his son all the criminal wisdom he knows, everything from how to dress sharp in a “smart suit” to impress your fellow crooks to how to kill a man with a straight razor in a few easy flicks of steel.Soon the father and son are bonding like crazy and decide to pull off a heist of their own to cement their reunion. Their target, a bag man for the Mob as he leaves with “protection” money from the strip club where Danny works as a bouncer. Danny tips Charlie off to the bag man’s schedule, allowing a masked Charlie to rob the bag man of hundreds of thousands of dollars.For this father and son, things couldn’t be better, and they both go on a spending spree to celebrate their new fortune. Charlie hooks up with stripper BLONDIE as well for some good times in the sack.But Danny’s girlfriend JENNY warns Danny that Charlie ultimately only cares about himself; if things get too “hot”, Charlie will abandon Danny in a heartbeat to save his own skin. Danny spurns this advice and he and Jenny break up.Meanwhile, Charlie has his own women problems. Blondie tells Charlie she’s pregnant with his child, prompting Charlie to decide to move on and leave Los Angeles for good. If he couldn’t settle down and be a family man with Danny’s mom, he’s certainly not going to do the same with Blondie.Charlie and Danny have a farewell drink at the strip club – and that’s when things go very, very wrong. FERUCCI, the strip club owner, has learned that Danny was the inside man on the bag man heist, so he and his thugs grab Danny to work him over. They’re joined in the “tune-up” by Rocco and his thugs, who have tracked Rocco’s Ferrari to Danny’s garage and are now actively seeking Charlie’s whereabouts.But Charlie is nowhere to be found. He’s slipped away from the strip club and is now motoring his way out of town scot-free. True to form, he’s turning his back on everyone and everything to save his own skin, even if it means leaving his own son to die.Then Charlie experiences something quite new for him – a guilty conscience. For once, he puts someone else’s welfare before his own, turning his car around and racing back to the strip club to rescue Danny. And rescue him he does, killing both Rocco and Ferucci in a wave of bullets. Unfortunately, Charlie’s reunion with Danny is short-lived, since Charlie was mortally wounded in the shoot-out himself, and he ends up dying in his grateful son’s arms.

Jesse V. Johnson :BiographyAs a director, Jesse V. Johnson is fascinated with the themes of crime and punishment and redemption within the underworld. His stylistic roots are set firmly in the maverick cinematic ground first hewn by Don Siegel, Samuel Fuller and Sam Peckinpah.Jesse V. Johnson came to the United States from the UK, working for ten years within many facets of the motion picture industry. After a successful career as a stunt coordinator and performer, he turned his attention to writing and directing feature films.With his four most recent productions, GREENSTREET HOOLIGANS 2, 5TH COMMANDMENT, THE BUTCHER, and CHARLIE VALENTINE, Jesse hopes that a distinctive "style" is becoming evident in his work. He hopes to create his own brand of films, which are uncompromising and powerful but ultimately deal with the strength of the human spirit.http://jessevjohnson.webs.com/




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