Sunday, March 25, 2012

Charley Varrick (1973)

Wow, what a smooth little crime film this is. Two of my favorite bad-asses, Joe Don Baker & John Vernon, play the villains in this tale of a small-town bank robbery that coincidentally results in the ripping off of $750, 000 of Mafia money. The "lucky" bank robber is played by Walter Matthau of all people, whose mere presence casts a slightly goofy feel to this otherwise gritty little caper.

Matthau is really good overall and the film itself is just so well executed. I think John Vernon is one of the most underrated characters ever, he has two wonderful scenes in the movie, one in which he subtly threatens Mr. Roper from "Three's Company" while pushing a little girl on a swing, and another in-which he ponders the joy of being a cow while subtly threatening the bank manager of the bank that was robbed. The real star of the movie though is Joe Don Baker as a cool, cold-blooded hitman hired to track and kill Matthau whose named Molly. He is excellent in this movie.

-- Popkoff

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