Only the normally hot-tempered Walter Matthau (in comedic films) could be cold and calculating during a heist movie and hold a stand against the mob. Hell, he even takes revenge on his old sparring partner Jack Lemmon and make sweet love to his real wife, Felicia Farr, for Christ's sake. Love how the movie build-up to the climax and give supporting characters depth too. Among the most satisfying in it's genre.
This is one of Don Siegels finest. This is one of Walter Matthaus finest (same applies for the entire cast). This is a cat & mouse crime movie with a great storyline with wonderful twists & turns. The hunter and the hunted, both are extremely intelligent characters. From start to finish (specially at the very end) the movie is a delight. Masterpiece.
Stateless genius Gregor Von Rezzori, his Austro-Hungarian empire erased post two world wars by the Political Cartoonist God of Tragicomedy: "QUO VADIS WESTERN WORLD?" America, around the same time: I will take Siegel, Aldrich, and Huston over Coppola & Co. six days out of the week's seven. Displaced sensibilities in an armour of irony. Laughter as grave exhalation. 70s Siegel is a Monte Carlo card table tipping over.
No Country for Old Men is essentially a loose remake of this late-period Don Siegel film. However, as much as I have an affinity for 70s cinema, the Coen one improved on this, if slightly. Charley Varrick has a stunning opening 20 minutes, yet the rest doesn't fulfill that promise in tension and suspense, and unlike the 2007 flick, it has sputtered narrative momentum, and thus is even more passive in its telling.
The suspense plays better than most "twisty" movies, which isn't saying much, but hey! Very retrograde w/r/t race & gender. Lots of cringe moments. Most compelling is the strange morality. Film is populated by killers, liars, snitches, backstabbers, greedy motherfuckers, and scumbags. Nobody is morally correct. A man's worth is based solely on his ability to outwit other men. A bleak but resonant vision of society.
A forgotten 70s gem/borderline noir revival but filtered through a Butch Cassidy/French Connection style attitude. Matthau is excellent, known more for his comedy but holds his own here. Entered the film not knowing what to expect, left impressed by the direction and plot twists. The 70s really were the last great decade of American cinema, quickly ruined by Star Wars sfx and general dumbing down of storytelling.
CINEMA _ Beyond the surface, "Charley Varrick" is not the fascist film it pretends to be. Look at those first credits. A peaceful and perfect world, full of (God's) light and children playing. And right after an ugly bank robbery. Siegel always plays on a thin line and shows that America is BOTH innocence and pure violence/corruption. The Mob guy pushing the kid on the swing. True independant film making.
MAGISTRAL MATTHAU. All the know-how of SIEGEL in this criminal jewel punctuated by Lalo SCHIFRIN. A nod to EASTWOOD, the VARRICK Girls are Sheree NORTH (The Outfit), Felicia FARR & Jacqueline SCOTT. === Tout le savoir faire de SIEGEL dans ce bijou criminel rythmé par Lalo SCHIFRIN. Un clin d'oeil à EASTWOOD, les VARRICK Girls sont Sheree NORTH (The Outfit), Felicia FARR & Jacqueline SCOTT.
A cracking thriller of double-cross, mistaken identity, honour, greed and the gangster code. Massively underrated, this film has undoubtably been a major influence on many prominent filmmakers for productions of a similar style, scale and aesthetic. Tarantino, Soderbergh, and P.T. Anderson spring to mind. A brash, raw, lean and brilliantly crafted movie.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. As good as Charley Varrick was from a technical or filmmaking standpoint, I ultimately credit Walter Matthau with how much I liked this movie. I've only seen it once but I have a feeling its the kind of movie that gets better and better with each viewing.