Peckinpah does Peckinpah. In one of his most hard-bitten roles, taciturn McQueen is released on a parole arranged for by his wife, MacGraw, who slept with Johnson to get the political big shot to pull the strings. He wants McQueen to lead a group of professional thieves on a bank raid,
so McQueen organizes the small band, including MacGraw as a getaway driver and cocky Lettieri and Hopkins as gun-happy goons.
Through an elaborate plan, McQueen and cohorts successfully rob the Southwestern bank of $500,000, but Hopkins spoils the caper by panicking and killing a guard. When the thieves rendezvous, McQueen learns that Lettieri has murdered Hopkins. The gunman tells him, "He didn't make it... neither did
you," as he draws a gun. McQueen has anticipated the double cross and is quicker, however, blasting several shots into Lettieri's chest. McQueen now realizes that Johnson has set him up.
This violent film, typical of Peckinpah's slam-bang action movies, relentlessly depicts ruthless robbery and murder, not to mention adultery, kidnaping, bribery, extortion, and general mayhem. The vivid direction and lightning pace, however, make the film completely fascinating as the culprits
attempt to destroy each other, and the viewer finds himself actually rooting for McQueen and MacGraw, thieves though they are, hoping they'll get away. No one in this film is honorable or attractive, emphatically symbolized in one cynical Peckinpah scene in which, to escape detection, McQueen and
MacGraw hide in a garbage truck and are dumped, along with their stolen loot, in a vast waste area.
Lettieri gives a wonderful study in evil, and Struthers is the ultimate repugnant tramp, obsessed with the gunman's guns and menacing manner, encouraging him to murder her husband. MacGraw is just a waste of time, having no acting ability at all and projecting the attitude of a spoiled rich girl
whose Neiman-Marcus charge card has been taken away. But in retrospect, perhaps her blankness deserves another look.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1972
- Rating: PG
- Review: Peckinpah does Peckinpah. In one of his most hard-bitten roles, taciturn McQueen is released on a parole arranged for by his wife, MacGraw, who slept with Johnson to get the political big shot to pull the strings. He wants McQueen to lead a group of profes… (more)