Charley Varrick and his friends rob a small town bank. Expecting a small sum to divide amongst themselves, they are surprised to discover a very LARGE amount of money. Quickly figuring out that the money belongs to the MOB, they must now come up with a plan to throw the MOB off their trail.
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A purely masculin movie as only Siegel and a bunch of other directors would be capable of (Hawks, Fuller, Peckinpah, Hill, Carpenter, Mann), its shots are given meaning by the relation of the bodies in its interior: therefore a constant tension is achieved, created merely by the ocupation of the space by Siegel's characters. It's a shame the movie is ruined by its insistence on comic relief and overdramatic acting.
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 film improved on this, if slightly. Charley Varrick has a stunning opening 20 minutes, yet the rest doesn't fulfill that promise in character/tension/suspense, and like the 2007 film, it has a largely bland narrative, but feels even more passive in its telling.
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.
An intelligent, discreet and very entertaining thriller by the master of pulp and badass-ness Don Siegel. Great performances by Joe Don Baker as the hitman Molly, and Walter Matthau as the crop-duster/bank robber Charley Varrick.
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.
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.