You Run the Job, But I Run the Show
Carter “Doc” McCoy (Steve McQueen) is four years into his ten-year prison sentence for armed robbery. No longer able to handle the monotony of prison life, he tells his wife Carol (Ali MacGraw) to do whatever is necessary to make a deal with Jack Beynon (Ben Johnson), a corrupt businessman who has pull with the parole board. After Carol offers herself for the evening, Doc is released under the condition that he take charge of a bank heist for $750,000 along with two of Beynon’s henchmen, Rudy (Al Lettieri) and Frank (Bo Hopkins).
The heist goes well until it doesn’t. Frank ends up dead, and the rest of the gang tries to double-cross each other for the full amount. I will admit, the plot does get a little muddled at times. I thought Doc was aware that Carol was going to lend herself to Beynon for the evening until he started freaking out after she brings it up.
But, you really need to focus on some nitpicks to not have a good time with The Getaway. Directed by ya’ boy Sam Peckinpah who brings all of his signature violence and an eye for some solid action with him. While the action is not as “epic” as his work in The Wild Bunch, it is suspenseful which is exactly what this film calls for. The car chase in the middle and the final shootout in the hotel is worth the price of the Blu-ray alone.
I was so happy to see Al Lettieri’s name in the opening credits after watching him in Mr. Majestyk. He plays the heavy antagonist again, but he is so good at it! He has become one of my favourite actors time has forgotten. And nobody can do sexy/annoying better than Sally Struthers (All in the Family) in her prime. If you ever wondered what Gloria Stivic’s side boob is like, you’ve come to the right place.
The Getaway is based on a novel by hard-boiled crime author Jim Thompson, and Walter Hill (The Driver, The Warriors) adapted the novel into the screenplay. Quincy Jones delivers another brilliant soundtrack and McQueen/MacGraw began what became a 5-year marriage on the sets of this film, so you know the chemistry you see on screen is for reals.
This movie has it all.