Bank robbers! Shotguns! Double-crosses!
BQB here with a review of the 1972 crime movie The Getaway.
Steve McQueen was (still is posthumously?) the epitome of cool and though 1968’s Bullitt (come for the car chases, stay for the flute solos) will always be his top flick in my estimation, this one might be up there for his second, or perhaps third if you count The Great Escape.
McQueen stars as Doc, an armed robber serving ten years on a previous conviction. Fed up with prison life, he arranges, through his epically (to a fault) loyal wife, Carol (Ali MacGraw – still alive!) for corrupt tycoon Beynon (Ben Johnson – RIP) to pull some strings to get Doc paroled. In exchange, Doc will perpetrate a bank robbery that Beynon will sponsor and receive a major cut from.
Alas, mayhem ensues. Doc is double-crossed by henchman Rudy (Al Lettieri aka The Turk in The Godfather – RIP) and he and Carol go on the lam. Pursued by the police, dogged by con men and other criminals and even a blonde bimbo-tastic Sally Struthers (still alive though compare her today and in this movie and you will shake your fist at time and curse it in an impotent rage.)
Director Sam Peckinpah is known for his violent films which were probably considered way over the top back in the day (see The Wild Bunch for more, or don’t if you have a squeamish stomach.)
All in all, fun to watch though plot wise, it’s just basically husband and wife trying to make it to Mexico with their ill-gotten loot while fending off all comers. Doc packs a mean shotgun, but luckily only uses it to murder other bad guys. When it comes to the police, he only uses it to disable their cars. I assume in the 1970s this was one of those movies that made everyone think they were going to hell if they so much as watched it…yet ironically, bland when you compare to movies and video games of today (see Grand Theft Auto for more, or don’t if you have a squeamish…never mind.)
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. (Note it was remade in 1994 with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger and as I watched this I thought, “Huh this reminds me of this movie from the 1990s I can’t quite put my finger on…”