Charley Varrick is a sometimes-fuzzy melodrama but so well put together that it emerges a hardhitting actioner with a sock finale.

Charley Varrick is a sometimes-fuzzy melodrama but so well put together that it emerges a hardhitting actioner with a sock finale.

Based on the John Reese novel, The Looters, narrative carries the unusual twist of Walter Matthau, a small-time bank robber, trying to return his heist of a smalltown New Mexico bank aftr later discovering his $750,000 take belongs to the Mafia and he wants none of it. He is opposed by a young companion who doesn’t see eye-to-eye, and menaced by a Mafia hit-man who arrives on the scene.

Director Don Siegel overcomes deficiencies in part by his rugged handling of action and making handsome use of the Nevada landscape where pic was filmed and which provided stuntmen with a field day.

Matthau delivers strongly as a man who wants to limit his heisting to small banks because legal heat isn’t so hot. Joe Don Baker scores solidly as Mafia man.

Charley Varrick

Production

Universal. Director Don Siegel; Producer Don Siegel; Screenplay Howard Rodman, Dean Riesner; Camera Michael Butler; Editor Frank Morriss; Music Lalo Schifrin;; Art Director Fernando Carrere

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1973. Running time: 111 MIN.

With

Walter Matthau Joe Don Baker Felicia Farr Andy Robinson John Vernon Sheree North
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