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Defiance

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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(Apr 20, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

An out-of work merchant seaman single-handedly tames a powerful street gang ("The Souls") that has been terrorizing his neighborhood on New York City's Lower East Side.

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jan Michael Vincent, Theresa Saldana, Art Carney
  • Directors: John Flynn
  • Writers: Thomas Michael Donnelly
  • Producers: Robert J. Wunsch, William S. Gilmore, Jr., Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004ULEEIY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,903 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
It's a shame that this movie is so relatively unknown and barely seen on TV anymore. Anyone who is a fan of gritty, urban flicks set in NYC in the '70s and early '80s ("Death Wish," "Taxi Driver," "Gloria," "Fort Apache, the Bronx," etc.) should definitely check out 1979's "Defiance," starring Jan Michael Vincent as Tom Gamble, a merchant seaman who is forced to reside in Manhattan's Lower East Side until he can find employment on another ship. As it turns out, the Lower East Side (or "L.E.S." as it has come to be known over the years by its actual residents) is run by a vicious street gang known as the Savage Souls, and it isn't long before Gamble and the Souls are at odds with each other, culminating in a brutal (and very realistically-staged) fight between Gamble and the gang's leader in the hallways and stairways of a housing project .
As a Puerto Rican who has lived in Manhattan all of his life, I'll be the first to admit that there are hints of prejudice throughtout the movie: Like other vigilante films of the same era ("Death Wish," "Fighting Back," "Vigilante,"), the protagonist is a white man who is going to "clean up the streets" by taking on out-of-control minorities who have become too much of a problem for the the police to handle (in this case, it is the Souls, a mostly Puerto Rican gang led by the not-so-Puerto Rican actor Rudy Ramos).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this on cable TV many times, I even had it recorded on my DVR box, until the hard drive went out. I was glad when I saw it finally available on DVD. I'm puzzled though as to why it was released on a DVD-R format. I'm sure that this film was popular (at least in cult status), to warrant a release on standard DVD. The film print that this was copied from looks kind of grainy at times (the version on cable looked a lot sharper and richer), but the overall sound is good. I'm just glad to finally have it on DVD, period.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
just about any show u put jan in to. is usually a hit. i have been watching his career since the seventies. great actor . i felt sorry for him with addiction to alcohol. i know what the struggle is like because we both share. it has taken many years for me to slow down to almost nothing.
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie really impressed me. Here we get to see Jan Michael Vincent in his prime fighting against the odds against predatory gang members. This movie has a cult following for good reason. It's a gritty portrayal of a vigilante pushing back against violent criminals and standing up for marginalized people who too often are helpless victims.
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By Zeke on June 7, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of those films that is something of a walking contradiction. Some of the acting is not exactly top shelf. The story line is a little weak. However, in my opinion this is one of the two best performances that Jan Michael Vincent ever gave. He is backed up by a very good cast of outstanding character actors. The music sets the stage for the suspense and the action is good without being grisly. This may not be high art, but it perhaps serves a higher purpose. When you come home from a brutal day and you don't want to think...you just want to be entertained....see the downtrodden guy win....see someone beat the odds.....put this movie in your player, unplug your brain, crack a cold one, lean back and enjoy the ride. It's stress management at its best and, in the end, a well made, "feel good" movie.
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Format: DVD
Before there was Ms. 45 (1981), Fort Apache: The Bronx (1981), Death Wish (1985), Tenement (1985), Enemy Territory (1987)...there was Defiance (1980) the same year The Warriors came out as well. Defiance starting Jan-Michael Vincent and Danny Aiello takes place in the gritty and dangerous 1980's New York City. The year is 1980, Tommy (Vincent) is a sailor stuck in the Lower East Side awaiting his next assignment. In the meantime, he temporarily moves into an impoverished building in a bad neighborhood. All the tenants of the building are scared s---t less of the gang known as The Souls, who roam the streets brining violence and destruction-and-there seems that nothing can't be done to stop them from terrorizing the residents...until one day...

Couple more interesting facts about the film:

1. The gang leader of The Souls looks like the hero Zorro minus the mask and cape...but plus a cool tattoo in the form of "crown of thorns" on his forehead...never seen anything like it.
2. According to the film director John Flynn, Jan Michael Vincent was constantly drunk of the set of the film, and it was difficult to work with him. Vincent supposedly was not taking his acting job seriously. Over time Vincent got friendly with Aiello and wanted the original film script to include more lines for him, to which the film director disagreed.
3. Great soundtrack by Gerard McMahon, worthy of downloading.
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