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The Gauntlet (1977)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 12,964 users  
Reviews: 98 user | 30 critic

A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Josephson
...
Blakelock
Bill McKinney ...
Constable
...
Feyderspiel
...
Waitress
Mara Corday ...
Jail Matron
...
Bookie (as Douglas McGrath)
Jeff Morris ...
Desk Sergeant
Samantha Doane ...
Biker
...
Biker
Dan Vadis ...
Biker
Carver Barnes ...
Bus Driver
Robert Barrett ...
Paramedic
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Storyline

In Phoenix, the alcoholic and mediocre detective Ben Shockley is assigned by the Chief Commissary Blakelock to bring the witness Gus Mally from Las Vegas for a minor trial. Shockley travels to Vegas and finds that Gus Malley is an aggressive and intelligent prostitute with college degree and she tells him that the odds are against her showing up in court. Shockley learns that she will actually testify against a powerful mobster and the mafia is chasing them trying to kill them both. He calls Blakelock and request a police escort from Phoenix to protect them. But soon he discovers that someone is betraying him in the police department. Now, Shockley and Malley hijack a bus and Shockley welds thick steel plates and transforms the cabin in an armored bus trying to reach the Forum. But they will need to drive through a gauntlet of police officers armed with heavy weapons. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Clint Eastwood is the man in the middle of The Gauntlet

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ruta suicida  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fritz ManesClint Eastwood's regular producing partner as a helicopter gunman. The appearance was one of seven that Manes has made in Eastwood's movies. See more »

Goofs

When Shockley and Gus walk towards the road after the house shoot out, state troopers are seen holding back crowds that have gathered to see what the gun fire was all about. See more »

Quotes

Gus Mally: You cheap shot, gutless bastard! You really get off roughing up girls, don't you? Big man! Big 45 caliber fruit!
Ben Shockley: That's me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

A disclaimer at the end reads: "Law enforcement procedures depicted in this film do not necessarily represent those of any law enforcement agency mentioned herein." See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Charlie's Angels (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Just A Closer Walk with Thee
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A chaotic road trip to justice!
5 November 2005 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

A rundown cop who's always on the drink named Ben Shockley is assigned to accompany a foul-mouthed prostitute in Las Vegas to a protection program across the country in Phoenix to testify against highly placed authority figure, although first they have to get through a gauntlet of bad cops and the mob who actually want them both dead. So now the odds aren't in their favour, but Shockley is determine to do his job, no matter how big the odds are against them.

Classic Eastwood is on show here people. Although, it's not one of his greatest nor particularly original. But this reasonably familiar cop / action film delivers what it intended to do by giving us a taut little road movie across baron landscapes with a tremendous amount of brutally fast-paced shootouts and grand chase scenes. I mean a lot! To sum it up, shootouts, shootouts and even more shootouts. Watch things go boom with a lot going on at such a furious pace! What more could you want?

So you ask, why is this nothing out of the ordinary? Because this kind of thing wasn't particularly new within this era of films. There were definite shades of Dirty Harry; Eastwood's character Shockley was the exact opposite to Harry though. The one thing you'll notice is that there is no real excuse or depth behind the plot, but to stage one chaotic and stretched out shootout after another. Sometimes they feel like they go on forever! Nonetheless, they might be far-fetched and fail logic, but they're rather well set-up by director Eastwood. Giving us a sudden burst around each corner and because of that there's hardly a mundane moment… uh, maybe Eastwood did overkill certain shootouts, but it did get the blood pumping! So, when the "exaggerated" climax hits the screen - at least the film was consistent in that aspect.

The performances were top-notch, with Eastwood's persona making any film his in watchable. He gives a stellar performance. Sondra Locke as Gus Mally was perfect. The chemistry between the leads was outstanding. The scathing and rough dialogue amongst them was a treat with great use of sarcasm and offbeat humour. The biting conversations truly built on the paranoia at hand with many top one-liners. This gives the film a buddy type of feel. Other key factors are the soothing blues soundtrack, well established camera shots that capture a beautiful landscape, but also the panic of the situation they face. While, there might be underlining themes running throughout the plot, I just didn't read too much into it.

Just leave your brain at the door and enjoy the total chaos and destruction that follows with your screen being sprayed with bullets! Definitely recommended for fans of Eastwood and gritty action films.


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