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Plot:

Carter “Doc” McCoy is a career robber, currently in his fourth year of a ten year prison sentence at the Texas State Penitentiary. After his request for parole is denied despite he being a model prisoner, Doc, unable emotionally to endure life inside, asks his loving wife Carol McCoy to contact crooked businessman Jack Beynon, a man with political connections, to secure his release in return for he being “for sale” to Beynon. Beynon is able to get Doc released, the sale price being for Doc to plan and execute a robbery at a small bank branch in Beacon City, Texas where Beynon knows that $750,000 will be kept in the vault for the next two weeks. Rather than Doc using his own men for the job, Beynon directs that the only other people involved will be the men of his own choosing, Rudy and Frank. There are to be no casualties, which is all right with Doc who is not a murderer. After the robbery is completed and the monies divvied up accordingly, Doc and Carol will cross the border into Mexico to live out their lives away from capture. The robbery doesn’t come off quite according to Doc’s plan, with the result being Doc and Carol going on the run as they try to make their way into Mexico with their share of the loot. Various people are in their pursuit, some who know that they will try to cross into Mexico at one of the two major West Texas border crossings. Other bystanders get directly or indirectly involved in the proceedings, which affects what happens. Two of those people, seeming straight-laced couple Fran and Harold Clinton, get involved more intimately than would have been first anticipated. Though it all, Doc and Carol have to work through some of their own issues, which arise out of a revelation about Doc’s release from prison.

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26 Comments

  • dave
    dave

    The Getaway-1972 – Wrong getaway! This isn’t the Steve McQueen, Ali McGraw version.

  • dr-tothne-varadi-anna
    dr tothne varadi anna

    The Heist is a landmark action film. It is surprising that it is so overlooked. It looms large over the film action genre over the past two decades. Almost every action film owes something to this remarkable masterpiece by Peckinpah at the the height of his directorial powers. For starters, the garbage compactor scene was directly lifted by George Lucas in Star Wars. The dialogue, pacing, and editing are stamped all over Tarantino’s films. The action sequences are the starting point for John Woo’s Triad masterpieces. A few movies that bear out the direct influence include Point Break (which the story and action sequences are similar); as well as Ben Affleck’s The Town.The script by a then up and coming Walter Hill, based upon a Jim Thompson novel, is perfection in itself. In fact, all of Hill’s movies can be tied in one way or another to his screenplay in The Getaway. In fact I don’t think it’s a stretch to say the brash direction and machismo was a defining influence on Takeshi Kitano’s directorial career.By all means, if you are a film lover and have not seen this one, you are indeed lucky to be able to see it for the first time. Usually, Peckinpah is defined by critics with his film The Wild Bunch and by general consensus – consider it his best. After seeing this film, it is no longer true for me – this is Peckinpah’s finest hour. McQueen shows why he is still regarded as a legend – a simply unforgettable performance.

  • oystein-hagen-moe
    oystein hagen moe

    ‘The Getaway’ is Sam Peckinpah in gun for hire mode making a commercial heist-gone-wrong/lovers-on-the-run movie. He tried to do something similar later in the Seventies with ‘Convoy’, but that one strayed too far into studio compromise and was nowhere near as successful on an artistic level. Even though one gets the feeling that the movie’s star Steve McQueen was calling the shots, Peckinpah still manages to add some of his trademark flamboyant violence and moral ambiguity to what is, let’s face it, essentially an action movie. And I must say it is a very good action movie at that, and one many directors today working in this often tired and lazy genre could learn a thing or two from concerning suspense, drama and genuine excitement. The less you know about Jim Thompson’s original novel the more you will enjoy this movie. Walter Hill (future director of ‘The Warriors’ and ‘Southern Comfort’) takes most of the basic plot, but leaves out the brilliant final chapter set in the hellish criminal haven El Ray. Apparently this was at the insistence of Steve McQueen who thought it too depressing. I also would guess that McQueen influenced Hill to alter the character of Doc McCoy from the book’s charming sociopath to a more traditional tough-but-still-fairly decent career criminal. Maybe McQueen felt more comfortable pulling that style off, which is odd because he showed a lot more depth in Peckinpah’s low key ‘Junior Bonner’. In this one respect ‘The Getaway’s inferior 1990s remake was closer to Thompson’s original spirit by casting Alec Baldwin in the same role. Anyway, if you forget about the book, and accept this movie for what it is, and not what it might have been it is a taut and impressive thriller. McQueen and the beautiful Ali McGraw (then husband and wife) show some real chemistry and are consistently watchable. Peckinpah uses many of his regular dependable character actors (Bo Hopkins, Dub Taylor) to support them, including a first rate Ben Johnson (‘The Wild Bunch’) in an uncharacteristically nasty role. Al Letteri (‘The Godfather’) also impresses as McQueen’s conniving colleague, Slim Pickens (‘Dr Strangelove’) as a helpful old geezer, Sally Struthers (‘All In The Family’) as a blonde bimbo, and the underrated Richard Bright (‘Vigilante’, ‘Crimewave’, ‘The Godfather’) has a scene stealing bit as a con-man who bites off more than he can chew. ‘The Getaway’ is by no means Peckinpah’s most interesting or impressive movie but it is solid entertainment that is hard to beat, and should be watched by any self-respecting Seventies movie fan.

  • ksanthippe-mauropoulou
    ksanthippe mauropoulou

    Before Action became routine and Bruce Willis there was the 1970´s Action-film, which often had a lot of mood. “The Getaway” is one of those films, showing what range the Action-film could have – there is more than violence and wannabe-cool dialog here. This was before the Action-films became exaggerated, instead of having just explosions and being over-explicit there is booth plot and suspense in “The Getaway”. It let Peckinpah use his well known style, in the way of Boorman´s “Point Blank”. The result is pure. Ali McGraw is said to be limited and stiff, but Peckinpah made her solid here. I guess that Steve McQueen never was better than here, even if some wouldn’t agree. Some of Peckinpah´s regular starred (such as Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens, Bo Hopkins and Dub Taylor) which makes it even better today – the impact of Peckinpah is powerful.Rating: 8 of 10.

  • jeffrey-clark
    jeffrey clark

    I think I saw the 1994 re-make before I ever checked this movie out. The re- make being so sexual and violent I expected less of that stuff in here because it was made 20-some years earlier. Well, there was less sex but I think the violence might even have been heavier in this movie. This was a pretty rough film and it’s interesting to note the “PG.” Today, this would be rated at minimum PG-13.Also, a contrast between the two films, language-wise: back then you’d hear a lot more usage of the Lord’s name in vain; nowadays, the f-word is more popular. Good guy Steve McQueen in here never utters a bad word and is still a tough, no- nonsense kind of guy. The rest of the characters are the same. There are no “talk before I shoot” hokey scenes or people missing from point-blank range.McQueen is great, as he usually was, and the rest of the cast is pretty interesting, too, from sleazy Sally Struthers (pre-“All In The Family”) to Love Story’s Ali McGraw to old-timers Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens. Al Letterei was also good in here. His name isn’t familiar to me, but his face was.With either this or the re-make, you get a solid crime-action story with “The Getaway.”

  • gemma-curtis
    gemma curtis

    I`ve never been a fan of the heist genre since they always play out in an entirely formulaic way of having a plan , carrying out the plan and having a double cross at the end . THE GETAWAY is not all that different structure wise but what sets it apart from most movies in the genre is that it`s superbly directed by Sam Peckinpah . From the opening of Doc McCoy suffering hard prison time and having erotic musings about his wife ( Can`t say I blame him either ) you just know this is going to be a great film . Once again Peckinpah uses his unique cross cutting in slo mo between scenes but that`s not the only reason this is a great thriller , it`s also down to the cast . Okay maybe McQueen and McGraw don`t make an entirely convincing on screen couple but compare this to the husband and wife of STRAW DOGS . The one problem Peckinpah seems to have had in his movies is casting convincing on screen couples , is it any coincidence that his best movies like THE WILD BUNCH and CROSS OF IRON have been mainly female free ? Peckinpah also casts Ben Johnson and Bo Hopkins on a regular basis and they both appear here , Johnson plays an oily creep while Hopkins appears very briefly . Without doubt the best casting choice is the late Al Lettieri as Rudy Butler . Lettieri is the sort of actor who exudes menace just by breathing , he doesn`t have to say anything to make you tremble in your boots , he just has to look at you and you know it`s not going to be your day . Who`d be a vet after seeing this movie .If you`ve seen this classic thriller please don`t watch the 1990s remake because it`s utter crap . If you want to see Al Lettieri at his very best check out MR MAJESTYCK where he slaughters hundreds of defenceless watermelons

  • vicenta-baquero-alvarado
    vicenta baquero alvarado

    The film centers about a robber named “Doc” McCoy (Steve McQueen) is paroled from a Texas state prison , somewhat to his surprise . His spouse , Carol (Ali McGraw) , has arranged for his freedom by sleeping with the corrupt but politically well connected Jack Benyon (Ben Johnson) . Ben Johnson assigns him a heist helped by Al Lettieri and Bo Hopkins but he’s betrayed and the events burst .In the motion picture there is suspense , drama , thriller, car pursuits and amount of violence reflected in slow-moving shots typical of Peckinpah . From the beginning to the end the action-packed is interminable . The final confrontation at hotel between the starring , Steve McQueen , Ali McGraw and the enemies is breathtaking and overwhelming . The picture has been classified ¨R¨ for crude murders and isn’t apt for little boys , neither squeamish . However , it was rated PG by the MPAA in the United States. A few years later, in retrospect, this was considered a mistake and the board believed that the film should have been rated one step higher, an R . Steve McQeen and Ali McGraw’s (marriage in real life) interpretation is top-notch . Sam Peckinpah direction is excellent though is better in Western films (Wild bunch , Pat Garret and Billy the Kid , Bring me the head Alfredo Garcia and Major Dundee).The movie obtained success and originated a remake featured by Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger (marriage in real life, too) although failed at box office . The yarn will appeal to action buffs and Peckinpah fans . Rating : 7/10 .Well catching

  • william-arnold
    william arnold

    Much better than the 1994 remake starring Baldwin and Basinger. As always, McQueen is fantastic here as thief “Doc McCoy” who’s wife has just helped him out of prison. His screen presence is incredibly strong, and as usual he plays the the King of Cool to a tee. MacGraw, as his wife “Carol”, turns in a solid performance (and looks ravishingly gorgeous as well), and the chemistry between her and McQueen is palpable (it’s no surprise that they married after shooting this film), even though they barely touch each other (save for one or two kissing scenes). But there’s noticeable angst and frustration between Doc and Carol; not only because he’s been in jail for a few years, but also because Doc learns that Carol prostituted herself to get him out of jail. Ultimately, of course, this husband and wife team of thieves just can’t live without each other. The action moves along at a good pace, and the car chases and shooting scenes are top notch – not fake like other action movies during the time. From the bank robbery to the various problems the couple face trying to escape to Mexico, the film is exciting and thrilling. It’s also a bonus hoot to see McQueen and MacGraw (two of the biggest stars of the time) dumped at a garbage tip and covered in garbage. Very good action film.

  • carita-eskelinen
    carita eskelinen

    The Getaway won’t bring up too many doctoral theses like the Wild Bunch (at least on its own, maybe as part of a Sam Peckinpah grouping of films dissected), but it’s one of the director’s best non-Western films. It’s got a cracker-jack story that seems like it’s been pulled right off the paperback rack at the candy store: an ex-con, Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) is yanked out of a lengthy jail-term thanks to a Texas mob guy/bank-connection (Ben Johnson), and not in small part due to his wife Carol (Ali McGraw), but it’s all in due to a planned bank robbery, which goes off well except that the aftermath gets screwy. McCoy and his girl go off on the run to El Paso, while a creepy lecherous crook, Rudy (Al Lettieri) tries to beat them to the punch after getting shot by McCoy. From there on in Peckinpah via writers Jim Thompson and Walter Hill supplant a bunch of very suspenseful scenes, with the half a million put into peril; McCoy gets his face put on all the papers, making him all too easy. There’s mishaps with a garbage truck (a fantastically subversive scene, with the subtext being ‘the things I’ll do to get money’), and a group attached to Johnson’s character who always look like they’re waiting for something by the phones. And Rudy, of course, as one of the more nasty villains in Peckinpah’s work.All in all the film is mostly made spectacular because Peckinpah doesn’t short-change the audience on the goods. This is a work of classy film-making immersed in sleazy circumstances, a Texas heist picture where knowing your guns is a pre-requisite and it’s more about knowing how to evade capture and not hedge your bets than real ingenuity. Peckinpah also infuses with this typically pulpy material (Thompson was one of the co-writers on The Killing script) with his trademark visual panache: it’s not glamorous violence in any way, but you can’t look away from how he makes it brilliant in the pacing (the editing is top-notch and some of the best I’ve seen in any thriller of the 70s), in everything leading up to a violent moment or contact, and the brutality which can only come from a filmmaker who trusts his audience like this. And it’s very wise to have McQueen as McCoy, a true take-no-prisoners anti-hero who may not be the most in-depth criminal mastermind/fugitive, but boy can he be the one to bet on as getting away with it all. McGraw, meanwhile, isn’t quite as effective, but then again she’s not given a really developed character to work with. How and why she’s so attached to McCoy to not leave him is a little faux Bonnie and Clyde, but for the most part I didn’t mind.Meanwhile, Peckinpah puts in his supporting ranks some high-caliber talent, with Lettieri doing a lot with so little; his sub-plot involves taking hostage a doctor and his woman, and there’s a lot to be read into what happens in this as he starts to over-take the woman, as it were, with real brutish force that puts the doctor into his own end. But the irony isn’t lost on Peckipah in his subversive state, and there’s a laugh-out-loud moment when there’s a cute black kitty sitting on his chest while resting from gun-shot wounds. Then of course there’s Johnson, a usual Peckinpah alumni, and a great bit from Slim Pickens towards the end. Featuring a sweet Quincy Jones soundtrack, and a storyline that unfolds where unpredictability is paramount, The Getawat is a better-than-expected thriller where the criminals are hard-edged and dangerous, and where money almost becomes a MacGuffin to bring out the worst in men.

  • iish-luuthraa
    iish luuthraa

    If one is looking for a tough, gutsy, action oriented story about a professional criminal who takes on the law and gives it a run for its money, “The Get-Away” is for you. This film is one of the most stirring and awesome films created to-date. It begin within a maximum Texas prison where one, Carter ‘Doc’ McCoy, (Steve McQueen) is waiting out his sentence for bank robbery and expects to be released soon. As with most prison systems, it’s subject to manipulations from the rich and powerful. In this case we have Jack Beynon (Ben Johnson, with superb acting) who is both. It is he who uses his influence to “spring” our hero, with the caveat that he commit a personal bank robbery for him. Each man has much to gain and just as much to lose as there is obvious tension and distrust from the arrangement. What follows is one of the best double-crossing, shoot-’em ups, high speed chases ever created by director Sam Peckenpaw. Along the way, we have a notable college of film stars as could be gather to make a truly memorable saga. For instance, we have Ali MacGraw as Carol McCoy, Al Lettieri as dangerous, vengeful and homicidal Rudy Butler. Slim Pickens as a truck-driving Cowboy. Famous Dub Taylor is ex-drunk Laughlin, Bo Hopkins as Frank Jackson and Roy Jenson as Cully. If one is looking for a superior motion picture which sets the standard for Action-Drama, this is it. A Classic, if ever there was one. ****

  • paulina-petrauskas
    paulina petrauskas

    Based on Jim Thompson’s novel, The Getaway finds director Sam Peckinpah, and king of cool actor Steve McQueen, turning to hard grit drama after the sedate splendour of Junior Bonner earlier in the year.Doc McCoy is released early from prison due to some string pulling from influential gangster Jack Benyon, however it comes under condition that McCoy pulls off a bank robbery for the gruff smarmy Benyon. Thus the seed is sown for double crosses, murder, cross country pursuits, adultery, and carnage Peckinpah style.Steve McQueen is excellent as McCoy, few actors can claim to look so good when popping off a pump action shotgun, or shooting a pistol complete with arm recoil, and here he has Peckinpah to maximise the damage whilst poetically portraying the slow-mo death sequences. Al Lettieri is vile thug Rudy Butler who is in hot pursuit of McCoy & his wife Carol, a wonderful weasel turn full of cold abusive charm that reeks of menace. Sadly the film is let down a touch by the performance of Ali MacGraw as Carol, it’s a terribly wooden performance that threatens to undo all the good things in the film, but luckily McQueen manages to ease her thru the production to minimise the damage.This of course is the film where both of them fell madly in love and ended up getting married to each other, the chemistry is good, but it’s just that MacGraw’s delivery of her lines lacks emotion or fortitude. Peckinpah disagreed with the critics of the time, even sending a letter to MacGraw praising her efforts. However when she turned up for the shoot unable to drive a car, he was less than pleased since her character was the getaway driver! Full of fine sequences and bloody scenarios, it stands up as a real good Sam Peckinpah picture, it’s a kind of city set western where the outlaws are actually coming across as heroes. We get pulled into this couple’s world and we want so much for them to achieve their goals, so add that feeling to the gritty structure of the story and you get a real enjoyable piece benefiting from great work from director and charismatic leading man alike. 8/10

  • danna-dakhno
    danna dakhno

    Carter “Doc” McCoy is released from jail after his wife Carol makes a deal with a corrupt local businessman, Jack Benyon.There is a condition, though.He ought to take part in a bank robbery with two of Jack’s minions, Rudy and Frank.Things go terribly wrong.A guard gets killed by Frank and Rudy attempts to double cross the group.First he kills Frank and then he nearly kills Doc, except that Doc is faster.But Rudy’s not out of the game yet, as we soon notice.That’s because he wore a bulletproof vest.Jack Benyon meets with his Maker when Carol shoots him.The chase is on! Sam Peckinpah is the director of The Getaway (1972).Steve McQueen is terrific as Doc McCoy.Same with Ali MacGraw as Carol Ainsley McCoy.They make a great couple fleeing the law.Ben Johnson is great as Jack Benyon.Roy Jenson plays his brother, Cully terrificly.Al Lettieri gives a tough performance as Rudy Butler.Bo Hoskins is very good as Frank Jackson.Jack Dodson makes a likable character as Harold Clinton.He’s the husband of the slutty Fran, who has fun with his kidnapper Rudy.Richard Bright plays the thief, wearing a cowboy hat at the railway station.He’s brilliant as this con man trying to steal the heist money from Carol.Dub Taylor with a bowler hat is brilliant as Laughlin, owner of the El Paso motel safe house.Slim Pickens is most sympathetic as the Cowboy, a working man who’s eager to help the fugitive McCoys.The Getaway is full of great, tight action.The shooting in the end at the hotel is crazy.Definitely worth checking out.

  • nelu-suciu
    nelu suciu

    Director Sam Peckinpah struck pay dirt with this adaptation of author Jim Thompson’s novel about an inside bank job in contemporary Texas. Not only did “The Getaway” prove to be a hit for Peckinpah but it also bolstered Steve McQueen’s career. Previously, Peckinpah and McQueen had collaborated on “Junior Bonner,” but “Bonner” did nothing for them at the box office. The film is an amazingly mellow movie for a Peckinpah film and is comparable to “The Ballad of Cable Hogue.” Conversely, “The Getaway” contained virtually everything that a Peckinpah movie needed, primarily action, intrigue, and violence. Mind you, “The Getaway” wasn’t as intense as “The Wild Bunch” and not as heavy-handed philosophically as “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Despite its somewhat kinky subplot, “The Getaway” is the kind of Peckinpah movie where things go right for the hero and the heroine with an amenable ending.Texas millionaire Jack Benyon (Ben Johnson of “The Wild Bunch”) needs a top gun to rob one of his banks, and Carter ‘Doc’ McCoy (Steve McQueen of “Bullitt”) is going to pieces slowly in Huntsville Prison. Every time that he applies for parole, he gets shot down. Doc gets his wife Carol (Ali MacGraw of “Love Story”) to get to Johnson. Doc wins his parole, but he thinks that Carol sold him out. Nevertheless, he meets once with Benyon in San Antonio and greets his team of men for the bank heist. They have their conference aboard the little party barges on the Riverwalk tourist attraction. During the planning stages of the robbery, tempers flare between Doc and Rudy Butler (Al Letteri of “McQ”) about the use of bullet-proof vests. Anyway, Doc cases the bank and they check out its alarm system. Meanwhile, Doc has Rudy and Frank Jackson (Bo Hopkins of “The Killer Elite”) to plant explosive charges at different ends of town to distract the authorities when the robbery goes down. During the robbery, Frank loses his cool. Our heroes get away with the loot, but Rudy murders Frank and tries to double-cross Doc. Doc is just a little too fast for him. Ironically, despite his boasts of not wearing a bullet-proof vest, Rudy is wearing a vest when Doc nails him and leaves him for dead. Rudy takes an animal doctor (Jack Dodson) and his wife (Sally Struthers of TV’s “All in the Family”) hostage and has the husband dress his wounds. Rudy and company follow Doc and Carol. At Jack Benyon’s house, Carol guns Jack down, but Doc doesn’t trust her. They head for El Paso with Rudy hot on their trail. “The Getaway” represented a personal high for Peckinpah and the film made a killing at the box office. The opening scenes that depict Doc’s mental breakdown behind bars are masterful. Lettieri makes a nefarious villain and Ben Johnson is simply dastardly. The final shoot-out in a motel in El Paso is great. When our heroes get to the border, they have to deal with an old cowboy (Slim Pickins) and sells them his truck. A memorable Peckinpah epic.

  • jydev-bjaaj
    jydev bjaaj

    “The Getaway” is an action packed crime thriller which cleaned up at the box office and provided director Sam Peckinpah with the biggest hit of his career. Beyond that, it’s also a movie which contains some tense passages, an intriguing series of plot twists and an insight into the strains which affect the relationship of a married couple.With Peckinpah at the helm, it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of blood and violence in evidence but what’s most impressive is the exciting action sequences (car chases, shoot-outs etc) and the proficient style of editing which makes them so spectacular and compelling to watch.Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen), a career thief, finds the constraints of prison life unbearable and is frustrated that despite his good behaviour, he’s been refused parole. In desperation he sends his wife Carol (Ali McGraw) to local corrupt politician Jack Beynon (Ben Johnson) to tell him that McCoy is for sale. Beynon (who serves on the parole board) uses his influence and Doc is given his freedom, but it comes at a price.Beynon employs Doc to rob a small town bank for a half share in the proceeds and insists that he uses Rudy Butler (Al Lettieri) and Frank Jackson (Bo Hopkins) to help carry out the heist. Jackson is an unstable character who unnecessarily kills a bank guard and is then killed by Butler when they’re making their escape. When Doc and Carol (who’d been travelling in another vehicle) reunite with Butler, he tries to shoot them but Doc shoots first and Butler is left for dead.Doc meets with Beynon and discovers that the bank heist had been organised to cover up the loss of $250,000 which Beynon’s brother (a member of the bank’s board) had misappropriated. Furthermore, he learns that Carol had slept with Beynon in order to ensure his freedom. Unexpectedly, Carol arrives at the meeting, opens fire and kills Beynon and then the couple go on the run and head for Mexico. Their journey proves to be very hazardous as they are forced to evade the attentions of the police and also get followed by Beynon’s brother and his gang. What’s more, Rudy Butler had only been injured in his confrontation with Doc and had since kidnapped a veterinarian and his wife and was also following in hot pursuit.The McCoys’ pursuers finally catch up with them at an El Paso hotel which is regularly used as a safe house by criminals and a brilliantly staged massive shoot-out follows.Steve McQueen is typically intense and charismatic in one of his most successful roles as a skilled criminal who’s furious about what Carol did with Beynon but decides not to leave her. Ali McGraw shows her character’s habitual uneasiness and uncertainty and Al Lettieri provides the best supporting performance as an insane killer with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.”The Getaway” was based on one of Jim Thompson’s novels and is predictably hardboiled in style. It also has a rather grim quality which runs through its entire story and has an ending which would certainly not have been sanctioned during the Production Code era.

  • koralia-matsoure
    koralia matsoure

    What more can be said of a movie directed by Sam Peckinpah? Blood…guts…guns…bad guys…pretty dames…a love story…piles and piles of cash. Yes sir, “The Getaway” is a fantastic action movie. And it’s got the best film star of them all — Steve McQueen. Don’t get me wrong. This film isn’t just a lot of shooting and killing. It’s got a story. And it’s got characters. (Two things you don’t get much of these days.) So don’t bother renting that tepid remake they did a few years ago…see the original and the best!

  • ricardo-williams
    ricardo williams

    Not one of S. Peckinpah’s masterworks but one hell of a crime thriller. Steve McQueen is perfect as the cool, professional Doc and although Ali MacGraw (Steve’s next wife) is breezily gorgeous she doesn’t have the chops to make her character (Carol) too believable. Al Lettieri is creepier than he was in THE GODFATHER and Richard Bright (THE GODFATHER as well) has a nice bit as a small-timer. Ben Johnson has credibility as does Dub Taylor later. Throw in authentic Western icon Slim Pickens and you have a nice Southwest crime drama.A 7 out of 10. Best performance = Steve McQueen. He’s very good with weapons and cars as he earlier proved. THE WILD BUNCH and STRAW DOGS are Peckinpah’s masterpieces, but this is well worth a trip to the movies! Junior Bonner (a totally different type of sensibility) is also a fine film.

  • tracy-williams
    tracy williams

    King of cool Steve McQueen teams with “Bloody Sam” Peckinpah for this thoroughly engaging story of a couple on the lam following a botched robbery.Walter Hill adapts the novel by Jim Thompson in this story of Carter “Doc” McCoy (McQueen), a criminal currently doing time. His wife Carol (Ali MacGraw) manages to secure his release by playing up to crooked parole board chief Jack Beynon (Ben Johnson); Doc and Carol are then made to participate in a bank robbery which goes as wrong as movie lovers everywhere could expect it to. Doc and Carol have to make their way across Texas to Mexico and safety while being trailed by Rudy Butler (Al Lettieri), a vengeance minded member of the gang.The cast simply couldn’t be better in this sexy, slick, violent production; even MacGraw isn’t bad as the wife with a loyalty to her man through thick and thin. McQueen once again has an undeniable presence on screen and the viewer can believe that he’s going to keep going despite the odds. Johnson is enjoyably slimy, Lettieri scores as a truly rotten creep, and Richard Bright, Jack Dodson, Dub Taylor, Bo Hopkins, and Roy Jenson all do well in assorted memorable bits. The ever affable Slim Pickens doesn’t appear until near the end of the picture, but he helps to close it on a very ingratiating final note.Peckinpah is in very fine form here, creating a milieu where moral considerations often go out the window. Doc isn’t necessarily a “good guy”, yet we still can’t help but root for him, especially when characters like Beynon and Butler are even worse. Just to give people an idea of how sleazy Butler is, he thinks nothing of dallying with vapid, sexpot blonde Fran (Sally Struthers) in front of her weakling husband Harold (Dodson). The many vignettes along the way keep you eagerly watching – Doc is forced to pursue another thief (Bright) to get his own ill gotten money back, for one – but the highlight is undeniably the incredibly tense sequence aboard the garbage truck. Peckinpah once again demonstrates a real flair for the kind of stylized violence he perfected in “The Wild Bunch”, with blood spurting and many squibs exploding.People can hardly fail to notice that again the director is not about to go the politically correct route, as a resentful Doc, still not happy about what Carol did with Beynon, slaps her around. Yet, when Doc punches Frans’ lights out later, it actually provokes a reaction of relief from the audience because it puts an end to her shrill whining.Overall the film makes for fine entertainment. Even at two hours and three minutes, it’s remarkably well paced and tension filled, and it never falters, kicking into gear for a rousing final act. Highly recommended.10 out of 10.

  • marjatta-ketola
    marjatta ketola

    This 1972 action crime movie begins with Steve McQueen (Carter `Doc’ McCoy) passing time in prison. The fact that the time is slowly destroying him is creatively directed by Sam Peckinpah with lots of repetitive machine images and stop-action photography. McQueen’s inner turmoil is exacerbated by losing a chess match with a fellow inmate and by his destruction of an intricate bridge model he spent a great deal of time building. The plot thickens when McCoy tells his wife to contact the local political boss and tell him that he is for sale and will do anything to get paroled. McQueen gets out and the action is on from this point forward. The bank robbery is screwed up and the leads to the long crazy getaway. McCoy’s force partner Rudy, played by Al Lettieri (`Mr. Magestyk,’ `The Godfather’) has always played the consummate bad guy, and he does not disappoint here. In `The Getaway’ Rudy kills the third partner, tries to kill McCoy at the meeting spot and then kidnaps a veterinarian and his wife (Sally Struthers and eventually makes her his girlfriend and her husband, who cannot takes it hangs himself.Like in most Peckinpah films it is the style and the violence that sticks out. There are memorable fisticuff scenes as well has the required explosions and gunshot scenes. Ones that stand out include the all too realistic slaps to the face to Ali MacGraw after Doc learns that he had been set up by her and the incredible beating of a thief played by Richard Bright (`The Panic in Needle Park’ and `The Godfather’ who unknowingly steals the bank robbery money in a con game in a train station and is eventually caught by McCoy. Also of note are a series of diversionary explosions that are set off right after the bank robbery and an incredible shotgun destruction of a police car. The grand finale in an El Paso hotel is not to be missed. As rough and violent as all of this is it is important to note a quieter more sympathetic side of McCoy that is played my Steve McQueen. On a few occasions he makes it clear to people in his path that if they do what he says, when he says it they will be left alone and therefore survive. Much like in Peckinpah’s earlier film, `The Wild Bunch’ there is an honor among thieves, or a code of ethics that is important for the protagonist(s) to uphold. Another aspect of this morality is played off in a sarcastic and ironic manner in the last seen. A trash collector played by Slim Pickens (`Dr. Strangelove,’ `Blazing Saddles’) is willingly kidnapped to assist McQueen and MacGraw cross the border into Mexico. Even though he has a good idea of the kinds of life the criminals are leading Pickens is very happy to hear that the couple is married and he feels that society is falling apart due to a lack of morals. In light of the excessive violence that occurs in this film it is funny that Peckinpah’s film comments that all would be morally OK if young people just stick to the traditions of marriage.

  • t-engiz-kandelaki
    t engiz kandelaki

    The Getaway has the very important “Three S’s” which are so crucial to any film: Style, Substance, and Steve McQueen. This film, right behind PAPILLON, is definitely my favorite McQueen vehicle — it’s a big, BIG film (which makes sense, it takes place in Texas), has an epic feel, yet at the same time is very gritty and very honest in its approach to storytelling. The simplistic yet larger-than-life style of THE GETAWAY makes this flick a great watch on a Saturday Night.Oh, and you can’t go wrong with Steve McQueen. At his side is *THE* girl-next-door type, the ultra-likable Ali MacGraw. Their chemistry is very obvious (which would make a lot of sense, the two had an on-set affair which was followed by a five year marriage), and it carries the film. The score, composed by Quincy Jones, hits all the right notes in all the right spots, and is definitely pivotal in giving THE GETAWAY its “feel.” The supporting cast couldn’t be better-suited to their roles. The bad guys are really bad, and quite despicable. Despite the sinister villains, this early 70s gem has a sense of humor. At times the more “innocent” characters are mocked by the situations they find themselves in, much to your amusement or disgust (I, for one, found laugh-out-loud moments all the way through). By the very nature of a McQueen film, the characters are all “approachable,” and down to earth in their own strange way. In a nutshell, a simplistically epic film that finds the time to not take itself so seriously. While THE GETAWAY may not be the best to bring out at a movie get-together due to its slightly slow pacing and early 70s narrative (which, unfortunately, due to the breakneck music-video pacing of most “modern” films, tends to turn off anyone with a less-than-sufficient attention span), it is definitely worth a purchase, and something that you will be proud to say that you’ve seen.Long Live McQueen, and Have a RIB, Harold!

  • matthew-frye
    matthew frye

    Steve McQueen, the number one bad ass of his time (aside from Clint Eastwood of course). So what’s wrong with rooting for the bad guy? This movie seems almost flawless with its excellently executed car chases, it’s suspenseful and exciting shoot-outs, and its riveting emotional sequences. Both McGraw and McQueen make this movie well worth the experience. While it is a violent movie (especially for the year it was released!) its moments of comic relief and even serenity make this movie worthy of any moral person’s eyes.Without spoiling the movie, just imagine Bonnie and Clyde with the greatest action/adventure experience ever. And to think it was over a measley $500,000… Of course, they were being chased for $750,000.9/10 for an adventure close to perfection.

  • henry-jones
    henry jones

    When first released, Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway was generally dismissed as a routine action movie, quite unworthy of its star and director. But that opinion of the film is totally wrong: this is far from routine fare. It’s a forceful, amoral, tightly editted, violent and nail-bitingly exciting thriller with coolness and style to burn. If anything, Peckinpah was crafting an action movie way ahead of its time; the critics – unsure of what to make of it – took the safe option and castigated it as an average potboiler. McQueen oozes an unnerving, charming aggression as Doc McCoy, a stolid ex-con who is no sooner out of jail than he is back to his criminal ways, robbing a bank with the help of his wife (Ali MacGraw). It would be a spoiler to reveal too many details of the robbery, but it’s enough to add that things go wrong and Mr and Mrs McCoy end up fleeing for Mexico, with a stash of cash and a whole bunch of gun-toting bad guys (as well as the cops) in hot pursuit. The film is loosely structured, with the gun-toting couple stumbling from one blood-soaked adventure to the next, picaresque-style, as they attempt to reach the Mexican border. MacGraw looks a bit lost amid all this heavy-weight acting talent, but she gets away with it because she shares a lot of screen time with McQueen…. and when he’s on screen, you tend not to notice her (so mesmerising is he that you just can’t take your eyes off him). Some of the gunfights are explosive and entertaining affairs, and the characters are brilliantly realised. Peckinpah has a good eye for graphic detail, but he also captures the barren wastelands of Texas with the kind of loving grace that you would usually expect from a landscape painter. The Getaway is a cracking ’70s thriller, well worth re-visiting and unquestionably a lot better than the depressingly “pretty” ’90s remake.

  • erica-price
    erica price

    Sick and tired of new releases I couldn’t get through 45 minutes of, I went back to a classic: Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway. What a breath of fresh air this 1972 heist/chase movie turned out to be. In addition to hyper realistic characterizations of the McCoys (played by Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw), everything else about this movie rings true. 35 years later, Peckinpah’s signature slo-motion shoot outs stand up against anything in the theaters today. There’s little to dislike about this movie and I can’t help but wonder why movies aren’t made like this anymore: no special FX, no over-the-top stunt sequences, no melodramatic dialogue, not fat, no filler. This is a movie made by real people, for real people. Plain and simple.Technically, the stand-out aspect within The Getaway is the editing. Influenced by the French New Wave, Peckinpah defies convention by playing with time and space as he uses disjointed cuts to jump ahead in time before allowing the events within the movie to catch up to the present. The most interesting example of this occurs when Doc and Carol are at a busy park alongside a river. Doc has just been released from prison and he’s soaking in the sights and sounds of freedom. Peckinpah cuts to a shot of Doc jumping into the river with his clothes on, followed by Carol. At first this feels like a fantasy in Doc’s head since we abruptly cut back to the present where Doc is still standing and looking at the river. But soon he actually does run to and jump into the river. From there we cut directly to Carol’s apartment where the two enter soaking wet and smiling. It is atypical and unexpected to see unconventional editing like this in mainstream American movies, but when it’s done (and done right) there’ something incredibly rewarding about having your brain (and expectations) teased in such a randomly disjointed (yet fluid) way. Another example of unconventional yet incredibly effective montage happens in the opening thirty minutes. In this sequence Doc McCoy (McQueen) is locked up in prison and slowly losing his wits. Peckinpah portrays Doc’s inner head space through a dizzying montage of shots of Doc in and around the prison, where synced sound cuts smash into one another in a relentlessly pounding and oppressive manner. You get the sense something has to break and before long you realize it’s Doc’s resolve.Peckinpah proves with The Getaway that you don’t need astounding source material to make a great movie. On the written page I’m sure this film seemed like a very standard heist/chase film. But by allowing the actors to bring realistic, idiosyncratic performances to the table and by utilizing unorthodox techniques, such as French New Wave inspired editing, Peckinpah elevates pulp into high art. I know I’m sounding like a broken record by saying this but: where are the artists in Hollywood today?http://eattheblinds.blogspot.com/

  • mindy-fischer
    mindy fischer

    Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah teamed to do two straight films, probably some of the best work in both of their careers. But the difference in a nice character study like Junior Bonner and a tough crime drama like The Getaway shows the versatility of both these remarkable men. The Getaway seems to take its inspiration from John Huston’s classic, The Asphalt Jungle.McQueen is a career criminal whose parole has once again been denied in the ten year stretch he’s doing. Wife Ali McGraw submits to parole board chief Ben Johnson’s sexual advances to spring McQueen. But the corrupt Johnson isn’t just about sexual harassment. He wants McQueen to rob a bank that his brother is a director, to cover a nice case of embezzlement. He even recruits another pair of criminals, Bo Hopkins and Al Lettieri as part of the gang. Of course the plan goes wrong as a bank guard is killed and then Hopkins is killed in a double-cross by Lettieri who then fails to do the same to McQueen and McGraw. After that it’s a three way race to the border between Johnson’s men, Lettieri, and McQueen. Al Lettieri is a talent that was lost to us way too soon. He played some of the best villains in the early seventies and this one is one of them. He kidnaps veterinarian Jack Dodson and his slut of a wife Sally Struthers. Soon she’s more than willing to go and be his girl. Struthers has a great part, so far from being Gloria Bunker Stivic on All in the Family.My favorite Sam Peckinpah moment in all of his films is that climax at Dub Taylor’s flea bag hotel where all the forces meet and shoot up the place. It’s Peckinpah’s best violence ballet in all of his films, I never tire of seeing it.The whole film was shot in Texas and I’m not sure how residents of Texas might like this picture of their state. It seems to be one very violent place and a very corrupt one as well.But I like The Getaway very much, it’s my favorite Sam Peckinpah film next to Ride the High Country.

  • nada-filipic
    nada filipic

    Steve McQueen was one of the most naturally talented actors to come along, and this movie, along with ‘The Sand Pebbles’, is one of my favorite McQueen movies. Ali McGraw is excellent (much better here, as compared to that sappy role she had in ‘Love Story’) as his on-screen wife, a team which is used to rob a bank but is double crossed by the insiders who stand to profit from the robbery. Sally Struthers even turns in a credible performance as someone exhibiting what will later be coined as the “Stockholm Syndrome”, and the late Al Lettieri is great as one of their pursuers.A far better movie than the 1994 remake.

  • matthew-thompson
    matthew thompson

    I consider “The getaway” a true masterpiece, on the same level of Sam Peckinpah’s major achievements (save “The wild bunch”, of course). I learn from IMDb comments that the final cut of the movie was made by other people (McQueen ?!) than the director. Moreover the plot is much unfaithful to the original novel… Well… anyway the result is excellent.Doc (Steve McQueen) is a tough, laconic guy, Carol (Ali McGraw) a tough, laconic woman. In some sense, they mostly speak just for technical reasons: “Take the money-bag”, “Don’t scratch your wound”… If they’ve nothing to say, they keep quiet. They seem shy to express their reciprocal feelings, even unable to say “I love you”. Doc cannot accept what Carol has done, although just to help him out of jail. They both silently suffer for this, with some explosions of violence by Doc, and a ready gritty reply by Carol. But the audience well understand from their body-language how much they love each other. I think that McQueen and McGraw made a superb job in their difficult roles. Strangely enough, their performances, as well as their lines, received much criticism. I fear that people didn’t like their job since they are too used to the current way of acting: hysterical, screaming, awfully clown-like. With lines that are just floods of stupid, pointless, annoying chats. A not welcome legacy of the style created by Tarantino, Oliver Stone and imitators. Nothing could be more far-away from Peckinpah’s artistic taste. The story of the movie is linear, but not trivial. The cinematography and montage are outstanding. The pace is somewhat slow, partially due to the great care paid to details. But when it’s the time of action, nobody can compete with Peckinpah’s grand style.In every movie of his, Peckinpah shows his genius with some astonishing, stark new cinematic ideas. In “The getaway” we find the paramount representation of the “power of the shot-gun”. Doc’s shot-gun bullets destroy police-cars, devastate a whole hotel, demolish an elevator, knock down a door slaughtering the thug hidden behind… the recoil of the weapon lifts Doc’s shoulder… Who remembers that this stuff, nowadays almost a cliche in action-movies, was introduced in “The getaway”? It’s worth noting that an early imitator of Peckinpah’s “shot-gun scenes” was Steven Spielberg in “Sugarland express”.Some words on the sub-plot concerned with the hateful Rudy (Al Lettieri) and the cretinous Fran (Sally Struthers). This part of the film is deliberately disagreeable, up to an almost unbearable point. As usual, Peckinpah doesn’t miss his chance to be hated by the feminists, with his design of Fran. A damned idiot, nymphomaniac just for stupidity. At the end, when Doc hits her (a punch straight on her prating, whimpering mouth!) the director nearly provokes a standing ovation by the audience (men and women, as well). If that’s not cinematic genius, what else is it? And, speaking of imitators, how much Tarantino’s characters owe to Rudy and Fran?Perhaps “The getaway” could have been even better without extraneous interference. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic film, a must-see.

  • sally-green
    sally green

    Was wondering why they don’t make films like this anymore. Then it dawned on me. It has ambiguous morals and doesn’t particularly ask for or seek redemption. The hero is a killer and bank robber, he says little and therefore you should have to work hard to empathize with him. But it comes easy because everyone else around Doc McCoy is ten times worse than he is. And Doc is played by Steve McQueen. A magnificent brooding presence who’s character doesn’t stop to question his actions, because if he did he’d die or get arrested. And this is where it is so much better than a contemporary film of the same vein. It’s not made with actors who are scared that their image might be tarnished or misunderstood, it is not made by film-makers who are scared they might upset someone, it is not made by people who particularly need to be loved. So what you get is a story that rings true, a piece of fiction that at no time stops to apologize for itself. It grabs you, says this is what I am, and if you’re hooked then great. If not go and watch Bambi or something.A bona fide classic piece of storytelling.