Review: ‘Sharky’s Machine’

Directing himself in Sharky's Machine, Burt Reynolds has combined his own macho personality with what's popularly called mindless violence to come up with a seemingly guaranteed winner [from the novel by William Diehl].

Directing himself in Sharky’s Machine, Burt Reynolds has combined his own macho personality with what’s popularly called mindless violence to come up with a seemingly guaranteed winner [from the novel by William Diehl].

Not surprisingly, Reynolds is ‘Sharky’ and the ‘machine’ is police parlance for a team of fellow cops working with him. They are all good policemen, but for one reason or another have been relegated to unchallenging assignments, mainly in the cesspool of the vice squad.

But a hooker’s murder brings Reynolds within sniffing distance of big time shenanigans involving gubernatorial candidate Earl Holliman, crime boss Vittorio Gassman and high-priced call girl Rachel Ward.

Staking out Ward’s apartment, actor Reynolds surrenders to an infatuation with her that director Reynolds has an intersting time developing.

By the time Reynolds gets a couple of fingers sliced off by Darryl Hickman & Co, all characterization is gone and it’s just a matter then of who runs out of bullets first.

Sharky's Machine

Production

Deliverance/Orion. Director Burt Reynolds; Producer Hank Moonjean; Screenplay Gerald Di Pego; Camera William A. Fraker; Editor William Gordean; Music Al Capps (arr.); Art Director Walter Scott Herndon

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 119 MIN.

With

Burt Reynolds Vittorio Gassman Rachel Ward Brian Keith Charles Durning Earl Holliman
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