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Charley Varrick (1973)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  1973 (UK)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,047 users  
Reviews: 91 user | 36 critic

A man, his wife, and their friend, stage a bloody bank robbery, unaware they are stealing money from the Mob.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Charley Varrick (1973)

Charley Varrick (1973) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Harman Sullivan (as Andy Robinson)
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...
Benson Fong ...
Honest John
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Harold Young
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San Miguel Sheriff Bill Horton
...
Marjorie Bennett ...
Mrs. Taft
...
Deputy Sanchez
...
Deputy Steele
Charlie Briggs ...
Highway deputy
Priscilla Garcia ...
Miss Ambar
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He stole from the Mob, now he's running for his life. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Charley Varrick: The Last of the Independents  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the book "Riding Shotgun", this film inspired the song "The Last of the Independents" sung by Rory Gallagher. See more »

Goofs

When Charley enters Tom's Gun Shop, the bell at the entrance is of the type that is hung to the Head Frame (or Top Rail). But when he leaves, the bell is of the type that is hung to the door. See more »

Quotes

Molly: [Molly has just punched out an argumentative black man... ] I allow very few men to speak to me in that tone. Few caucasians. And no nigras at all.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paybacks Are a Bitch (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Are we really seeing what's going on or is Don Siegel throwing dust in our eyes?
8 August 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This quick-moving thriller demonstrates that cinematic amorality has been around a long time. Made in 1973, it allows crop-duster and bank-robber, Charley Varrick, played by Walter Matthau, to get away with a heap of stolen money, the theft of which has led to the death of about half a dozen people, including his wife. The movie is directed, in his usual snappy but artful way, by Don Siegel, who taught Clint Eastwood everything Clint knows about direction, but not necessarily everything Don knew.

The movie also demonstrates that in the days when movies spent less time on technical wizardry, they could spend more on character development. For example, on "Molly" (Joe Don Baker), a courteous but sadistic heavy from the deep South, who can beat a man to death without losing his cool or creasing his sharp suit. Other noteworthy character studies are Andy Robinson as Charley's sweaty, weasly accomplice; Sheree North as a two-timing photographer; John Vernon as Maynard Boyle, a suave but crooked bank owner; and Marjorie Bennett as a nosey trailer park resident.

The plotline is supposed to be that Charley expects to get only a modest sum from the bank heist, and then has to get his thinking cap and skates on when he realises he's taken a pile of Mafia loot. But Siegel teases us, and it's never very clear just how much Charley knows and how far ahead he's thinking; perhaps there was an insider and Charley knew about the big money before the raid. Overall, can we believe what we're seeing, or is Siegel playing with us, like Bryan Singer in The Usual Suspects?

Which leads to the third thing demonstrated by this and other Siegel movies

  • that current hotshots like Quintin Tarantino owe him a
debt.

(Incidentally, those IMDb commenters who are offended by Charley bedding Boyle's secretary (Felicia Farr) because she is too young for him should check Ms Farr's DOB. Also, she was married to Jack Lemmon, Matthau's friend and film-partner, so the bedroom scene is something of an in-joke.)


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