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.
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.
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.