Charley Varrick (1973)

Charley Varrick




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Charley Varrick Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Directed by Don Siegel, Charley Varrick tells the story of a bungled bank robbery and the subsequent getaway. The titular character (played by Walter Matthau) is a small-time crook who plans to rob a small bank in New Mexico with his partner Harman (Andrew Robinson). When they find out that the bank has been laundering mob money and the heist is far more than they expected, Charley wants to give back the money and get out of town. He is convinced by his partner, much against his better … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: John Reese, Howard Rodman, John H. Reese, Howard A. Rodman, Dean Riesner
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 28, 2004
Universal Pictures


as Charley Varrick

as Sybil Fort

as Harman Sullivan

as Maynard Boyle

as Jewell Everett

as Mr. Garfinkle

as Honest John

as Howard Young

as Sheriff Bill Horton

as Nadine Varrick

as Rudy Sanchez

as Highway Deputy

as Miss Ambar

as Mr. Scott

as Miss Vesta

as Beverly

as Clerk

as Randolph

as Van Sickle

as Taxi Driver

as Chinese Hostess

as Bank Guard

as Murph
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Charley Varrick

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 24, 2009
Combustible Celluloid

Underrated Don Siegel heist drama

April 20, 2007
Atlantic City Weekly

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.

Bob Stinson

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.

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.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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