THE GETAWAY (SAM PECKINPAH)

year: 1972
rating: *****

The opening credit sequence alone, a montage of Steve McQueen as "Doc McCoy" in prison, shows more of the loneliness, solitude and torture of being locked up than some films that take place entirely behind bars. When he's set free on a "special parole"... he's got an assignment to rob a bank. Along with his wife and two thugs, both working for crime boss Ben Johnson... the goons played by Al Lettieri and Bo Hopkins... the heist is a success and failure both. That is, they got the money but there was a murder of a guard - and now all three robbers - Hopkins being killed by Lettieri - are on the run. This is, to me, the best action film ever made, flowling smoothly from one little adventure to the next... all enveloped within the main goal - to get to the border with the loot: our heroes having to avoid being caught by cops, killed by Lettieri, and keeping their relationship intact. The only drawback are the acting of... or rather, the non-acting of Ali McGraw... who most of the time delivers her lines as if she were heavily medicated on barbiturates; and Sally Struthers, playing Al Lettieri's moll, grates heavily on the nerves. But that stuff doesn't hinder the outcome. THE GETAWAY is pure Peckinpah perfection all the way. "Punch it, baby!"

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