A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out.
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. Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
When Joe Don Baker begins his chase of the plane in the auto junkyard, he immediately hits a junked car with the right front fender, pushing the car ahead of him, until he hits ANOTHER car. Subsequent shots during the chase show no damage to the fender. See more »
Now that more and more people are reflecting on the great career of Walter Matthau it is surprising that very few critics have mentioned his top-notch performance in Charley Varrick (the best thing he has ever done). I got interested in this film when I discovered that it had an underground following with everyone from "The Pretenders" to several critics. I bought the film and became floored by how outstanding of a movie this is. In my opinion it is the most under appreciated movie ever made and the best movie to come out of the 70's (yes, even better than THE GODFATHER, DAYS OF HEAVEN, TAXI DRIVER and APOCALYPSE NOW). It is also one of the ten best movies I have ever seen. I have seen this movie over 20 times and it gets better every time I see it. It is surprising that I have learned more about how to make a great suspense/action film from this movie than any other which I have seen. The interesting thing about Charley Varrick is that you wonder why you are so taken in by the story. It's a relatively simple one. Yet, this is a story with a conclusion that leaves you stunned every time you see it and convinces you that this is a film that should be seen again and again (unlike some great movies that should be seen only once). I make it an effort to see Charley Varrick on a regular basis. The story starts out as follows: a group of bank robbers attempt to make a small killing and right when they think that they have succeeded . . . The story then allows the viewer to be consumed in a film of drum-tight professionalism with great action sequences, excellent performances, incredible dialogue, and possibly the greatest single screen villain of all time in the form of Joe Don Baker (I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it). I am convinced that in the near future Charley Varrick will be resurrected in the form of a remake (not that I am looking toward that day). But in context, Don Siegel's masterpiece is a film that stands by itself as one of the great under appreciated and undervalued movies of all time and is a film for everyone. It doesn't get any better than this.
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