Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 3 July 2008
This 1972 movie directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Steve McQueen as Doc McCoy and Ali MacGraw as his wife gets played on my dvd player regularly when i get boozed up. It is essentially 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 from prison. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong in this perfect robbery so we have this genre film that never slows up.
The film (penned by Walter Hill), 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 (famous in the 1970's) 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 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.)
As we would expect from the director of the over-rated "Straw Dogs" and the brilliant "The Wild Bunch", 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 music, cinematography and the editing are second to none.
The amazing extras on this version are an audio commentary from DVD producer Nick Redman and authors Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle. Also a 'Virtual' audio commentary with 1973 radio recordings of Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw and Sam Peckinpah discussing the movie.