Review: ‘The Getaway’

The Getaway has several things going for it: Sam Peckinpah's hard-action direction, this time largely channeled into material destruction, although fast-cut human bloodlettings occur frequently enough, and Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw as stars.

The Getaway has several things going for it: Sam Peckinpah’s hard-action direction, this time largely channeled into material destruction, although fast-cut human bloodlettings occur frequently enough, and Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw as stars.

Peckinpah’s particular brand of storytelling comes through in the adaptation of the Jim Thompson novel. McQueen, denied parole despite four years of good behavior, gives in to crooked politico Ben Johnson’s bank caper scheme in return for release from prison. MacGraw arranges and participates in the robbery plus the rambling escape which follows.

There is an overwritten secondary plot line involving Al Lettieri, so effective in projecting the greasy sadism of one of the robbery gang that his portion of the film eventually becomes vulgar overexposition.

The Getaway

Production

First Artists. Director Sam Peckinpah; Producer David Foster, Mitchell Brower; Screenplay Walter Hill; Camera Lucien Ballard; Editor Roger Spottiswoode, Robert Wolfe; Music Quincy Jones; Art Director Ted Haworth, Angelo Graham

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 122 MIN.

With

Steve McQueen Ali MacGraw Ben Johnson Sally Struthers Al Lettieri Slim Pickens
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