Getaway [VHS]
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It's better than the 1994 remake starring Kim Basinger and husband Alec Baldwin, but this 1972 thriller relies too heavily on the low-key star power of Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, and the stylish violence of director Sam Peckinpah, reduced here to a mechanical echo of his former glory. McQueen plays a bank robber whose wife (MacGraw) makes a deal with a Texas politician to have her husband released from prison in return for a percentage from their next big heist. But when the plan goes sour, the couple must flee to Mexico as fast as they can, with a variety of gun-wielding thugs on their trail. MacGraw was duly skewered at the time for her dubious acting ability, but the film still has a raw, unglamorous quality that lends a timeless spin to the familiar crooks-on-the-lam scenario. As always, Peckinpah rises to the occasion with some audacious scenes of action and suspense, including a memorable chase on a train that still grabs the viewer's attention. Not a great film, but a must for McQueen and Peckinpah fans. --Jeff Shannon

It's better than the 1994 remake starring Kim Basinger and husband Alec Baldwin, but this 1972 thriller relies too heavily on the low-key star power of Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, and the stylish violence of director Sam Peckinpah, reduced here to a mechanical echo of his former glory. McQueen plays a bank robber whose wife (MacGraw) makes a deal with a Texas politician to have her husband released from prison in return for a percentage from their next big heist. But when the plan goes sour, the couple must flee to Mexico as fast as they can, with a variety of gun-wielding thugs on their trail. MacGraw was duly skewered at the time for her dubious acting ability, but the film still has a raw, unglamorous quality that lends a timeless spin to the familiar crooks-on-the-lam scenario. As always, Peckinpah rises to the occasion with some audacious scenes of action and suspense, including a memorable chase on a train that still grabs the viewer's attention. Not a great film, but a must for McQueen and Peckinpah fans. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • McQueen back in action
    Just checked out Warner's upcoming duo of Steve McQueen classics on HD-DVD -- "Bullitt" and "The Getaway." This is big news in guysville: Hand us a Steve McQueen action flick in a trick new video format and life is very, very good.

    It's hard to watch the old DVDs after seeing the high-def, but as with most older films processed for HD, there are a few issues.

    These movies come from a dicey period for film stock, especially "The Getaway," so they don't have the punch, pop and clarity of, say, older Technicolor titles like "Mutiny on the Bounty." Skin tones tend to be ruddy, contrasts are jacked up and some detail is lost to the darker bias. On "The Getaway," the audio sounds over processed, like when the amp goes to 11 -- I almost prefer the DVD version's sonics. The HD "Bullitt" audio nails it, though -- warm, realistic voices, great environmental detail, big bangs.

    These are quibbles because an A-B comparison is no contest at all. The old DVDs look flat and lifeless compared with the HD-DVDs. And they were decent DVDs, special editions from just a year ago. (Both of these high-def discs port over the extras from the latest DVDs. "Bullitt" has an additional extra about editing for 1080p HD. "Getaway" add several more bonus features about the movie.)

    Now that the studios have run through a lot of the easy-sell titles, we can expect more and more cool HD titles like these....more info
  • Painful
    Steve McQueen, the classic misogynist, stars as the main character, "Doc", in this really bad movie. I would speak of plot, but there really isn't one. McQueen abuses his wife in the movie all of the time and she still stays with him. Maybe because he sucessfully robbed a bank. And Sally Struthers? Don't even go there. If she annoyed you in "All in the Family" she will drive you completely insane. Then there's Rudy, the classic character actor villian. He doesn't shoot McQueen, though, so you won't find yourself rooting for him. Or "Doc"....more info
  • Not Peckinpah's best
    Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) has been granted parole by a man named Beynon under the condition that he robs a bank! Thats story idea behind this Peckinpah film. It moves along fairly slowly, until about halfway through when there is a chase scene inside a train. That was far and away the best part of the movie. Then the pace slows down again and continues that way pretty much until the end of the picture.

    Ali MacGraw is gorgeous but her acting is not. She doesn't show a moment of emotion in the whole film, and her line delivery is just plain bad. You would think that since she was actually in a real life relationship with McQueen at the time they would have some sort of on screen chemistry, but alas that is not the case.

    Steve McQueens acting, as you might expect is a little better but I think he was held back by the dialog. There isn't a lot of dialog, but when there is it isn't all that impressive or important.

    I found the sub-plot to be one of the most interesting parts of the movie. It involves a mans wife falling in love(?) with Rudy, the other criminal who is hunting down McQueen. Rudy forces a doctor and his wife to bandage up his shoulder and then forces them both to drive him to Texas. At first the wife seems to like Rudy but you think "She is just trying to lull him into a false sense of security" but then as the film goes on you see that is not the case. The fact that a woman falls in love with a bad bad man is nothing new, but to do so enthusiastically and almost defiantly in front of the man who loves you is just a horrible thing to do to someone and I found it to be the most poignant part of the entire film. I can't say as I blame the husband for his reaction.

    This isn't Peckinpahs best film. Apparently McQueen, who was a big star at the time, had a lot of sway over how the film was written, edited, and even scored; so maybe it isn't really Peckinpahs fault. Apparently he disowned the film after he saw the final cut. That may have been wise.

    My rating: 3 out of 5...more info
  • order from this seller
    item received just as promised with quick service. I would purchase from this seller again....more info
  • The Bonnie and Clyde who weren't.
    THE GETAWAY is a movie about the Bonnie and Clyde who weren't. Yet, it has more depth in the public enemy characters played by McGraw and McQueen. I could have the mood to watch this movie once a week. It is exciting like a maelstrom that sucks you into the story!! The story is incredibly spliced together by director Peckinah. Through an awful quest --the getaway-- Peckinpah managed to attach a great deal of humor to the roles of Mc Graw and Mc Queen. I've never held a brief for Struthers, but she did a dandy job of playing a veterinarian's fickle, remarkably stupid and hysterical wife. Not only was the movie exciting, but extremely intense. You have to judge whether Mc Queen and Mc Graw are going to split over her infidelity. You have to hold your breath until you determine whether Mc Queen will first elude police in hot pursuit, the elude his ex-partner, and finally elude the Texas politico-mobsters. That's why I've got the mood to watch this blitz-action movie once a week--to see if McGraw and McQueen can do it again....more info
  • Pulp Fiction at its most authentic
    I'm not so familiar with Sam Peckinpah's career as I have only seen this and The Osterman Weekend (which I hated) but you can tell from his style that he has certainly influenced a lot of modern day directors. The perfect widescreen photography, quick editing (but not a blur, I should add) and dramatic use of slow-motion give the action in The Getaway an authentic edge. And all done on a low-budget too.

    Adapted from a Jim Thompson novel by Walter Hill (his macho characteristics are all in there), the story has newly-freed jailbird Carter McCoy forced into a bank robbery by crime boss Jack Benyon. He's also forced to work with rank amateur Frank and psychotic renegade Rudy. You can tell that this dost not bode well.

    Rudy goes haywire, killing everyone in sight but is soon put out of action by McCoy, who then legs it across country with his cheating wife (the lovely Ali McGraw) and a bag full of simoleons. Down, but not out, Rudy follows him, as well as several associates of the recently deceased Jack Benyon, not to mention loads of cops.

    The film is basically one action scene after the other but it doesn't pretend to be anything other than tough-guy entertainment. I find it bizarre that this film is rated PG in America and the exact same version is rated 18 in the UK. But the blood effects in the film are pretty damn fake so it does take it out of reality a little bit. Plus there are no (audible) F-words and the nudity is minimum and quick.

    I saw the 1994 remake first and while it's passable it's not really as rustic and straight-forward as this. It was quite a pointless film and virtually identical, shot-for-shot. Everything that The Getaway has to offer is done best in this one. Unpretenious fun indeed.

    The HD DVD sports a brilliant 2.4:1 1080p transfer with Dolby Digital Plus Mono sound and loads of cool extras including an alternate music track featuring Jerry Fielding's rejected score....more info
    This is one of my favorite Steve McQueen films because it has action, romance, violence and comedy. I enjoy watching this film because every scene is in there for a reason and you find out more and more as the movie goes on. Unlike most of today's stars, you can count on a Mcqueen movie to be great, he delivers. I enjoy films by Bogart and Cagney and this film is similar to some of their films....more info
  • COOL
    Steve McQueen is the epitomy of cool and this movie proves it....more info
  • There is a reason why Steve McQueen is called the King of Cool

    ***** Out of 5

    Release Date- December 13th, 1972

    Running Time- 122-Minutes

    Rating- PG

    Screenplay- Walter Hill (Novel, Jim Thompson)

    Director- Sam Peckinpah

    Starring- Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson, Al Lettieri, Jack Dodson, Sally Struthers and Slim Pickens

    Released in 1972 The Getaway is a classic 70s crime/drama with some action mixed in and has three Hollywood legends. Writer Walter Hill best known for his cult classic The Warriors, director Sam Peckinpah and the King of Cool Steve McQueen; The Getaway has all the right talent and all of that talent is put on full display with no doubt a classic film.

    The Getaway actually holds up rather well and in some areas it is a bit dated more due to the fact this kind of film has become a staple in film and TV as well. The plot has Doc McCoy (McQueen) serving time in prison and is up for parole, but it's denied. Doc ends up being released when his wife Carol (MacGraw) sleeps Jack Beynon (Ben Johnson), but there's more to it than that. Doc also has to take part in a bank robbery, but of course things go wrong and Doc and Carol are now on the run.

    The screenplay by Walter Hill was based off a novel by Jim Thompson and since I've never read the novel I cannot comment on it. Hill though does a solid job with the script. The plot has a good structure and the characters while not the most developed are interesting and well written. The Getaway mixes crime/drama with some action and a little bit of comedy. The movie is rather serious, but there are some light moments, which work well. Walter Hill's script may not be one of the all time greats, but it works well and is very well written and interesting.

    Director Sam Peckinpah creates a masterpiece of a film with The Getaway; the biggest complaint by fans is that at times the movie can be a little boring and I would have agreed at first, but seeing it again I would now disagree. While The Getaway can be slightly slow in some spots, I always found it interesting and in the slower scenes it better establishes the main characters of Doc and Carol McCoy. Peckinpah also creates some nice suspense in spots like the bank heist and his action scenes are well staged and very exciting. The final act has a classic film shootout that has to be rated as one of the best.

    The Getaway is probably my favorite Steve McQueen movie and probably my favorite role as well. McQueen is one of the classic tough guys of cinema and we just don't have any actors like this anymore. McQueen was a great actor, but in movies like this is where he really shines. He doesn't show a whole lot of emotion, which is perfect since it wouldn't fit the character. McQueen has the no nonsense tough guy persona down to perfection and he has to rate in the very least the top 3 greatest Hollywood tough guys. Like I said Steve McQueen was perfect in movies like this. His no nonsense tough guy persona works great here as well in his other movies. And he also makes for one of the greatest action stars of all time. When Steve McQueen sadly passed away far too young in 1980 a big part of cinema died with him. The days of actors like McQueen are long gone.

    Ali MacGraw I feel gets a little too much heat from fans of the movie for her performance; while it may not go down as one of the greats I do think she handled her role well and gives a good performance. Al Lettieri is excellent as Rudy Butler who is on the hunt for Doc McCoy and Sally Struthers gives a fun performance, but in typical fashion she's also a tad bit annoying, which also leads to one of the greatest scenes when McCoy hauls off and whacks her right in the face. Slim Pickens appears in a small role and nearly steals the show.

    I love the chemistry between McQueen and Ali MacGraw; there is a little bit of trust issues between the two well more of Doc has some issues with trust, but their relationship is quite complex and interesting and it's these scenes that the power really comes from in The Getaway. And like I said MacGraw gets a little too much heat. She's acting upon side a legend in Steve McQueen. When working with such an amazing talent like Steve McQueen was it's not easy to keep up with him.

    What I love about The Getaway is the hero isn't the typical hero. Doc McCoy is a criminal and while he is likeable he also isn't really the nicest of people. Despite what he's done he is a good guy I suppose, but he's not the typical hero who always does the right thing. These days in cinema you'll be hard pressed to find characters like that. Steve McQueen delivers a brilliant performance like I said he's the no nonsense tough guy with no fear and does what he has to do to survive. There is a reason why McQueen is known as the King of Cool!

    The Getaway is a classic film and still holds up today and is just as brilliant as ever. This is a must see for McQueen fans and those who haven't seen any of his movies The Getaway is a great place to start.

    The Blu-ray release has drawn some mixed reviews. The extras are the same as the DVD and are actually kind of weak. The picture quality though is very solid, but don't expect the full Blu-ray look. The Getaway was released in 1972 and obviously won't look as good as newer releases. But the picture is solid and while I haven't seen the DVD I doubt the transfer is that much better to warrant replacing it, while there is some grain I was surprised at how good it looked. Like I said you won't get the full Blu-ray experience, but the transfer is strong. The sound quality is weak though and that's the biggest flaw for the BD. The aspect ratio is 2.35: 1 and not 1.85: 1 like listed on the back of the cover. Overall the BD release was good, but if you have the DVD there is no need for this. I got the movie for under $20 so I would recommend the Blu-ray for the right price if not you might be better off with the DVD....more info
  • Looks much better than the original... still
    This version looks much better than the original DVD. However, it shows it is an old movie and this has much more to do with the original equipment and filming techniques than with digital format. If you are a Steve McQueen fan as I am, do not hesitate. Buy it. If you're not, stick with the old standard or special edition versions....more info
  • Scenes From A Marriage
    This 1972 movie directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Steve McQueen as Doc McCoy and Ali MacGraw as his wife Carol deserves to be seen again and certainly is worth the viewer's time. Based on a novel by Jim Thompson "The Getaway" essentially is the tale of a recently-sprung convict who must perform a bank robbery to pay back a character named Beynon who has pulled strings to spring him. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong in this perfect robbery so we have this genre film that never slows up.

    The film, however, is also about a marriage, its ups and downs, what can go wrong, how a cuckolded husband handles his wife's infidelity. etc. Certainly the best thing in the movie is McQueen's usual understated performance. While he is not Marlon Brando, he doesn't have to be. A man of few words, he acts with both his face and body. Initially I thought Ali MacGraw (of "Love Story" fame) was going to be only mildly pretty with a great mane of hair, but she does rise to the occasion and is quite good as the wife who makes the sacrifice of adultery to get her husband out of jail. The scenes between this couple work and sometimes sizzle; the fact that they were having some kind of an affair off-screen during the filming of "The Getaway" probably didn't hurt either. (MacGraw left her husband Robert Evans and married McQueen soon after the completion of the movie.) Sally Struthers has a strange role (the Patricia Hurst syndrome?) as a women who is kidnapped, along with her husband, by one of McCoy's cohorts who double-crosses him and is left for dead by McCoy and his wife. It is never clear whether or not she is brainwashed by her captor although she appears to like her new position in life a lot more than her dire circumstances call for. Then there is the obligatory car chase scene, not as good as the one in "Bullitt" but exciting just the same.

    As we would expect from the director of "Straw Dogs" "The Getaway" has enough violence for the most bloodthirsty viewer. This is, after all, a film about a bank robbery. On the other hand, McCoy appears to be a decent man if only left alone, if you disregard his profession. He only kills when absolutely necessary.

    The opening scenes from the film that show the frustration and pent-up emotions of prisoners are extremely well done and probably had an influence years later on the makers of the extraordinary prison series "Oz." Finally, the ending of "Getaway" was something totally new for this kind of movie.

    The DVD edition has commentary by Peckinpah, McQueen and MacGraw that is worth watching. ...more info
  • Tough, Solid Crime Story
    Comparing this to the 1994 re-make which I saw a few times before I saw this "original," I'd say there was less sex but more violence. This was a pretty rough film and it's interesting to note the "PG." Today, this would be rated at minimum PG-13.

    Also, a contrast between the two films, language-wise: back then you'd hear a lot more usage of the Lord's name in vain; nowadays, the f-word is more popular. Good guy Steve McQueen in here never utters a bad word and is still a tough, no-nonsense kind of guy. The rest of the characters are the same. There are no "talk before I shoot" hokey scenes or people missing from point-blank range.

    McQueen is great, as usual, and the rest of the cast is pretty interesting, too, from sleazy Sally Struthers (pre-"All In The Family" days) to "Love Story's" Ali McGraw to old-timers Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens.

    With either this or the re-make, you get a solid crime-action story with "The Getaway."...more info
  • Getting away with it
    One of the many things that gives 1972's The Getaway the edge over its now almost-forgotten remake is that, unlike Alec Baldwin, Steve McQueen doesn't act like a movie star - he is a movie star. From the days when cool was what you were, not what you wore or owned, the plot itself is nothing special: Steve McQueen's bank robber is sprung from jail to pull a job with wife Ali MacGraw and has to hightail it to Mexico with both the relentless double-crossing Al Lettieri and numerous Texas mobsters in hot pursuit. Like most chase thrillers, you've seen it before: it's what Peckinpah does with it that counts, and Peckinpah does plenty. Most of Peckinpah's usual trademarks can be found in the margins, from children's fascination with violence to the Hellfire and brimstone preacher whose radio sermon goes unheard, and the action scenes are superbly staged - especially the hotel shootout and the lovingly filmed shooting up of a police car - but just as importantly he keeps a clear focus on his characters. The film's emotional terrain is as harsh as the barren landscape the ensuing chase is set against, with the odds on McQueen and MacGraw's marriage making it just as touch-and-go as whether they will make it across the border in one piece, their road to possible marital redemption through ordeal mirrored with the fast-track to Hell that hostage couple Sally Struthers and Jack Dodson take chauffeuring Lettieri's perverse wounded animal on their trail.

    It's probably Sam Peckinpah's last truly successful film before self-indulgence, laziness and too much booze and drugs took their toll on his work. True, it's a purely commercial piece that has none of the personal passion that drove The Wild Bunch or The Ballad of Cable Hogue, but it's put together with a level of genuine artistry that's way above the norm for the genre: the editing of the first twenty minutes alone, with its freeze-frames and non-linear structure, is remarkably adventurous and successful. Both perfectly representing the state of mind and frustration and disorientation of McQueen's character in a way that is both complex and yet entirely accessible and transforming what could have been bog-standard exposition into something much more memorable, it's strikingly effective. Far more entertaning than it has any right to be.

    (On an incidental note, although Walter Hill claimed that little of his screenplay made it to the screen (the bleak ending of Jim Thompson's novel is replaced by a much sweeter and more optimistic one), it's interesting to note how much of the film he would rework in his own The Driver, from the destruction of a car in a key setpiece to the train sequence with a very (un)lucky bagman.)

    Warners' 2.35:1 widescreen DVD is a good transfer, with a brief 'virtual commentary' by Peckinpah and the two stars drawn from radio interviews, a full-length commentary byPeckinpah biographers and the film's strikingly awful original theatrical trailer.
    ...more info
  • Still a Great Getaway
    I was pleasantly surprised at how will this film stands-up. It's perhaps even more enjoyable today than it was back in 1972. Next to recent action flicks, Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway is a positively refreshing breath of fresh air. The 1994 re-make with Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger (directed by Roger Donaldson)has steamier sex and a little more action, but it lacks the suspense, authenticity, attention to detail and stylistic flair that Peckinpah brings to his film.

    This 1972 film at first seems almost leisurely paced. when you put it against recent slam-bang over the type action films. It's not, it's just not as hyped up or phony as most action films tend to be these days. This is a neo-noir chase film. It's about details and character. You get a sense of place from the film, you feel like you are watching characters that have a basis in reality, not in film. There are sleazy characters, but they are portrayed neither as brilliant geniuses, nor as psycho killers, but as villains who aren't too bright, and have a dogged determination to get their work done. . . hopefully having a little fun in the process. The rather spare action sequences are set up with important details and there isn't an overabundance of pyrotechnics or of cartoonish exaggeration It's downright refreshing today to see a film like this. I even appreciated Quincy Jones soundtrack which employs a wide variety of sounds, instruments and styles to help keep things interesting.

    Now this film has a big-time movie STAR as its central character, not just any STAR though, but the quintessential anti-hero movie star. The man who moved like a panther, and had a strong solid presence which never needed to be sold to us. Few had Steve McQueen's intense macho charisma (it was Bogart re-invented) . McQueen didn't need to earn his charisma, he exuded it. A few determined looks and you knew you were dealing with a guy who played things by his own rules. Women were turned on by his sex appeal, most men wouldn't have minded being McQueen. Never mind his private life, on-screen McQueen towered above all the Bronsons, and Eastwoods around him. He was a better actor too.

    He was a good actor for Sam Peckinpah to work with. They made two films together (Junior Bonner and The Getaway) and both are quite good. Sam, like McQueen also did things his way. Peckinpah drove studio executives crazy, was a difficult person for anyone to deal with but had a unique genius vision of how films should be made and fought hard to be able to make them his way. For a while he won the battles against the studio executives and then ultimately he lost and drank too much and turned out a few less than stellar films. His masterpiece is The Wild Bunch- and that film is so good on so many different levels it deserves to be right next to the finest masterpieces of film ever made.

    The Getaway isn't a masterpiece. For one thing it's got a huge weight around it's neck. That weight is named Ali McGraw. Sure, during the filming of The Getaway, McQueen and McGraw became a huge ITEM which led to a torrid long lasting very mercurial relationship off-screen-but none of their real life heat is evident in the film. Ali McGraw can not act. She's not completely wooden, but she's never convincing in any scene where she is expected to emote. Peckinpah picked her to be an ice princess, but she never convinces us she's very tough or particularly icy. The closest she comes is somewhat detached -- as in somewhat lost.

    Her part is not unique enough that the film needs her to be great actress, and so the film is not done in by her. Indeed, there's too many good things about the film for that to happen.

    Walter Hill( who would later direct 48 hours, The Warriors, The Driver, Long Riders, etc) wrote an excellent adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel for Peckinpah to direct. Since not one of the principal characters in the film are good or decent people, we are dealing with a film about crooks. Low life crooks, middle of the road crooks and rich crooks with political influence and power. Peckinpah casts this world perfectly (with the exception of Ali McGraw).

    Most memorable is the garbage truck sequence late in the film. My favorite is the scene with Slim Pickens.

    The Getaway is an excellent film despite it's McGraw flaw because of the way Peckinpah, Hill, and McQueen approach the material. It's more character and detail based than action/chase films usually are, but does deliver enough of what the people want to be thoroughly entertaining.

    ...more info

  • McQueen / MacGraw flee a Texas bank robbery gone wrong...
    Adapted from the Jim Thompson novel of the same name, "The Getaway" script was originally suggested to McQueen by his then wife, Neile as a strong action vehicle to please McQueen's fans looking for Steve to play another moody, rebellious anti-hero.

    And a good choice it was....controversial director Sam Peckinpah again produced his unique chemistry with this violent, fast moving film about Texas bank robber Carter "Doc" McCoy (McQueen) paroled from prison with the help of corrupt politician Jack Benyon (Ben Johnson). McCoy and his wife Carol (MacGraw) must then rob a bank for Benyon with the assistance of Rudy Butler & Frank Jackson (Al Lettieri & Bo Hopkins). However, an intended double cross is soon evident and Doc & Carol McCoy are then running for their lives to Mexico with $750,000 in stolen money, with the injured Rudy Butler, and Jack Benyons vicious henchmen in hot pursuit.

    And those on screen sparks between McQueen & MacGraw are real, contributed to by their torrid off-screen romance that would eventually see them become husband and wife !

    McQueen was at his on-screen toughest since his role in "Bullitt"(1968) and certain scenes (such as where McCoy shoots up a police car with a pump action shotgun in slow motion) were inserted at Steve's request, because he felt that's what his fans wanted to see !!

    The quality of this DVD is very good, with only some minor dissapointments in the sound area. If you are a McQueen fan...then "The Getaway" DVD definitely belongs in your collection !...more info

  • "The Getaway" with Steve McQueen
    No glitzy special effects or mushy love scenes here...just a hard-core action film about an ex-con named "Doc" McCoy (McQueen) and his wife (MacGraw) trying to keep their relationship intact amid an unfair criminal justice system, a bank heist, double crosses, car chases and some serious shoot-outs as they make a dash for the Mexican border with a bag full of stolen cash. The final gun battle at the motel is classic, as is the touching scene when the couple share part of their loot with a crusty old cowboy (played by Slim Pickens) whose pick-up truck they have commandeered near the border. Anyone who finds fault with "The Getaway" deserves a gut dose of McCoy's 12-gauge. The 1994 remake was just that...a remake. This original rules!...more info
  • He didn't make it. Neither did you!
    If one is just sick and tired of the mindless bloodbaths that action films have become, just take a look at THE GETAWAY, the tremendous 1972 action film from a master director in the form, the late Sam Peckinpah.

    Steve McQueen stars as Doc McCoy, a bank robber sitting out the years in Hunstville State Prison in Texas who is given his parole, but with a string attached: By order of the parole board chairman (Ben Johnson), he must pull off a bank robbery and, with any luck, not get anyone in the bank killed. The robbery, as initially pulled off by two associates (Al Lettieri, Bo Hopkins) goes fine...until an injured guard reaches for his pistol, and Hopkins has to shoot.

    This sets off a series of close calls for both McQueen and his wife (Ali MacGraw). Hopkins is killed by Lettieri during their escape; and McQueen, realizing this (when Lettieri tells him, "He (Hopkins) didn't make it. Neither did you."), wounds Lettieri. But after Johnson is killed by MacGraw, McQueen learns that the two were sleeping together, spawning a mutual lack of trust that goes for a good deal of the film.

    Johnson's henchmen and Lettieri are both after the pair; and this results in a stunning gun battle at the Laughlin Hotel (run by Peckinpah stalwart Dub Taylor) in El Paso. After killing their foes, McQueen and MacGraw get an old-timer (Slim Pickens) to drive them across the border into Mexico.

    Peckinpah's assmebling of the action scenes is far superior than almost any of his imitators. The explosions of bloody violence that were part-and-parcel of THE WILD BUNCH and STRAW DOGS are not in as great abundance here, but there is enough so that the 'PG' rating could be upped to 'PG-13'. McQueen is as good as always, and I didn't have the same problem that a lot of others seem to have with MacGraw. Quincy Jones also provides a good score (though that score was put in at McQueen's insistence [his company First Artists distributed the film] over the one done by Peckinpah favorite Jerry Fielding).

    A top-notch film, infinitely superior to the 1994 remake, THE GETAWAY was Peckinpah's most financially successful movie of all time; and the end result shows why....more info

  • Who Sam really wanted to play the Carol Ainsley McCoy role.
    Well, it wasn't Ali MacGraw for sure. Sam wanted and promissed the role to Stella Stevens. Stella was stunning in Sam's "The Balad Of Cable Hogue" and should have been nominated for an Oscar for it. Sam was also impressed, as it turned out to be her role of a lifetime. Sam couldn't sell it to the head of Paramount, Robert Evans though, and being married to Ali as Robert was at the time, Ali got the McCoy role for "The Getaway" instead of Stella. The movie is much poorer for it....more info
  • Best movie McQueen ever made
    1972 was a vintage year in Hollywood, like 1939 (Gone with the Wind & Wizard of Oz). With Prime Cut (Lee Marvin), The Getaway represents, IMO, the pinnacle of American action films. Great characters, locales, snapshots of local American culture & it just moves moves moves, like a really good movie should. The chemistry between McQueen & McGraw in this one is sensational! Forget people who sob about disloyalty to Jim Thompson. His novels are great but don't make great films unless they are rethought as films (see Coup de Torchon - another super rendering)....more info
  • The remake is much better
    Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw play lovers on the lam; she helped to bust him out of prison, but they owe a local crime lord one last heist. Sam Peckinpah is a very good action director, and those sequences do work, as do the scenes that open the film: McQueen is prison, thinking about the things dearest to him (including MacGraw). The story, though, plods along, until the climatic shootouts. I saw the 1994 remake directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, and James Woods, and I thought that it was much more stylish, sensual, and was better acted. Check that one out instead....more info
    THE HD DVD transfer for the 1972 version of The Getaway is excellent. Very sharp and color saturated. The soundtrack could have been improved beyond the 2 channel by adding some surround effects which are few to none. Some friends have reported some sound synchronization issues in chapter 13 when played in the second generation TOSHIBA HD players. Hopefully this will be corrected with the firmware update already available from TOSHIBA.
    By the way, the aspect ratio for this film is 2.35:1 and NOT 1.85:1 as advertised.
    Overall, a very good enjoyable addition to the HD collection....more info
  • A bad script saved by sex, violence and character actors!
    The title of this review sums it up! The script was probably written on toilet paper or cocktail knapkins. The plot goes something like this; bad dude armed robber emerges from the slammer to pick up the loot and get out of Dodge City. Other bad guys try to stop him. Ex Con finds out his old lady was banging the opposition while he was in slammer. Paybacks are a [...]! The producer had to save this movie by filming some steamy scenes with McGraw & McQueen (plus others) and then getting allot of action scenes to wake everyone up for the steamy stuff! Some of the bad guys are just too animated to be taken seriously - you want to hear them say their lines in Japanese so you don't have a clue but it is funny! (Unless you actually speak Japanese - then you wish for Russian) ...more info
  • Tough, exciting action movie
    This is a mean, tough action movie featuring Steve McQueen as a cool, calculating bank robber. Real-life wife Ali McGraw co-stars with him. As usual, McQueen's charisma is the standout of the movie, and the plot is exciting and very fast paced. Ben Johnson as McQueen's nemesis is also outstanding. Note: I wouldn't show this movie to little kids, though. In addition to the violence and profanity, "The Getaway's" main characters (McQueen & McGraw) actually profit from their crimes and escape justice, as well as thrash the police at every confrontation. Not a good morality lesson for the youngsters....more info
  • Extremely boring
    The Getaway is one of the most non-involving action films I've seen in a while. It features characters that aren't likeable, settings that are dull, chases that move at a sluggish pace, and just an overall lack of action or compelling drama. With the exception of the last shootout, the movie is a complete bore. Stick with Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, Cross of Iron, or even the slightly underrated Killer Elite....more info
  • Bad Guy Wins
    Peckinpah generally says it all. Plenty of violence and chases with McQueen giving it his dour, minimalist acting. There really aren't any good guys in this, so the least bad of the baddies ends up the winner. The plot is nothing new - bad guy gets out of prison and is forced into one more big job. Ali MacGraw is just so-so as the wife who would do anything to get her man out of the slammer, but she and McQueen make a good pairing for this action flick. A must-see for McQueen fans....more info