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The Getaway (1994)

Doc McCoy is put in prison because his partners chickened out and flew off without him after exchanging a prisoner with a lot of money. Doc knows Jack Benyon, a rich "business"-man, is up ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stephens ...
Frank Hansen (as Philip Hoffman)
Burton Gilliam ...
Gun Shop Salesman
Luis Mendoza
Scott McKenna ...
Red Shirt
Alex Colon ...
Justin Williams ...


Doc McCoy is put in prison because his partners chickened out and flew off without him after exchanging a prisoner with a lot of money. Doc knows Jack Benyon, a rich "business"-man, is up to something big, so he tells his wife (Carol McCoy) to tell him that he's for sale if Benyon can get him out of prison. Benyon pulls some strings and Doc McCoy is released again. Unfortunately he has to cooperate with the same person that got him to prison. Written by Lars J. Aas <larsa@colargol.edb.tih.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A dangerous deal. A double cross. And the ultimate set up is yet to come. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Getaway  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$16,096,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Rudy Travis (Michael Madsen) kidnaps a married couple, Harold Carvey, DVM (James Stephens) and Fran Carvey (Jennifer Tilly) Rudy ties Harold to a chair in one scene. In Reservoir Dogs (1992) Mr Blonde (Madsen) tied Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz) to a chair. See more »


The last time Doc fires the shotgun from the taxi it switches from his right to left to right hand. See more »


Carol: Oh, I guess we should stop, 'cause Harold has to pee.
Rudy Travis: Get back in the front. Get back up there with Harold! Get up there!
Harold Carvey, DVM: I don't want to play... this game... anymore!
Rudy Travis: You pee in your pants.
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Getaway/Blank Check/My Girl 2 (1994) See more »


Written by DAVID WHITE
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Too many action-thriller conventions when it should stay grounded and gritty, but The Getaway is a fast and frenetic film that sustains meek study and interest.
7 June 2009 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

The 1994 version of Jim Thompson's novel and Sam Peckinpah's 1972 film is sporadic but good fun; not really knowing what it wants to be by the end but taking us on a bizarre journey of typically unexciting action that branches out into hard boiled, gruff talking neo-noir inspired leads in somebody's debt before becoming a chase film. It then culminates in one, long shootout and makes the ill-judged move to incorporate comedy into its text. Director Roger Donaldson shoots these gunfights near the very end with a certain guilty pleasure-infused ideation; piling on the slow motion and having one of his female leads squealing uncontrollably in a, perhaps deliberately, annoying manner. There is also a set piece involving one gangster stalking his target, who's hiding in a motel room across the courtyard, and what should be a dramatic, tension filled chain of 'looks' and 'reactions' and silhouettes just becomes a somewhat humorous series of shots that just happens to end in someone getting shot.

Donaldson doesn't bring anything particularly constructive to this text bar the, perhaps obligatory, upping of both violence and profanity. But along with this, he tries to make the lead female come across as a more desirable individual than Peckinpah did as well as feeling the need to include more explosions and more set pieces – this version of The Getaway felt more 'stagey', it felt broader but much to its dis-credit; it got confused and began to blur the lines between what makes a film a good neo-noir and what makes a film fall very much into the realm of a bad action flick.

One underlying theme or consistent feeling this remake has is its periodic look at greed, or what people would actually go through for a small, or potentially small, amount of money. At spaced stages throughout this film, a con-artist at a train station will attempt to trick an attractive young woman out of her case prior to knowing what was inside of it; an owner of a motel will turn in an old friend on demand from some strangers for a little bit of money and the catalyst for the entire film to even occur sees a relatively wealthy and established man in Jack Benyon (Woods) charge four men with breaking into an establishment for the sake of some more money.

The film works to a very basic level, primarily thanks to this spaced study but it also finds time to flesh out a character in Fran Carvey (Tilly), as this young and somewhat naive woman that initially just wants to aid in sick animals with her elderly veterinarian husband. This is before Michael Madsen's Rudy Travis shows up, an injured and pretty ticked off gangster-come-thief, that hijacks both the couple and the couple's car as they head out in search of the money. The kidnapping takes place amidst a room of harmless kittens, which acts as interesting of sorts juxtaposition.

The money comes about after three individuals hold-up an area at a race track in which they keep their money. One betrays the other and then someone else betrays them resulting in a chase across America to the Texas-Mexico border. Initially, The Getaway carries a wavered and uneven feel. Rather than begin like the original with its male lead already in prison, it initially sees its lead characters of Carter 'Doc' McCoy (Baldwin) and Carol McCoy (Basinger) partake in an apprehension of a Mexican criminal, which is badly constructed and executed with too much ease on the characters' behalf. Following this, is the imprisonment of Doc when Rudy seemingly does the only thing possible at the time and leaves him behind for the authorities. It plants a somewhat meek seed in our minds that Rudy is of this nature.

When in prison, Doc learns the 'importance of life' and that 'life is very delicate and something to be treasured' through cradling a mouse for part of his duration, in what is another scene in which the film calls on small, defenceless animals to act as a visual representation of either emotions and/or the realisation of a situation. He is called upon to do the race course job with another guy and his old chum, Rudy. Through the mouse, he decides this will be his last. The fact the leads are in debt to the mentioned Jack Benyon keeps a fair degree of suspense for a while as this figure more powerful than the leads calls the shots. But do we really care for or fear Benyon when certain betrayals occur? Not really. His acting as a threatening off screen presence doesn't really work.

One instance in the original that I really liked and thought captured the crux of the situation was a certain scene at a landfill. The two leads were dirty, grimy and somewhat demoralised but realised crime is exactly this and this is their chosen way of life – their enemies will be soldiering on in order to capture them and they must stay focused and rise to the challenge. The Getaway brushes over these sorts of scenes and studies, opting for more emphasis on the slow motion deaths and the police cars and the explosions, typified in the instance someone shoots a petrol tanker in the race course car park forcing an explosion when driving off was all that needed to have been done. But the film does enough right, overall. Tilly's, whilst un-watchably annoying towards the end, decline into a lust for danger and violence as she falls for Rudy and seems unmoved by her husband's fate is genuinely disturbing, and there is some genuine tension here and there when the two leads are on the run. As far as relatively tacky but enjoyable pulp entertainment goes, The Getaway is your ticket out of here.

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