Carter "Doc" McCoy is a career robber, currently in his fourth year of a ten year prison sentence at the Texas State Penitentiary. After his request for parole is denied despite he being a model prisoner, Doc, unable emotionally to endure life inside, asks his loving wife Carol McCoy to contact crooked businessman Jack Beynon, a man with political connections, to secure his release in return for he being "for sale" to Beynon. Beynon is able to get Doc released, the sale price being for Doc to plan and execute a robbery at a small bank branch in Beacon City, Texas where Beynon knows that $750,000 will be kept in the vault for the next two weeks. Rather than Doc using his own men for the job, Beynon directs that the only other people involved will be the men of his own choosing, Rudy and Frank. There are to be no casualties, which is all right with Doc who is not a murderer. After the robbery is completed and the monies divvied up accordingly, Doc and Carol will cross the border into ...Written by
To get permission to release the film in Spain, which at the time was ruled by Francisco Franco, an additional sequence was tacked onto the end in which McCoy is captured and returned to prison, because it's bad for the moral health of the people to show that criminals can escape from paying their debt to society. See more »
Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah teamed to do two straight films, probably some of the best work in both of their careers. But the difference in a nice character study like Junior Bonner and a tough crime drama like The Getaway shows the versatility of both these remarkable men. The Getaway seems to take its inspiration from John Huston's classic, The Asphalt Jungle.
McQueen is a career criminal whose parole has once again been denied in the ten year stretch he's doing. Wife Ali McGraw submits to parole board chief Ben Johnson's sexual advances to spring McQueen.
But the corrupt Johnson isn't just about sexual harassment. He wants McQueen to rob a bank that his brother is a director, to cover a nice case of embezzlement. He even recruits another pair of criminals, Bo Hopkins and Al Lettieri as part of the gang.
Of course the plan goes wrong as a bank guard is killed and then Hopkins is killed in a double-cross by Lettieri who then fails to do the same to McQueen and McGraw. After that it's a three way race to the border between Johnson's men, Lettieri, and McQueen.
Al Lettieri is a talent that was lost to us way too soon. He played some of the best villains in the early seventies and this one is one of them. He kidnaps veterinarian Jack Dodson and his slut of a wife Sally Struthers. Soon she's more than willing to go and be his girl. Struthers has a great part, so far from being Gloria Bunker Stivic on All in the Family.
My favorite Sam Peckinpah moment in all of his films is that climax at Dub Taylor's flea bag hotel where all the forces meet and shoot up the place. It's Peckinpah's best violence ballet in all of his films, I never tire of seeing it.
The whole film was shot in Texas and I'm not sure how residents of Texas might like this picture of their state. It seems to be one very violent place and a very corrupt one as well.
But I like The Getaway very much, it's my favorite Sam Peckinpah film next to Ride the High Country.
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