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4.1 out of 5 stars58
4.1 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 18 July 2009
I was interested to see the reviews were evenly spread down the stars.

I would go for four stars as an mediocre Clint film is still a good watch.

Do Clint's characters never ever understand that dealing with the baddies is the easiest part of his job as a hard bitten cop. His biggest problems come from his own colleagues and the police department particularity the commissioner or mayor.

He has his set of values which he upholds but they are always invariably corrupt to the core either giving into political demands or the mob in this case.

You have to suspend believe that if the whole police department and the mob were after you and are prepared to expend thousand of rounds that somehow all you will gets is a bullet in the leg.

Also you know if Sondra Locke is in the film you will get a squint at her naked chest which goes down well.Some baddies will try to rape her but Clint metes out appropriate justice. No cautions or community service for them Also you have to believe that hard bitten hookers would fall for down trodden cops who initially they hate.

You know if a sharp shooter turns up in a helicopter against one man on a motorbike that the helicopter comes off worse ( James Bond also used to sort out helicopters )

The final scene is fairly unbelievable but you know Clint has a job to do and he will do it. He delivers his witness to the court house in one piece confronts the baddies and sorts them out.

What did they expect ?

Not his best film but definitely worth a few looks.The Times gave it film choice but said it was dumber than usual. They were wrong.

They were right when they said it made the A team look true to life.
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The film though somewhat far-fetched is hugely entertaining, I've not watched this
1977 movie for some time, glad I took time-out to re-visit it.
'Phoenix' Cop 'Ben Shockley' has never quite achieved his ambition to be involved
and solve that one big case. these days he tends to drink too much.
He has been chosen by 'Commissioner Blakelock' (William Prince) to escort a key
-witness '''Prostitute' 'Gus Mally'(Sandra Locke) from 'Vegas' back to 'Phoenix' for
what 'Ben' (Clint Eastwood) has been told is a nothing trial.
The assignment is one that he will soon learn is one that he's not expected to complete.
When he learns there is a book running on his and 'Mally's' chances of completion with
odds of 50-1 and rising.
The fears that 'Mally' has are soon realized as they become under threat from the word
Going to 'Vegas' Airport for a flight to 'Phoenix' no longer an option after a Police ambush
at 'Mally's' home where the two had stopped off for her to change her clothing.
'Ben' after a little bit of logical thinking from 'Mally' begins to realize he'd been chosen as
a no hoper, in fact expendable, he realizes that there has to be a conspiracy which stems
from his 'Phoenix' headquarters itself.
The nothing trial could well be high-profile, 'Mob' related in fact.
After another set-up situation the two face a hazardous and eventful journey to 'Phoenix'
What 'Ben' hasn't counted upon however is the explosive welcome that awaits them in
Many exciting incidents along the way as 'Officer Shockley' attempts to complete the
mission he'd been give against all odds.
The picture quality is much better than some of the upgrades I've seen of 'Clint's' in recent
years.......although a 'U.S' Import purchase, the good news is that it is 'Region-Free'
( 'Clint Eastwood' and 'Sandra Locke' were partners in real-life 1976- 1983 )
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A one-time Steve McQueen-Barbra Streisand vehicle until McQueen met Streisand, and subsequently a Clint Eastwood-Streisand vehicle until Eastwood met Streisand, The Gauntlet sees Clint sending up his Dirty Harry image as a none-too-smart washed out drunken cop escorting Sondra Locke's foul-mouthed "nothing witness in a nothing trial" from Las Vegas to Phoenix and finding the Mob and every cop in two States determined to stop them - even the Vegas bookies are taking bets on ever-lengthening odds (70-1) on their not making it. From the days when Clint still made films in broad daylight and could film interiors without turning all the lights out and seen as wildly over the top at the time (even the famed Frank Frazetta poster art offered Clint as a Conan-esque muscular figure in ripped shirt with girl in one arm and gun in the other), now it's almost an exercise in naturalism for the genre. Sure there's more firepower on display that in all of Eastwood's previous films combined (including both Where Eagles Dare and Kelly's Heroes!), with cars, houses and buses shot to pieces with gleeful abandon while helicopters crash into power lines, but somehow Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack's script manages to sell the increasing absurdities in a perfectly conceived audience picture that's designed to entertain and does just that.

There's a nice line in self-deprecating wit that never quite crosses the line into outright stupidity and Eastwood's tight direction keeps the action moving without losing sight of the fact that it's the characters that really need to sell the film. Just as importantly the onscreen relationship between Eastwood and Locke hadn't overstayed its welcome yet as it quickly would over their subsequent films, their initial vicious sparring giving way to genuinely convincing tenderness in the later scenes, giving you a pair you can actually root for. Great fun if you're not expecting gritty realism - like the end credit says, `Law enforcement procedures depicted in this film do not necessarily depict those of any law enforcement agency mentioned herein.' No **** Sherlock.

Warner's UK 2.35:1 widescreen DVD has slightly better picture quality than the US release but, like the region-free US Blu-ray release, does not include the original theatrical trailer from that issue.
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I was hoping that this wouldn't be just a rehash of Magnum and happily it isn't.

Alcoholic cop Ben Shockley (Eastwood) is a bit washed up and is chosen to transport a prostitute Gus Malley (Locke) to court. She is to testify in some minor crime, but unknown to Ben is that the defendant is a powerful mobster who will rather see Gus dead and buried. What turns out to be a routine transfer turns into a fight for life with most of the Police tricked into thinking that Ben is dangerous and needs to be stopped.

Well paced action film with a bus that must have inspired the A-Team!

At the current price of 3GBP it is an Eastwood bargain not to be missed
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VINE VOICEon 7 August 2014
A classic Clint Eastwood action adventure, with a very simple plot with a good excuse for explosive action sequences one after the other. This is a decent story, of two conflicting personalities slowly appreciating and caring for each other in the midst of trying to survive attempts on their life. But Eastwood makes sure we know his character is a rough-around-the-edges type, with his opening scenes filled with plenty of tough talking, face slapping and alcohol drinking. He’s not a bad guy, just a little out of sorts.

Locke is wonderful as the feisty Mally, her second of six films alongside her then lover Eastwood. Here he gives as good as she gets and is a joy to watch, always playing a tough yet fragile female role against the misogynistic Eastwood alpha-male.

Lots of attention goes to the action sequences, domino falling from one to the next as the two make their way back to Pheonix to testify against a corrupt police chief. From blazing shootouts, dangerous car chases and helicopter assaults, each sequence is full of great choreography and stunt work, making this one of Eastwood’s most explosive action films to satisfy his fans.

It’s memorable enough to be enjoyed, with basic characters and a basic story getting you though 110 minutes of fun, frantic and foul-mouthed Clint nostalgia.
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on 18 December 2007
In the 1970s films became more violent. No doubt about it. And The Gauntlet is unquestionably a violent film. Buildings are reduced to rubble, vehicles are shot to pieces, people are pumped full of lead, and plenty of blood is spilled.... all in the name of entertainment! This noisy Clint Eastwood vehicle is good fun, with lots of exciting sequences, though thoroughly unbelievable pretty much from the start.

Honest, hard-working Phoenix cop Ben Shockley (Eastwood) is sent by Comissioner Blakelock (William Prince) to bring in a prostitute who may be able to provide key testimony in a high profile trial. But from the moment Shockley meets Gus Malley (Sondra Locke), he suddenly finds himself in the firing line.... and it's not the usual bad guys who are after him, but the cops. Seems Malley's testimony could implicate a major police figure in sleaze and scandal, and the man in question is none other than Shockley's boss Comissioner Blakelock. Shockley attempts to get his witness back to Phoenix, despite the fact that every cop on the force has been ordered by Blakelock to gun the pair of them down.

The climactic sequence, in which Eastwood and Locke head for Phoenix City Hall in an armour-plated bus while sharp-shooters try to blast the living hell out of the vehicle, is truly astounding. As a destructive set piece not many sequences can rival it even to this day. The film contains many similarly noisy, destructive, memorable scenes. Admittedly, there are times when believability is markedly lacking (e.g the bit where Clint and Sondra are pursued by a helicopter while aboard a motorbike - and the sniper aboard the helicopter repeatedly fails to gun them down). However, on the whole The Gauntlet is good fun. Switch your brain down a gear or two and enjoy....
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on 23 August 2013
This is THE ONE!If you only ever watch one Clint Eastwood movie in your life this is it.Ben Shockley is a burnt out cop sent to pick up a nothing witness for a nothing trial?Well,the nothing trial unbeknown to Shockley is closer to home than he knows?He must collect Gus Mally from lock-up halfway across the country back to his own station.Along the way,we have mishaps in attempts at Killing Shockly and his prisoner in the form of,Blown up ambulances,shot up cat house,ambushed check points,a run in with bikers and a runaway train only to finish his journey with prisoner in hand in a metal plated bus entering the city getting shot at from all angles.Plenty of action and gunfire.A real triumph.....CLASSIC.
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on 16 March 2005
A modern fable from Eastwood wherein Prince Charming is a washed-up alcoholic cop with a bad case of burn-out, the Princess in peril is a foul-mouthed, smartass skinny white hooker and the dragons and villains in need of slaying are bikers, crooked cops and sky-diving helicopters.
Always an artist with a rare eye for taking a risk, Eastwood experiments with a movie that takes the cop action/drama genre and cross breeds it with an urban fairy tale of fantastical proportions. Intended as a piece of slick entertainment rather than a gritty, realistic message movie to be taken seriously, The Gauntlet just about works on the level it is pitched at.
Obviously, no one could ralistically survive the sustained hail of bullets that Eastwood and Locke do throughout it's running time and no law enforcement agency in the civilised worls would be allowed to dispense such firestorms at just two people. If you accept that this film is essentially a shadowy cop fantasy rather than a neo-realistic expose of, say, police corruption, then you may get a fair deal of enjoyment out of it. If you can't, then you probably won't.
Not the most satisfactory of Clint's efforts, it has to be said, yet definitely worth a look for the fans and those willing to suspend disbelief.
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on 28 August 2015
As an Eastwood fan I feel that this is the worst film he ever made, scenes that were beyond belief, for example Clint and Sondra Locke are holed up in a house and about 10 police cars turn up with alsorts of powerful guns and completely demolish the house, it collapses and yet both stars escape unhurt!! give me strength.
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on 14 March 2014
Mr Eastwood offers us an important message while gleefully sending himself up."Important message"I hear you doubtfully ask,but yes.Every scene in this film skillfully deals with the abuse of power to one degree or another.Funny.Over the top and intelligent.
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