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on 4 November 2012
The Seventies churned out a lot of thrilling crime films that had existential characters, cool and style, this is essential seventies crime film that ranks with thrillers of the same genre like The Getaway, Bullit and The Driver. The Outfit also makes a good companion piece to John Boorman's brilliant, "Point Blank" (1967) as both were adapted from the Richard Stark's novels and both are thrilling Crime films. The Outfit is the violent tale of Earl Macklin a criminal who finds out his brother has been murdered by a Crime Syndicate run by a calm yet weary boss played brilliantly by Robert Ryan. Macklin with his old pal Cody (Joe Don Baker) sets out on a mission of vengeance as he hits out against the Syndicate stealing money from their gambling games. Robert Duvall plays Macklin with a calm nihilistic quality he seems more concerned with getting money out of Syndicate than getting revenge. Joe Don Baker plays an amusing yet violent buddy and Karen Black plays Macklin's girl. Many components makes this a film to watch: the downbeat direction and a doomed atmosphere, action-fuelled plot and an ending that defies 70s crime film conventions and clichés. This is a very good DVD release boasting collectable artwork front cover and a very good transfer.
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on 12 August 2013
Based on a Richard Stark novel ,Ex-convict Robert Duvall hunts for the man who killed his brother.Finally confronting the mob boss Robert Ryan.Great supporting cast including Joe Don Baker, Richard Jaeckel,Elisha Cook Jr ,Karen Black and the lovely Joanna Cassidy in one of her very early films.The film is very violent and does not pull any punches.This film is a must for any movie buff.
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on 27 June 2011
If anyone is worried about buying these remastered copies,don`t be,they are still 100% better than vhs,and my vhs was one of the best ntsc tapes I ever had,top mafia action movie as well,hard to get before this came out,go buy.
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VINE VOICEon 24 April 2013
This 1973 film hands Robert Duvall a starring role as Macklin, a small-time crook, just released from prison. He learns that the Syndicate are after him, and have killed his brother, as they were unaware that they had stolen money from this `Outfit'. Accompanied by his girlfriend (Karen Black), he enlists the help of his friend Cody ( Joe Don Baker), and sets out to get revenge. He does this by robbing all of the undercover operations run on behalf of The Outfit, stealing a fortune in the process. Over time, he gets ever nearer to the head of this anonymous organisation ( Robert Ryan, in one of his last films), becoming a thorn in their side.
This feels like a B film, in every way imaginable, yet is none the worse for that. The 1970′s cars and clothes, the flat colours of the cinematography, and uninspired locations, all seem to add to the atmospheric feel. The lead actors are all suitably dowdy, and therefore more believable, and there are a few wonderfully overblown cameos from some bit-part actors on the way.
This is certainly not a landmark film, but it is interesting, and different, so worth a watch.
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on 31 July 2015
This was One of those gritty Crime thrillers that could only have come out of the 70's.Duvall plays Earl Macklin, just out of prison who is determined to find the Man who killed his Brother.The director John Flynn lets the story play out slowly but it all builds up to a satisfying conclusion with some brilliantly staged action scenes and a bit of violence thrown in for good measure.A Classic of the genre.
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on 10 May 2015
WONDERFUL THRILLER with Robert Duvall from his Godfather period and Joe Don Baker (see also his great cool performance in Charley Varrick).
Love these movies where a minority force takes on a much larger crime organisation. A really good convincing tough movie.
If you like this style of movie see also PRIME CUT with Lee Marvin, the stunning MALONE with Burt Reynolds and the 'melon movie' - Mr Majestyk - with Charles Bronson.
All superb action movies. KAN
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on 21 December 2014
Excellent film, got it all, watched this years ago, and on and off over the years. Payback was formed on it, and that too is an excellent film, but this film is very worth the watch. Glad I bought it.
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on 11 September 2013
this is a good film,it is not overly violent and no bad langauge.
which is a pleasant change from the movies of today.it also has a good storyline.
thanks, t j .mason
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on 20 April 2014
A professional criminal is released from prison and is a bit miffed when he hears the mob have just had his brother killed. He gets even more miffed off when they try to do him too, so he teams up with his ex bank~robber crony ~ who similarly has a vested interest, due to also being named on the same mob hit list ~ and together they go on a one track road trip of vengeance, in order to settle the score, hitting the mob over and over...

This is such a cool film it really is, scene after scene. . . and criminally over looked!

As one would expect given the source, this has got a really mean humoured, hard boiled edge to it. Which when paired with the film's almost deprived look and score of a TV movie, it's unglamorous revenge and grubby crime vibe draws in and thrills the audience perfectly. The script is as keen as a boning knife and the (sometimes veteran) support cast of pulp crime characters are just fantastic. Duvall in the lead, no slouch either, turning in a suitably tough little performance..
Karen Black really quite good in her role as the female sidekick, just going along for the ride, unaware at just how bumpy it will be, until it's too late and the wheels have already fallen off ~ A theme which would be used by the director again, in a film he made a few years later, entitled Rolling Thunder [Double Play - Blu-ray + DVD].
The only major writing/casting downside, being that the truly hideous character delivered by Timothy Carey, is not given anywhere near enough screen time.

Of course it's slightly repetitive, with the kind of amoral tone, that if unaccustomed to cynical cinema, may have you questioning the film's proceedings and outcome. But ultimately, any film featuring the level of violent outbursts, that include Joe Don Baker, punching a receptionist so unnecessarily hard in the face, that she's only able to give birth to cross~eyed children thereafter, has gotta be worth something right?!

Anyway, it's a sound watch, certainly if you like Westlake's other stuff, like Point Blank [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] etc. Or for that matter, if you like other 1970s American, hard boiled crime fare. With Joe Don's other lesser spotted effort Framed [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], also jumping out as a recently viewed recommendation.

Verdict: If you like pulp crime, I'd be very surprised if you didn't like this, a lot.

The DVDr from Warner Archives is a decent print.
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on 14 December 2015
If you can play region 1 discs then this is one of the best thrillers you'll ever find.
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