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The Gauntlet (1977)

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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
...
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 Mally is an aggressive and intelligent prostitute with a 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The building they crash in front of is not Phoenix City Hall, or a court building. It's the Phoenix Symphony Hall. See more »

Goofs

Although hundreds of shots hit all parts of the bus, the tires do not blow out until the bus starts up the stairs - when no more shots are being fired. See more »

Quotes

Gus Mally: Ben Shockley don't you die on me Open those Fucking eyes
[Shockley rolls his eyes and opens them]
Ben Shockley: Nag, Nag, Nag!
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

Referenced in Skinned Alive (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Ridiculously entertaining
6 May 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

A one-time Steve McQueen-Barbra Streisand vehicle until McQueen met Streisand, and subsequently a Clint Eastwood-Streisand vehicle until Eastwood met Streisand, The Gauntlet sees Clint sending up his Dirty Harry image as a none-too-smart washed out drunken cop escorting Sondra Locke's foul-mouthed "nothing witness in a nothing trial" from Las Vegas to Phoenix and finding the Mob and every cop in two States determined to stop them - even the Vegas bookies are taking bets on ever-lengthening odds (70-1) on their not making it. From the days when Clint still made films in broad daylight and could film interiors without turning all the lights out and seen as wildly over the top at the time (even the famed Frank Frazetta poster art offered Clint as a Conan-esquire muscular figure in ripped shirt with girl in one hand and gun in the other), now it's almost an exercise in naturalism for the genre. Sure there's more firepower on display that in all of Eastwood's previous films combined (including both Where Eagles Dare and Kelly's Heroes!), with cars, houses and buses shot to pieces with gleeful abandon while helicopters crash into power lines, but somehow Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack's script manages to sell the increasing absurdities in a perfectly conceived audience picture that's designed to entertain and does just that.

There's a nice line in self-deprecating wit that never quite crosses the line into outright stupidity and Eastwood's tight direction keeps the action moving without losing sight of the fact that it's the characters that really need to sell the film. Just as importantly the on screen relationship between Eastwood and Locke hadn't overstayed its welcome yet as it quickly would over their subsequent films, their initial vicious sparring giving way to genuinely convincing tenderness in the later scenes, giving you a pair you can actually root for. Great fun if you're not expecting gritty realism - like the end credit says, 'Law enforcement procedures depicted in this film do not necessarily depict those of any law enforcement agency mentioned herein.' No **** Sherlock.


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