"The Driver" is a specialist in a rare business: he drives getaway cars in robberies. His exceptional talent prevented him from being caught yet. After another successful flight from the ... See full summary »
Ross Bodine and Frank Post are cowhands on Walt Buckman's R-Bar-R ranch. Bodine is older and broods a bit about how he will get along when he's too old to cowboy. Post is young and ... See full summary »
Walter Hill's screenplay, based on the novel by Terrence Lore Smith, shifts the plot locale from Chicago to Houston and completely leaves out the relationship development between Webster/Dave and Dave/Jackie (called Lina in the book) and the gradual physical change in Webster (in the book, he starts out as balding with a broken nose and scars from college football, but has hair grafts, dental work, rhinoplasty and scar removal, whereas in the film he is "pretty" from start to finish). See more »
[last lines; Dave has finally caught Webster doing a robbery]
Did you bring your gun with you?
What do you think?
Because that's the only way you're going to bring me in. Jail does not suit my lifestyle. So if you want to bring me in, you're going to have to shoot me.
Maybe I'll just have to do that.
If you feel about me the way I've grown to feel about you... then I don't envy you.
[...] See more »
Ryan O'Neil is one of those actors who, given the right part, can hit it out of the ballpark. Like his con artist character in "Paper Moon", the thief is outwardly a comely young man, a charmer, even a gentleman. That's what thieves are supposed to be. They don't kill people, or use violence (at least these types of thieves never do in the movies!). They have wit, humor, and even a little humility, which is what makes their underlying darker side so much more terrifying, enigmatic, and also intriguing. These thieves don't hold up the corner liquor shops in the seedy side of Brooklyn or ransack cheap apartments in New Jersey. They procure their desired objects from jewelry shops in the upper-crust of downtown Manhattan or the large brick houses of the Brookline area of Boston. This is the only kind of thief O'Neal could swing at with a chance of hitting a homer, and he does.
Webster (O'Neal) is nicknamed "the Chess Burglar" as he begins playing a hypothetical chess game with the police, leaving a chess piece and a move with every robbery. He mainly heists jewels from people who don't really need them, like a modern-day Robin Hood. He does his game, both the robbing and the chess, with deft finesse and surgical precision. The police, unable to figure out who their thief really is, at one point hire a professional chess master to oppose the nameless thief-artist to try and create a profile of him based on his moves. At one point, even the chess master comes to his wits end trying to deal with the chess burglar. You may find that a chess master and cunning thief have more in common than you might have expected...
This is a thoroughly enjoyable movie and certainly one of O'Neal's best performances. (I always thought O'Neal would have been perfect as "The Great Gatsby".) This movie deserves DVD treatment, considering many god-awful Hollywood offerings have been released from this era. (I mean, are there people who would actually buy a copy of Airport 1975 or "The Towering Inferno"?) This is a highly intelligent and yet simultaneously quite entertaining film that does exactly what it wants to do, with enough twists and turns that do not foreshadow a very interesting and unexpected ending. And the script was by Walter Hill who made a career of raising lowlifes to the big screen. Please vote for this movie for DVD release.
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