Thursday, June 9, 2011

Charlie Varrick

Charlie Varrick is a movie starring Walter Matthau. It was directed by Don Seigel who also directed Dirty Harry.

The movie opens with Walter Matthau(Charlie) and his crew holding up a bank in a small town out west. As they are in the process of robbing the bank, the police become suspicious of the license plate on the car they are using as their getaway vehicle. When the police find out the car is stolen, a shoot out both with the police outside and inside the bank ensues. Charlie and the gang manage to shoot their way to the car and make their escape, but not without a car chase in which they fold up the hood on their car and get most of the crew killed except Charlie and another accomplice. From then on we learn that the bank they robbed was a mob bank and now both Charlie and his side kick have to hide out and eventually leave the area.

This movie was made in 1973 and it is one of my favorites because it is so unique for the following reasons:

  • The story is set in rural Northern Nevada which gives it a quirky feel.

  • The mob bank they are robbing is in a small rural town and the opening of the movie implies that residents are unaware of that fact.

  • It stars Walter Matthau in one of his finest roles. What makes it so great is that it was a part that could have been played by Clint Eastwood, but instead we get Walter Matthau delivering a edgy hardcore performance.

  • It also stars Joe don Baker of Walking Tall fame as a truly nasty bad guy, although he is very understated.
Charlie Varrick is definately a gem from the early seventies and is one that crime fiction lovers should see. Right now I've enjoyed streaming it on Netflix.

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