(Review originally written at 13 November 2009)

Director Sam Peckinpah was known in the '70's for making violent action movies. Violence that we are used to know but was still all something new and provoking at its time. You could say that he helped to define the genre, since you also have to remember that action wasn't really considered to be much of a genre at the early '70's. There were movies with action sequences in it of course but these often would be put under a more different label, such as thriller, war, adventure or even drama. The action was never what the movies were fully truly were about, while Sam Peckinpah movies were.

Still Peckinpah movies also have an amazing depth to it, due to the way they are being build up and the story is being told. "The Getaway is a movie with criminals and action in it but at the same time the story also manages to be a love drama, when the relationship of the two main characters of the movie is being put under pressure. The two of them float away from each other and at times they are clinging on to each other again, since after all they seemed to be made for each other and form a perfect couple.

Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw form this love duo and even though MacGraw wasn't much of a great actress, the two still form one of the best and strangely also sweetest screen couples. In real life McQueen and MacGraw would also marry one year later but like most Hollywood marriages it ended in divorce, only a few years later.

McQueen is of course perfectly cast, as he is undoubtedly being the king of cool and all. McQueen was one of the only actors who could do dull and lame stuff and still making it like extremely cool. But he is not the only great actor in the movie. Even though Slim Pickens plays a very small part, it still is a very memorable one, which is for most part due to his great performance of it. Al Lettieri was one of the greatest '70's movie villains, which villainous roles in movies such as "The Godfather" and "Mr. Majestyk" as well, before his early death in 1975. It was not just his acting that often made him a memorable villain but also certainly his menacing look helped a lot. Other fine actors that appear in this movie are Richard Bright and Ben Johnson, among others.

It's a real '70's movie, meaning that it has some renewing editing and camera-work. It's a fast cut movie, with an average shot length of 3.5 seconds. This of course helps making this a real action movie, for the movie itself isn't even really action filled with shoot outs or car chases. It above all things remains a movie that relies on its well written script, that is given real depth by the directing approach of Sam Peckinpah and the acting performances of the lead cast.

A superior constructed and told action-flick from the early '70's.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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