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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.
This film is so Texas smoky and dusty and brown Stetson-y that you can feel the gritty, sweaty heat on the back of your neck. It has every thing going for it, including stellar direction by Peckinpah and acting by...
Published on July 22 2002 by yygsgsdrassil

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3.0 out of 5 stars An action flick with a twist
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...
Published on Sept. 20 2003 by bixodoido


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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost, March 31 2004
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) (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
By 
D. Knouse (vancouver, washington United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) (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
By 
T O'Brien (Chicago, Il United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) (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. It is too bad McQueen and Peckinpah did not work together more often since The Getaway and Junior Bonner were such good films. Fans of McQueen will enjoy this gritty action movie. Go check out The Getaway!
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3.0 out of 5 stars An action flick with a twist, Sept. 20 2003
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This review is from: The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Doc and his wife have many enemies, including each other?, June 12 2003
This review is from: The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)
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 Ali Mcgraw. My theory is that these people are ugly losers who resent Mcgraw because she is more attractive than they can ever hope to be. She is not a great actress but she does a good job in this movie, her character is understated, quiet, but strong, forgiving and dependable. Without her Doc (McQueen's character) would not have survived or even gotten out of jail in ther first place. McQueen does a masterful job of portraying Doc, a smooth, cool, (sometimes ice cold) soft spoken tough guy. He may seem mild, but push his puttons once to often and you better start ducking because the bullets will be humming. Doc will shoot you dead without a second thought if he has to. His wife can shoot as well as drive and she too will kill if necessary. The music in this movie is great, especially the twanging music that starts whenever a violent confrontation occures. The story begins with Doc (McQueen) in prison. The monontanty of his days drive him crazy, he is made to tear up tree stumps all day long. Even though this film does not focus that much on it is clear how much prison sucks in the few short scenes in which Doc is imprisoned. He comes up for parole and is denied. Desperate to get out of prison he swallows his pride and sends his wife to Benion, the local political power broker/gangster/rancher/ all around rich scumbag. In order to get Doc out of jail Mcgraw (I forget her character's name) is forced to sleep with Benion. On top of that once Doc gets out Benion requires him to pull a bank heist for him. Benion already has the bank selected because he has inside information on when a lot of money will be coming in, his brother-in-law sits on the board of the bank, and Benion has already assembled a team for Doc to lead. The actor who plays Benion does a great job of being really sleazy in a political way, arrogant and condecining. Rudy and Frank are the names of the characters Benion has selected to work for Doc. Doc does not trust these people for good reason, the guy who plays Rudy played Solotzo in the Godfather and man is he GREAT!!! in this movie. He steals the show and in my opinion out performs McQueen. Dont get me wrong, McQeen gives a great performance but the guy who plays Rudy (Silversti?) is a menacing villian who exudes subtle threats throughout the film. He is also clever and funny but ruthless and viscious. Doc and his wife soon realize that they are surrounded by enemies, who they have no choice but to cooperate with now but who will likely betray them at the first oppurtunity. No one trusts each other on this job, Benion does not trust Doc and his wife and vice versa, Rudy does not trust anyone and no one in their right minds trusts Rudy. These people are all criminals but Doc and his wife are by far the most likeable and least scummy. This bizzare group of individuals are compelled by circumstance to cooperate but after the job is over, all bets are off!!! The job goes bad and betryal followes betryal, Doc discovers his wife's "infiedility" and is enraged even though he sent her to Benion and she only did what she had to get him out of prison. Doc and his wife end up with the money but with Rudy and Benion's boys on their trail. Not to mention the cops who have thrown out a state wide search for Doc, his wife, and everyone else involved with robbery gone wrong. It is now a race to the border with Doc and his wife playing the hare for the cops, Rudy, and Benion's thugs. Across the border lies freedom and the good life beyond the reach of the American authorities. However, Doc and his wife are starting to distrust each other, their relationship is falling apart, deterioting more and more the closer they get to actually escaping. The viewer really gets invested in Doc and his wife and roots for them to hold it together and trust each other. The viewer really wants to see them get away with the money, the villians in this film are delicioulsy sinister, watching them die is truly a pleasure and a relief. People die horribly in this movie, the violence is realistic without being overdone. Plenty of shooting and shoot outs with lots of death, car chases, narrow escapes, and constant tension. This movie is very metaphorical in the sense that viewers will really relate to Doc and his wife. Who does not want to get away from the dreary life of a wage slave, who does not feel that they only person they can trust is themselves, even though they badly want to trust their spouse, in this movie it is man and wife against the world. Who does not feel sometimes that they are surrounded by evil people intent on their destruction, and that the only solution is to destroy these other people first. Doc and his wife's odysessy to escape America and long arm of the law, not to mention their previous "partners" in crime represents a fantasy many people have of escaping the prison of their lives. The real problem is that they are starting not to trust each other, and if anything is going to get them killed its that. The suspense climaxes in a great shoot out in a sleazy border motel where all acounts are settleed once and for all and Doc and his wife found out wheater or not they can truly trust each other. This movie proves the old adage that the robbery is the easy part of the crime, the true test of a criminal is the Getaway.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Doc and his wife have many enemies, including each other?, June 12 2003
This review is from: The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)
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 Ali Mcgraw. My theory is that these people are ugly losers who resent Mcgraw because she is more attractive than they can ever hope to be. She is not a great actress but she does a good job in this movie, her character is understated, quiet, but strong, forgiving and dependable. Without her Doc (McQueen's character) would not have survived or even gotten out of jail in ther first place. McQueen does a masterful job of portraying Doc, a smooth, cool, (sometimes ice cold) soft spoken tough guy. He may seem mild, but push his buttons once to often and you better start ducking because the bullets will be humming. Doc will shoot you dead without a second thought if he has to. His wife can shoot as well as drive and she too will kill if necessary. The music in this movie is great, especially the twanging music that starts whenever a violent confrontation occures. The story begins with Doc (McQueen) in prison. The monotony of his days drive him crazy, he is made to tear up tree stumps all day long. Even though this film does not focus that much on it is clear how much prison sucks in the few short scenes in which Doc is in jail. He comes up for parole and is denied. Desperate to get out of prison he swallows his pride and sends his wife to Benion, the local political power broker/gangster/rancher/ all around rich scumbag. In order to get Doc out of jail Mcgraw (I forget her character's name) is forced to sleep with Benion. On top of that once Doc gets out Benion requires him to pull a bank heist for him. Benion already has the bank selected because he has inside information on when a lot of money will be coming in, his brother-in-law sits on the board of the bank, and Benion has already assembled a team for Doc to lead. The actor who plays Benion does a great job of being really sleazy in a political way, arrogant and condecining. Rudy and Frank are the names of the characters Benion has selected to work for Doc. Doc does not trust these people and for good reason, the guy who plays Rudy played Solotzo in the Godfather and man is he GREAT!!! in this movie. He steals the show and in my opinion out performs McQueen. Dont get me wrong, McQeen gives a great performance but the guy who plays Rudy (Silversti?) is a menacing villian who exudes subtle threats throughout the film. He is also clever and funny but ruthless and viscious. Doc and his wife soon realize that they are surrounded by enemies, who they have no choice but to cooperate with now but who will likely betray them at the first oppurtunity. No one trusts each other on this job, Benion does not trust Doc and his wife and vice versa, Rudy does not trust anyone and no one in their right minds trusts Rudy. These people are all criminals but Doc and his wife are by far the most likeable and least scummy. This bizzare group of individuals are compelled by circumstance to cooperate but after the job is over, all bets are off!!! The job goes bad and betryal followes betryal, Doc discovers his wife's "infiedility" and is enraged even though he sent her to Benion and she only did what she had to get him out of prison. Doc and his wife end up with the money but with Rudy and Benion's boys on their trail. Not to mention the cops who have thrown out a state wide search for Doc, his wife, and everyone else involved with the robbery gone wrong. It is now a race to the border with Doc and his wife playing the hare for the cops, Rudy, and Benion's thugs. Across the border lies freedom and the good life beyond the reach of the American authorities. However, Doc and his wife are starting to distrust each other, their relationship is falling apart, deterioting more and more the closer they get to actually escaping. The viewer really gets invested in Doc and his wife and roots for them to hold it together and trust each other. The viewer really wants to see them get away with the money, the villians in this film are delicioulsy sinister, watching them die is truly a pleasure and a relief. People die horribly in this movie, the violence is realistic without being overdone. Plenty of shooting and shoot outs with lots of death, car chases, narrow escapes, and constant tension. This movie is very metaphorical in the sense that viewers will really relate to Doc and his wife. Who does not want to get away from the dreary life of a wage slave? Who does not feel that the only person they can trust is themselves, even though they badly want to trust their spouse? In this movie it is man and wife against the world. Who does not feel sometimes that they are surrounded by evil people intent on their destruction, and that the only solution is to destroy these other people first? Doc and his wife's odysessy to escape America and the long arm of the law, not to mention their previous "partners" in crime represents a fantasy many people have of escaping the prison of their lives. The real problem is that they are starting not to trust each other, and if anything is going to get them killed its that. The suspense climaxes in a great shoot out in a sleazy border motel where all acounts are settleed once and for all and Doc and his wife find out wheater or not they can truly trust each other. This movie proves the old adage that the robbery is the easy part of the crime, the true test of a criminal is the Getaway.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Is It Proper to Classify A Heist Moovy A Masterpiece...?, July 22 2002
This review is from: The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)
....subtitled "Ain't No Starbucks in These Here Parts of Texas"
....subsubtitled "When Ali Talks of 'Leavin' this Dump', She's Speaking Literally.
This film is so Texas smoky and dusty and brown Stetson-y that you can feel the gritty, sweaty heat on the back of your neck. It has every thing going for it, including stellar direction by Peckinpah and acting by Machismo McQueen...simply, a great thing for us McQueen Obsessives... Some random observations: Ali converts from a Vogue fashion model to a wet-haired trailer trash (and refuse type trash) babe. Struthers adds to the series of double dealings and underhandedness by falling for the BAD badguy right in front of her addled hubband (she tells the hotel keeper that the kitten's name is "poor little Harold", in memory--sarcastically--of her husband). McQueen tells his wife to "punch it" whenever they have to take off from some roadside drive in or dive in by pump-shotgun fire. Ali gets duped by an oily Texan good samaritan who takes off with the stash, but that's okay, Doc gets it back. The boss's brother and posse rides (six Stetsons to the sky) into town in a long Caddy L-Dog top down ragtop--the only thing missing on this ride are the longhorns on the hood. Tawlk about Texas gangsters!??! And after a Peckinpahian shoot out at a godforsakened Texas transient hotel (You know the kind, like the ones you can just about smell the rancid gin and urine oozing thru the plaster cracks), Slim Pickens shows up to save the day. And they all head for the border, just like in "The Wild Bunch" (in fact, doesn't the same trigger happy dude wind up in both films?).
And McQueen barely breaks out in a sweat. Well, so I exaggerate a lil. Anyhoo, find out what the heck I'm talking about by re-seeing this film. You, too, will agree that it certainly qualifies as a masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He didn't make it. Neither did you!, Oct. 5 2001
By 
Erik North (San Gabriel, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Getaway (VHS Tape)
If one is just sick and tired of the mindless bloodbaths that action films have become, just take a look at THE GETAWAY, the tremendous 1972 action film from a master director in the form, the late Sam Peckinpah.
Steve McQueen stars as Doc McCoy, a bank robber sitting out the years in Hunstville State Prison in Texas who is given his parole, but with a string attached: By order of the parole board chairman (Ben Johnson), he must pull off a bank robbery and, with any luck, not get anyone in the bank killed. The robbery, as initially pulled off by two associates (Al Lettieri, Bo Hopkins) goes fine...until an injured guard reaches for his pistol, and Hopkins has to shoot.
This sets off a series of close calls for both McQueen and his wife (Ali MacGraw). Hopkins is killed by Lettieri during their escape; and McQueen, realizing this (when Lettieri tells him, "He (Hopkins) didn't make it. Neither did you."), wounds Lettieri. But after Johnson is killed by MacGraw, McQueen learns that the two were sleeping together, spawning a mutual lack of trust that goes for a good deal of the film.
Johnson's henchmen and Lettieri are both after the pair; and this results in a stunning gun battle at the Laughlin Hotel (run by Peckinpah stalwart Dub Taylor) in El Paso. After killing their foes, McQueen and MacGraw get an old-timer (Slim Pickens) to drive them across the border into Mexico.
Peckinpah's assmebling of the action scenes is far superior than almost any of his imitators. The explosions of bloody violence that were part-and-parcel of THE WILD BUNCH and STRAW DOGS are not in as great abundance here, but there is enough so that the 'PG' rating could be upped to 'PG-13'. McQueen is as good as always, and I didn't have the same problem that a lot of others seem to have with MacGraw. Quincy Jones also provides a good score (though that score was put in at McQueen's insistence [his company First Artists distributed the film] over the one done by Peckinpah favorite Jerry Fielding).
A top-notch film, infinitely superior to the 1994 remake, THE GETAWAY was Peckinpah's most financially successful movie of all time; and the end result shows why.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Bonnie and Clyde who weren't., Sept. 11 2001
By 
John R. Bridell (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Getaway (VHS Tape)
THE GETAWAY is a movie about the Bonnie and Clyde who weren't. Yet, it has more depth in the public enemy characters played by McGraw and McQueen. I could have the mood to watch this movie once a week. It is exciting like a maelstrom that sucks you into the story!! The story is incredibly spliced together by director Peckinah. Through an awful quest --the getaway-- Peckinpah managed to attach a great deal of humor to the roles of Mc Graw and Mc Queen. I've never held a brief for Struthers, but she did a dandy job of playing a veterinarian's fickle, remarkably stupid and hysterical wife. Not only was the movie exciting, but extremely intense. You have to judge whether Mc Queen and Mc Graw are going to split over her infidelity. You have to hold your breath until you determine whether Mc Queen will first elude police in hot pursuit, the elude his ex-partner, and finally elude the Texas politico-mobsters. That's why I've got the mood to watch this blitz-action movie once a week--to see if McGraw and McQueen can do it again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still a Great Getaway, Jan. 4 2001
By 
Christopher J. Jarmick "Word Lover" (Seattle, Wa. USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)
I was pleasantly surprised at how will this film stands-up. It's perhaps even more enjoyable today than it was back in 1972. Next to recent action flicks, Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway is a positively refreshing breath of fresh air. The 1994 re-make with Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger (directed by Roger Donaldson)has steamier sex and a little more action, but it lacks the suspense, authenticity, attention to detail and stylistic flair that Peckinpah brings to his film.
This 1972 film at first seems almost leisurely paced. when you put it against recent slam-bang over the type action films. It's not, it's just not as hyped up or phony as most action films tend to be these days. This is a neo-noir chase film. It's about details and character. You get a sense of place from the film, you feel like you are watching characters that have a basis in reality, not in film. There are sleazy characters, but they are portrayed neither as brilliant geniuses, nor as psycho killers, but as villains who aren't too bright, and have a dogged determination to get their work done. . . hopefully having a little fun in the process. The rather spare action sequences are set up with important details and there isn't an overabundance of pyrotechnics or of cartoonish exaggeration It's downright refreshing today to see a film like this. I even appreciated Quincy Jones soundtrack which employs a wide variety of sounds, instruments and styles to help keep things interesting.
Now this film has a big-time movie STAR as its central character, not just any STAR though, but the quintessential anti-hero movie star. The man who moved like a panther, and had a strong solid presence which never needed to be sold to us. Few had Steve McQueen's intense macho charisma (it was Bogart re-invented) . McQueen didn't need to earn his charisma, he exuded it. A few determined looks and you knew you were dealing with a guy who played things by his own rules. Women were turned on by his sex appeal, most men wouldn't have minded being McQueen. Never mind his private life, on-screen McQueen towered above all the Bronsons, and Eastwoods around him. He was a better actor too.
He was a good actor for Sam Peckinpah to work with. They made two films together (Junior Bonner and The Getaway) and both are quite good. Sam, like McQueen also did things his way. Peckinpah drove studio executives crazy, was a difficult person for anyone to deal with but had a unique genius vision of how films should be made and fought hard to be able to make them his way. For a while he won the battles against the studio executives and then ultimately he lost and drank too much and turned out a few less than stellar films. His masterpiece is The Wild Bunch- and that film is so good on so many different levels it deserves to be right next to the finest masterpieces of film ever made.
The Getaway isn't a masterpiece. For one thing it's got a huge weight around it's neck. That weight is named Ali McGraw. Sure, during the filming of The Getaway, McQueen and McGraw became a huge ITEM which led to a torrid long lasting very mercurial relationship off-screen-but none of their real life heat is evident in the film. Ali McGraw can not act. She's not completely wooden, but she's never convincing in any scene where she is expected to emote. Peckinpah picked her to be an ice princess, but she never convinces us she's very tough or particularly icy. The closest she comes is somewhat detached -- as in somewhat lost.
Her part is not unique enough that the film needs her to be great actress, and so the film is not done in by her. Indeed, there's too many good things about the film for that to happen.
Walter Hill( who would later direct 48 hours, The Warriors, The Driver, Long Riders, etc) wrote an excellent adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel for Peckinpah to direct. Since not one of the principal characters in the film are good or decent people, we are dealing with a film about crooks. Low life crooks, middle of the road crooks and rich crooks with political influence and power. Peckinpah casts this world perfectly (with the exception of Ali McGraw).
Most memorable is the garbage truck sequence late in the film. My favorite is the scene with Slim Pickens.
The Getaway is an excellent film despite it's McGraw flaw because of the way Peckinpah, Hill, and McQueen approach the material. It's more character and detail based than action/chase films usually are, but does deliver enough of what the people want to be thoroughly entertaining.
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The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen)
The Getaway (Widescreen/Full Screen) by Sam Peckinpah (DVD - 1997)
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