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The Outfit (1973)

 -  Crime | Thriller | Drama  -  October 1973 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,678 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 26 critic

When the small criminal Macklin is released from prison, he learns that his brother was shot by two mob killers. He didn't know that the bank he robbed was owned by the syndicate. When he's... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Jack Cody
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Mailer
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Jake Menner
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Kimmie Cherney
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Buck's Wife
Felice Orlandi ...
Frank Orlandi
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Madge Coyle
...
Alma Macklin
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Doctor
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Rita Mailer
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Hit Man
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Carl (as Elisha Cook)
Bill McKinney ...
Buck Cherney
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Storyline

When the small criminal Macklin is released from prison, he learns that his brother was shot by two mob killers. He didn't know that the bank he robbed was owned by the syndicate. When he's almost offed by a killer too, he pays the mobster Jake Menner a visit and demands reparation. His friend Cody helps him to gratify his thirst for revenge. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody plays rougher than The Outfit...

Genres:

Crime | Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Revolte in der Unterwelt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carl Eller:  The American footballer appears in the film in a cameo. See more »

Goofs

A killer fires a revolver with a silencer on the barrel. The gun would still make a loud sound due to the gap between the cylinder and the barrel. See more »


Soundtracks

Your Guess Is Just As Good As Mine
Written by Steve Gillette and Jeremy Joe Kronsberg
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User Reviews

 
Not the Best of the Seventies Crime Thrillers, but Far from Being the Worst
30 March 2006 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

The immense success of "The Godfather" in 1972 brought the gangster thriller back to life with a vengeance. Previously crime thrillers had mostly been told from the perspective of the victim or the detective; those like "Double Indemnity" which presented the viewpoint of the criminals themselves had to have a moralising, "crime doesn't pay" ending. In the seventies, however, censorship was relaxed enabling films to be made which showed crime from a much more amoral position.

"The Outfit" begins with the murder of Eddie Macklin, a small-time crook. It appears that this is the payback for an incident in which Eddie, together with his brother Earl and an accomplice, Cody, robbed a bank belonging to a powerful criminal organisation known as "The Outfit". (This is presumably a reference to the Mafia, but the words "Mafia" and "Cosa Nostra" are never used; possibly this was in deference to the sensibilities of Italian-Americans, who often resented being shown as the villains in Hollywood films. Only one of the characters has an Italian surname). Earl swears revenge on the Outfit and teams up with Cody and his girlfriend, Bett, to try and relieve them of $250,000, carrying out a series of raids on the gang's operations.

The film is not a large-scale epic like "The Godfather", but rather a slick, fast-moving thriller. Thematically it has much in common with two other gangster films from the early seventies, the influential British thriller "Get Carter" from two years earlier and "The Sting" which was also made in 1973. Like "Get Carter" it deals with a gangster out to avenge the death of his brother, and like "The Sting" it deals with two minor criminals hoping for revenge against a powerful gangland boss who has murdered a friend. Its tone, however, is very different to that of "The Sting". That film was a light-hearted, highly stylised comedy in which two con-men relieve the gangster of a large sum of money by relying on their wits alone without ever resorting to violence.

Stylistically "The Outfit" owes much more to the gritty realism of "Get Carter". In my view it is not such a good film; the British film, despite its graphic depictions of violence, is unsparingly honest in its condemnation of the criminal way of life. Michael Caine's Jack Carter, for all his air of sophistication, is a poor boy made bad, morally no better than those against whom he has sworn vengeance. Robert Duvall and Joe Don Baker make Earl and Cody convincingly ruthless, but at times I felt that they came across as too sympathetic and that the film was half in love with the lifestyle it portrayed. The best character was Karen Black's Bett, a loyal young woman caught between her love for Earl and her fears for her own safety. This is not the best of the seventies crime thrillers, but it is always watchable and far from being the worst. 6/10


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