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Charley Varrick

Charley Varrick (1973)

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Release Date: Sep 19, 1973 Limited

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82

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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 3,011

My Rating

Movie Info

Don Siegel directed this offbeat crime thriller which stars Walter Matthau as the titular Charley Varrick. Varrick is a small-time stick-up man who, in tandem with his partner Harman Sullivan (Andrew Robinson), makes plans to rob a small bank in New Mexico. Varrick and Sullivan are expecting a modest payday for a simple heist, but to their surprise they walk away with $750,000 in cash. But it turns out this isn't entirely good news; the bank was flush with cash because a number of well-connected

Dec 28, 2004

Universal Pictures

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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (1) | DVD (2)

Don Siegel's excellent heist/escape movie makes an interesting juxtaposition to his Clint Eastwood films.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Underrated Don Siegel heist drama

April 20, 2007
Atlantic City Weekly

A pulp classic with a crackerjack ending.

January 27, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Sit back and enjoy the Matthau.

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for Charley Varrick

A nice piece of pulp and a great Mathau performance - slightly diluted by TV actors and the untold number of TV shows that copped Siegel's style. All the 70's cliches are here in abundance including an ever present hi-hat score and gratuitous lens flaring.
February 8, 2009
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

The early 1970s were a golden age for gritty American crime films. There must have been something in the water. For films such as The French Connection, The Getaway, & The Friends of Eddie Coyle all to have come out in one 3 year period seems nothing short of miraculous. Sure you can point to the waning idealism of the 1960s, coupled with the country being dragged through the mud of the Watergate scandal, as being a good source of inspiration for these films, but how they were all superbly crafted by these different filmmakers is pretty fascinating. Yet, whether the stars were perfectly aligned or not, you can add Don Siegel's "Charley Varrick" to the canon of great crime films from this period.
Right from the brilliantly staged opening heist, director Don Siegel takes you on quite a ride. The film is smartly paced. Siegel builds the tension while showing the minute details of this way of life. He knows when to hold back and when to quickly unleash.
Varrick is such an interesting character. He doesn't seem to love the thrill of the crime. In fact, he only seems to have stumbled into it because his previous career path of stunt piloting disintegrated. He is smart, rational, but in way over his head.
Speaking of Watergate, there must have been something cathartic about watching a reasonably good American take a piece of the pie from a crime syndicate that in my opinion, eerily resembles the American government. Efficiently run, but unfortunately by unscrupulous men. Even if we know his fate is likely sealed from the start, one can imagine that the American people must have been especially thrilled to see their money fall into the right hands for a change.
In Don Siegel's America there seems to be no honest living. The world is run on luck, both good and bad. Siegel must have had some good luck working in his favor because Varrick is a smart thriller that offers an interesting look into the early 1970s American mindset.
May 7, 2012
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

An intelligent, discreet and very entertaining thriller by the master of pulp and badass-ness Don Siegel. Great performances by Joe Don Baker as the hitman Molly, and Walter Matthau as the crop-duster/bank robber Charley Varrick.
February 10, 2012
pier007

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Tuez Charley Varrick! (FR)
  • La gran estafa (ES)
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