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
Impressed by his performance in The Panic in Needle Park (1971), Walter Hill recommended Richard Bright for the role of Rudy Butler. The actor had worked with Steve McQueen 14 years before but he did not have the threatening physique that McQueen pictured for Butler because the two men were the same height. Sam Peckinpah got along famously with Bright and cast him as the train station con man instead. See more »
When Carol discovers in the train station that her locker key has been switched, she is holding the key for locker number 090. When she hands it to Doc and we see it shortly after, the locker number on the key is 249. See more »
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 »
Was wondering why they don't make films like this anymore. Then it dawned on me. It has ambiguous morals and doesn't particularly ask for or seek redemption. The hero is a killer and bank robber, he says little and therefore you should have to work hard to empathize with him. But it comes easy because everyone else around Doc McCoy is ten times worse than he is. And Doc is played by Steve McQueen. A magnificent brooding presence who's character doesn't stop to question his actions, because if he did he'd die or get arrested. And this is where it is so much better than a contemporary film of the same vein. It's not made with actors who are scared that their image might be tarnished or misunderstood, it is not made by film-makers who are scared they might upset someone, it is not made by people who particularly need to be loved. So what you get is a story that rings true, a piece of fiction that at no time stops to apologize for itself. It grabs you, says this is what I am, and if you're hooked then great. If not go and watch Bambi or something.
A bona fide classic piece of storytelling.
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