[REVIEW] Charley Varrick (1973) – ManlyMovie

[REVIEW] Charley Varrick (1973)


Runtime: 111 Mins
Rated: 15
What To Expect: Expertly paced heist movie from the director of Dirty Harry

Sometimes when movies are thin on the ground, and let’s face it, manly movies are getting thinner on the ground these days, you gotta go back in time and root something out of 1970s.  Back in the days when a good movie was considered to be one where manly men used their wits, to handle man business, instead of Scarlett Johansson peddling tenth-wave feminazism by beating up 7,000 enemies in front of a greenscreen.

Charley Varrick, Walther Matthau, is a smart guy, but lives in a trailer and wants to improve his standard of living. So he plots to rob the local bank of some $2,000. Instead, he nets $750,000. But the bank reports only $2,000 missing. What does that mean?  Varrick has inadvertently ripped off both the bank and The Mob.  Now, unless he uses his wits, the money is practically worthless and his edgy partner, Andrew Robinson, wants to spend it all right away. So this is one of those post-Vietnam no nonsense thrillers from the 1970s. It’s deadly serious, barely a joke or a smile are cracked throughout, one of those movies where the story is told visually with minimal dialogue but is clever nonetheless (maybe Christopher Nolan should watch this). The cons are so professional that they work intuitively and mere talking is deemed inefficient. How fucking manly can you get?

The plot-twists are reasonable and well played. The whole thing is well played in fact, fatty bullshit is kept to a minimum yet the characters are developed.  Seems like this would have been a perfect Steve McQueen vehicle only it has Matthau instead and I think my main alteration to this movie would have been casting someone else. Although it’s no big deal. Matthau is playing an early Neil McCauley here (Heat) almost.  This is a movie where you’re constantly wondering what is going to happen next.

From Don Siegel, the director of Dirty Harry and Escape From Alcatraz, we might not see an era that produced movies like this again.  Oh and it has Sheree North in it, who to my estimation has never looked hotter than she did in this film.