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Charley Varrick (1973)

A man, his wife, and their friend, stage a bloody bank robbery, unaware they are stealing money from the Mob.



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

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Charley Varrick
... Molly
... Sybil Fort
... Harman Sullivan (as Andy Robinson)
... Jewell Everett
... Mr. Garfinkle
... Honest John
... Harold Young
... San Miguel Sheriff Bill Horton
... Nadine
... Mrs. Taft
... Deputy Sanchez
... Deputy Steele
Charlie Briggs ... Highway deputy
Priscilla Garcia ... Miss Ambar


Charley Varrick and his friends rob a small town bank. Expecting a small sum to divide amongst themselves, they are surprised to discover a very LARGE amount of money. Quickly figuring out that the money belongs to the MOB, they must now come up with a plan to throw the MOB off their trail. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's not easy to rob the Mob and stay alive. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 October 1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Charley Varrick: The Last of the Independents  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Walter Matthau was not fond of this film. Don Siegel would later say Matthau hurt this film's box office by publicly stating that he did not like the film nor even understand it. See more »


When Charley enters Tom's Gun Shop, the bell at the entrance is of the type that is hung to the Head Frame (or Top Rail). But when he leaves, the bell is of the type that is hung to the door. See more »


Charley Varrick: You know what dirty money is? That's the kind of money you can't declare on your income tax. Well, when certain people get that kind of money, what they do is send it out of the country to invest, and when it comes back, it's clean.
Harman Sullivan: So?
Charley Varrick: So maybe that little bank was a drop, a collection point. Maybe all this was on its way out of the country.
Harman Sullivan: Fantastic! We lucked out!
Charley Varrick: More like crapped out. It's ten-to-one this stuff belongs to the Mafia. This is gambling money skimmed off the top, whore money,...
See more »


Referenced in Paybacks Are a Bitch (2007) See more »


You Can Make a Memory Out of Me
Written by Lalo Schifrin and Paul Vance
See more »

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User Reviews

Charley Varrick (1973) ***
15 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

It's such a shame they can't make gritty down-and-dirty movies like they did in the 1970s anymore. And CHARLEY VARRICK is a fine specimen of the exciting, brutal, honest approach to movies in that decade. We've become so accustomed to seeing Walter Matthau in comedies like GRUMPY OLD MEN that at first you'd wonder if he could pull his part off as Varrick convincingly (well, he also played a crook in KING CREOLE and a detective in THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE, TWO THREE, for openers). It turns out that Matthau is very good here, playing a small-time bank robber, a common-man type who's latest take unexpectedly winds up being laundered Mafia loot! Now he has to outsmart the mobsters as well as their sadistic hit-man and the police, all of whom are hot on his trail.

Everyone in this film is out for all he/she can get. I have to take a moment to acknowledge Joe Don Baker in particular. As the punchy, no-nonsense, wisecracking hit-man he provides many fun moments and is a real standout. He's perfectly cast, but then so really is most everyone (Woodrow Parfrey, Sheree North, Andy Robinson and John Vernon - the dean from NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE). Don Siegel keeps us interested throughout, and one nice scene in particular struck me when Parfrey and Vernon are having a discussion near the cow field. Their dialogue and acting is done practically in one long take that keeps us focused just by the sheer talents of the actors being allowed to do their thing. I wonder if this is a lost art with the now ever-moving MTV camera styles and edits of the 21st Century? I should mention I also enjoyed the unpredictable climax.

They just don't make movies like this anymore - unless you count the great Quentin Tarantino, who undoubtedly likes this film himself and seems to have borrowed some of it for his own work (there's even a line from VARRICK that was reheated for PULP FICTION). *** out of ****

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