A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
When he runs out of dumb luck he always has genius to fall back on!
Charley Varrick robs a bank in a small town with his friends. Instead of obtaining a small amount of money they discover they stole a very large amount of money belonging to the mob. Charley must now come up with a plan to not only evade the police but the mob as well.
aka No Country for Grumpy Old Men
"There's always a bigger fish." - Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I
"Last of the independents... I like that, has a ring of finality to it." - Joe Don Baker, terrifying executioner of Darwinian capitalism.
A framed photo of John Vernon is by the bed of a pretty young woman (who Walter Matthau sleeps with in the dreaded SXSW position).
i like how unsentimental this is, not just about its violence but with its actual narrative, which with its loose structure frequently comes across less as a thriller than as a collection of occupational hazards endured by everyone at every level of a criminal enterprise. cropdusting isn't paying the bills, cops try to foil a holdup, bank robbers catch bullets, hookers turn tricks, the hitman methodically tracks down his target, the passport forger jacks up the price and then sells you out. all in a day's work.
Having just spent an entire day watching Walter Matthau movies, I can confirm that he can make a womanizing dentist likeable, a drunken deadbeat little league coach lovable, and an incorrigible shyster ambulance-chasing attorney downright adorable. But he can also pull another trick, which is to suck most of his natural humor and charisma out of his bone marrow but remain intriguing, watchable, and even magnetic. His Charley Varrick isn't the romantic kind of career criminal - he unapologetically works with violent killers, and he's not saving up to get his kid brother an operation. He, like the men in many Siegel films (including this one), is just doing his job. He's smart, though, and that gives him a fighting chance, provided he can stay smart and broke rather than dumb and rich. A lesson for us all!
You know, there are one or two very subtle clues in Charley Varrick that might alert you to the fact that it is a Don Siegel film. Andrew Robinson doing his poorly acted pained cry, a John Vernon appearance, a role for the guy who "got's to know!" on the steps of the bank near the start of Dirty Harry, a Lalo Schifrin soundtrack - like I say, very subtle.
If that is all too subtle for you, they even make direct reference to Dirty Harry at one point. I have to say that I appreciated the fact that, at times, this film did make those references because for the most part I found Charley Varrick…
Walter Matthau is a bank-robbing crop-duster leaving a trail of dead bodies, satisfied blondes and Joe Don Baker sweat across the greater Albuquerque area. If you need more than that, we're very different people.
This one was a surprise!
It's a fully fledged 70s film, some of the scenes would never appear in a film these days, especially Joe Don Baker turning a woman on by slapping her over the face, totally unmotivated. Then again, he hits everyone and everything here.
It's really a two man movie, with Baker and Matthau carrying the other actors.
Keeps the suspence and action going up to a fantastic finale.
One oddity kept bugging me though; Matthau is a stud?!
Last of the Independents
Intelligent action movie. The true psychopath is not the mafia killer but Matthau. His laconic style of acting carries the film and helps ignoring a few weak plot developments. Schiffrin does another great score.
Intelligent konstruierter Gangsterfilm, mit einem tollen Walter Matthau, der leider aber oft zu formelhaft und unaufgeregt erzählt wird. Ein bisschen mehr Spannung hätte dem Film gut getan.
This is what you get from a totally inspired Don Siegel directing a film. A crime-cop thriller with an unparalleled energy, with its director demonstrating total mastery of its sharp narrative and its stylish and skilfull direction, with some breathtaking action scenes, and its intriguing and charismatic characters standing out with perfection!
Don Siegel's Charley Varrick has become a bit of an obscure picture, but it is as quintessentially 70s in its ideals and execution as any other second-tier genre classic of the era. It might not be up there with Dirty Harry but it's certainly on the same level as something like The Warriors or the original Mad Max.
When first choice Clint Eastwood turned Siegel down, he approached Walter Matthau for the title role and while, like Eastwood, Matthau found nothing immediately appealing in the role took it on anyway. Matthau is an actor who might not have the same chiselled looks as an Eastwood or McQueen but has the same shaggy-dog, world-worn exterior that made Elliott Gould's Philip Marlowe…
Another genre triumph for Siegel. Matthau & Joe Don Baker squaring off is as awesome as it sounds.
How did Walter Matthau ever become a star? I am glad he did.
Of course Walter Matthau's fantastic (cf. his reactions when dealing with Andrew Robinson) (or cf. his tenderness with his wife) (or cf. me wanting to believe he can pick up a woman he threatened to throw out a window with a nonchalant line about how one sleeps in a circular bed), & I had no idea Joe Don Baker (bearing an eerie resemblance to Marlon Brando here) could play such a ruthless sumbitch (& also pick up women with the back of his hand), but my favorite bit of this film is the extended two shot between John Vernon and Woodrow Parfrey beside the cows (& that great cut from the two-shot to Parfrey reacting after Vernon brings up the possibility of the bosses thinking the robbery was an inside job).
Don Siegel would be a fan of John Hillcoat.
Make of that what you will.
(Compare horrifically violent bank robbery sequences etc.)
My opinion could be wrong in my opinion.
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
In early June, 2013, my best friend killed herself.
She took a cab to the middle of nowhere and vanished,…