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The Getaway (1972) [HD DVD]

Steve McQueen , Ali MacGraw , Sam Peckinpah    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   HD DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a Blu-ray player or a PS3.

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It's better than the 1994 remake starring Kim Basinger and husband Alec Baldwin, but this 1972 thriller relies too heavily on the low-key star power of Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, and the stylish violence of director Sam Peckinpah, reduced here to a mechanical echo of his former glory. McQueen plays a bank robber whose wife (MacGraw) makes a deal with a Texas politician to have her husband released from prison in return for a percentage from their next big heist. But when the plan goes sour, the couple must flee to Mexico as fast as they can, with a variety of gun-wielding thugs on their trail. MacGraw was duly skewered at the time for her dubious acting ability, but the film still has a raw, unglamorous quality that lends a timeless spin to the familiar crooks-on-the-lam scenario. As always, Peckinpah rises to the occasion with some audacious scenes of action and suspense, including a memorable chase on a train that still grabs the viewer's attention. Not a great film, but a must for McQueen and Peckinpah fans. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost March 31 2004
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Knowing that this film was directed by Sam Peckinpah, we expect violence...and plenty of it. It's there to be sure but what is (to me) most intriguing is the relationship between Doc (Steve McQueen) and Carol (Ali MacGraw) McCoy who struggle to extricate themselves from the Mob even as they agree to one last bank robbery. (Off-screen, their love affair ruined her marriage to Robert Evans whose studio was involved with producing this film.) There are numerous nasty moments. Also, remarkably, several humorous and sometimes playful moments as when Doc joyously jumps into a lagoon. Members of the supporting cast are first-rate, notably Ben Johnson (Jack Benyon), Al Lettieri (Rudy), and Sally Struthers (Fran Clinton). Based on Jim Thompson's novel The Getaway, this film really doesn't follow any specific formula. (Peckinpah's films never do.) It evolves logically but casually from one situation to the next. However, there are unexpected developments and complications along the way, notably Rudy's kidnapping of a staid veterinarian and his sexually unfulfilled wife. Credit Walter Hill for an especially literate screenplay as well as Lucien Ballard for his contributions as cinematographer and Quincy Jones as composer of the music score. Director, cast, and crew have created an especially entertaining film, comparable with Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Badlands (1973), and The Gauntlet (1977). Almost (not quite) a great film. One man's opinion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Punch it, baby!" March 23 2004
Format:DVD
What makes this movie work is the great chemistry between Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw. Both are solid here, as is the direction from Sam Peckinpah. The best scenes here are the action sequences. The car chases are well-staged and edited sharply to maintain intensity, and the shoot-outs are classic Peckinpah, with slow-motion cuts edited with real-time gun-play and the blood splatters everywhere. Yes! My favorite Peckinpah film is still "The Wild Bunch," where his style of filmmaking affected all action films that followed. In "The Getaway," for the most part, the story and plotting are good, except for a few scenes I just can't get around. One is at the bank robbery when one of the robbers disarms the security guard and leaves the gun a couple of feet away from him laying on the floor. You should be able to guess what happens there. The second is why did Harold exit the movie like he did. I won't give away the scene, but it made no sense other than to rid the plot of a superfluous character. The third and final head-shaker is when the two lead characters are being sought by the police. They stop at a drive-in for burgers and coffee even after they hear on the radio a description of their vehicle, and that the police are on the lookout for it. The last criticism is that this film screams 1970s. From the mutton-chops to the gritty texture of the movie there is little doubt as to what decade this came from. However, the two lead actors carry the movie with excellent performances, and Sam Peckinpah's work here is among his best. His style of filmmaking may have been emulated and improved upon over the course of the ensuing decades, but his original vision started the revolution.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good realistic action flik Oct. 4 2003
Format:DVD
The Getaway is a good action movie that pairs Steve McQueen and director Sam Peckinpah for the first time. Bank robber Doc McCoy is released from prison with the help of a crooked politician with one catch. He must rob a bank and split what he takes with him. The bank heist goes wrong when one of McCoy's partners shoots a bank guard. Soon after, McCoy learns that his wife slept with the politician to get him out early from prison. From here on in it is a mad dash for Mexico with all the stolen money while the politician's henchmen and the police are in hot pursuit as well as another one of McCoy's partners. This is a very realistic movie that shows it like it is. The short introduction in prison, the bank heist, the chase through Texas, and the final shootout in a seedy hotel all have a very gritty feel to them that adds the sense of realism in the film. Also, the showdown in the hotel is very well put together. What a surprise, Sam Peckinpah doing a good action scene.
Steve McQueen stars as bank robber Doc McCoy and is very good. Like many of his movies, he doesn't have to act much, he just has to be cool, and he doesn't disappoint here. Ali McGraw plays Doc's wife Carol. Many people think she is a bad actress, but I don't think she is that bad in this role. Ben Johnson stars as the crooked politician with alterior motives, and is his usual good self. The Getaway also stars Al Lettieri as McCoy's partner in hot pursuit, Bo Hopkins, Sally Struthers, Peckinpah regular Dub Taylor, and in a small but very good role as a down on his luck cowboy, Slim Pickens. The DVD offers widescreen and fullscreen presentation, a theatrical trailer, behind the scenes info, and Reel Recommendations. The Getaway is a very good movie with an excellent cast and good storyline.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An action flick with a twist Sept. 20 2003
Format:DVD
Steve McQueen stars opposite his real-life wife Ali McGraw in this action thriller, directed by Sam Peckinpah. Peckinpah goes a little mild in this film, especially when compared to such other films of his as the Wild Bunch, but this movie is still pretty violent, and has a lot of action. Doc (McQueen) is a newly paroled prisoner who, in exchange for his freedom, agrees to do a job for the man (Ben Johnson) who helped him get parole. What Doc doesn't know is that his wife (McGraw) also had to sleep with this man to gain her husband's freedom. The result, when Doc finds out, is that he and his wife spend most of the movie squabbling about their relationship while they try to get safely to the Mexican border.
Basically, the plot of the movie revolves around the bank robbery gone wrong. There is more here, though, and this is what saves the movie from being just another dull action flick. The relationship between Doc and his wife is very compelling, and developed interestingly as the movie progresses.
The movie is well directed, and Steve McQueen is great as always. Still, this isn't one of the best movies of the era, and cannot even really be considered a classic of the period. Despite this fact, however, The Getaway is a good movie, and worth seeing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Steve McQueen
Just as good as another classic, Bullet. I have been looking for this rather rare disk and really pleased to find it here.
Published 15 months ago by Lyle Waterman
4.0 out of 5 stars An old classic, as corny as can be!
Way back when Sally Struthers was pretty! Not a lot to say about this film, it's classic 60s fare, lots of ugly people in ugly situations... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Len the Sound Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars An Underrated Classic
I can't believe how great this movie is. I went into it expecting Peckinpah Lite, but I was totally blown away by this film. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2008 by Kathleen YO!
5.0 out of 5 stars Peckinpah Under Control
I'd rate this film Peckinpah's second best, next to "Ride the High Country." He places his gifts as a technical master at the service of the plot instead of vice versa... Read more
Published on May 2 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Doc and his wife have many enemies, including each other?
The Getaway is a slick, fast paced action film with, great acting, and a supurb script. Their is not a weak performance in the film despite the fact that many people seem to hate... Read more
Published on June 12 2003 by "iriley1979"
4.0 out of 5 stars Doc and his wife have many enemies, including each other?
The Getaway is a slick, fast paced action film with, great acting, and a supurb script. Their is not a weak performance in the film despite the fact that many people seem to hate... Read more
Published on June 12 2003 by "iriley1979"
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original...The Best
A film deserving of its place on the ESSENTIAL VIDEO list. This classic Steve McQueen action/drama is far superior to the newer remake staring Alec Baldwin. Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2002 by Joshua S. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Steve and Ali are a winner!
I love this movie, despite all the graphic bloodshed. I don't know why people are always trying to remake Steve McQueen films. All they ever do is fail miserably. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2002 by Kelli N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Is It Proper to Classify A Heist Moovy A Masterpiece...?
....subtitled "Ain't No Starbucks in These Here Parts of Texas"
....subsubtitled "When Ali Talks of 'Leavin' this Dump', She's Speaking Literally. Read more
Published on July 22 2002 by yygsgsdrassil
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