Monday, July 7, 2008

The Getaway

The Getaway; Thriller, USA, 1972; D: Sam Peckinpah, S: Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson, Al Lettieri, Richard Bright, Roy Jenson, Sally Struthers

Criminal "Doc" McCoy gets released from jail by the corrupted politician Ben who hires him to organize a bank robbery. McCoy does as he is told, together with his girlfriend Carol and a few wackoes, among them Rudy. When Rudy attacks him, McCoy shoots him, but he survives. Quickly McCoy discovers that Carol got the assignment to kill him, but then changes her mind and kills Ben instead. Figuring Ben's gang wants them dead, the young couple runs towards the Mexicn border with the money. Rudy, who kidnapped a doctor and his wife, meets them in a hotel so they shoot him and get away.

Directors like Scorsese, Tarantino and Peckinpah obviously deliberately chose to make violent movies because they knew that they will never become dated since violence will always be shocking and tragic. Still, despite a whole bunch of brutality, Peckinpah is here at it's chore still a moralist whose romantic heroes just want to run away from the evil (supporting) characters. Excellent "Getaway" has flaws, like the occasional mannerisms typical for Peckinpah, but it still became one of his most famous movies. From the mild exposition in which McCoy (very good Steve McQueen) gets out of jail and immediately happily jumps into the river, the story affirms a psychological side. Many situations are very "cool", like when McCoy spots his photo on a warrant on TV, tells Carol (great Ali McGraw) there will be trouble, goes into a gun store, steals the strongest gun and goes to fight with the cops. Later on he even shoots the wire that held the elevator where his enemy was in. Out of the prizes, only the Golden Globes were cooperative and nominated it for the best score.


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