The Getaway (1972)

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Jack Scorpion, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    My newest review is on the Steve McQueen/Sam Peckinpah anti-classic.

    See it here.

    The hot debate regarding The Getaway's value as great cinema points to Steve McQueen's right to a final cut. First, he and David Foster fired Jim Thompson for his literal adaption of his novel, saying the script was too dark, too talky and too actionless... and this is about a novel that director Sam Fuller once described as "the most original gangster story ever written. I could film it without a script." Then, McQueen changed some of Peckinpah's editing choices, opting for shots that cast himself and his costar in a more glamorous, cooler light (not to mention the soundtrack change). When Peckinpah saw McQueen's changes, he reportedly shouted, "This is not my film!" and stormed out of the theater. In other words, the McQueen filter cut off Jim Thompson and Sam Peckinpah, the two principle creative forces behind the film, at the knees. That being said, you may ask: why would I, who is a fan of both Peckinpah and Thompson, like a movie that is an insult to both of their geniuses?

    While I love Thompson's dark writing style and Peckinpah's colorful directing, both artists actually can use a buffer between them and an audience (at least, most audiences). They're intense. I'm not saying that I would like a "watered-down" version of either, but I don't think that The Getaway is watered down. McQueen is not exactly a censur and his twist on the film has a flavor of its own. So it's a Jim Thompson novel that is lightened up and filled with action... So it's a Peckinpah film that is easier on the eyes and nerves... So what? It's still awesome.
     
  2. SamMarlowPI

    SamMarlowPI One Too Many

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    The Getaway is...um...

    kind of different...lol

    i'm a HUGE McQueen fan...Numero Uno...and that film just kind of sticks out and stays there for whatever reason...it's kind of random at parts and...i don't know...

    lollol

    i mean when i watch it, and someone who knows the film too asks me, "what are you watching?" and i say, "The Getaway w/ McQueen" you get an "oohh mmm *nod*" ...hahaha it's hard to explain for me...

    i'm not making any sense but it is just a very different action/gangster/prison/escape film than most...

    i don't know...but good review jack...still a fantastic, gritty, in-your-face film...
     
  3. Son_of_Atropos

    Son_of_Atropos Banned

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    The ruins of the golden era.
    The Sally Struthers parts freaked me out.
     
  4. SamMarlowPI

    SamMarlowPI One Too Many

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    that's what i was thinking when i said 'random'...lol


     
  5. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    Frankly, I hated it when I saw it in the movies back then - I don't imagine that I'd like it any more now.
     
  6. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    You definitely weren't alone back then. A lot of reviewers back then have since changed their mind, though. Give it another shot? Haha.

    Random: Yes, the film is kind of episodic... with some parts being an almost normal action film and some parts being a little more on the Jim Thompson freaky-evil-human-nature side. Not to mention the way the mood of the film changes because of McQueen's final cut changes, too.

    To me it is almost like 1970's M*A*S*H, plotless, jumping all over the genre, poking fun at it. Peckinpah said that he considered The Getaway to be "a satire," though I think he only said that after receiving a lot of negative reviews.

    One of those movies that is weird and I understand when people dislike it.... But those are generally the films that I like the most.
     
  7. Mossyrock

    Mossyrock One of the Regulars

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    Jack,

    What's your take on the 1994 remake with Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger? If nothing else, I like James Woods' take on Jack Benyon.
     
  8. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    I agree. James Woods plays that role well. Once Upon a Time in America and Against All Odds comes to mind, too.

    The '94 version as a whole... I found to be a little forgettable and much too early 90's hollywood. Glamour! Sex! That being said, it's still fun.
     
  9. Nathan Dodge

    Nathan Dodge One Too Many

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    It's too bad that Peckinpah (or the studio "suits") booted Jerry Fielding's score. Fielding's other efforts for Peckinpah films- The Wild Bunch; Junior Bonner; Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia; and The Killer Elite were all top-notch scores.
     
  10. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    McQueen booted it. Peckinpah was very angry about that and even published an apology to Fielding, saying it was out of his hands.

    And yes, it's too bad. I do not like Quincy Jones's score at all.
     

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