7.5/10
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119 user 66 critic

Charley Varrick (1973)

A man, his wife, and their friend, stage a bloody bank robbery, unaware they are stealing money from the Mob.

Director:

Don Siegel

Writers:

John Reese (novel), Howard Rodman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Matthau ... Charley Varrick
Joe Don Baker ... Molly
Felicia Farr ... Sybil Fort
Andrew Robinson ... Harman Sullivan (as Andy Robinson)
Sheree North ... Jewell Everett
Norman Fell ... Mr. Garfinkle
Benson Fong ... Honest John
Woodrow Parfrey ... Harold Young
William Schallert ... San Miguel Sheriff Bill Horton
Jacqueline Scott ... Nadine
Marjorie Bennett ... Mrs. Taft
Rudy Diaz ... Deputy Sanchez
Colby Chester ... Deputy Steele
Charlie Briggs Charlie Briggs ... Highway deputy
Priscilla Garcia Priscilla Garcia ... Miss Ambar
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Storyline

Charley Varrick and his friends rob a small town bank. Expecting a small sum to divide amongst themselves, they are surprised to discover a very LARGE amount of money. Quickly figuring out that the money belongs to the MOB, they must now come up with a plan to throw the MOB off their trail. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not easy to rob the Mob and stay alive. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last of the Independents See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to an article in the October 19, 1972 edition of Daily Variety, the owner of the junk yard seen at the end of the film was suing Universal Pictures for $75,000 ($454,000 in 2018) in damages caused to his business during production of this film. The results of that suit are not known. See more »

Goofs

In the close up of the Cadillac Continental explosion, you can see the security firetrucks waiting on the right. See more »

Quotes

Charley Varrick: It has to do with this bag of money I'd like to give back to you.
Maynard Boyle: So give it back. What's the problem?
Charley Varrick: The problem is the big gorilla in the maroon car who's trying to kill me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Payback (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can Make a Memory Out of Me
Written by Lalo Schifrin and Paul Vance
See more »

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User Reviews

Are we really seeing what's going on or is Don Siegel throwing dust in our eyes?
8 August 2001 | by GeofbobSee all my reviews

This quick-moving thriller demonstrates that cinematic amorality has been around a long time. Made in 1973, it allows crop-duster and bank-robber, Charley Varrick, played by Walter Matthau, to get away with a heap of stolen money, the theft of which has led to the death of about half a dozen people, including his wife. The movie is directed, in his usual snappy but artful way, by Don Siegel, who taught Clint Eastwood everything Clint knows about direction, but not necessarily everything Don knew.

The movie also demonstrates that in the days when movies spent less time on technical wizardry, they could spend more on character development. For example, on "Molly" (Joe Don Baker), a courteous but sadistic heavy from the deep South, who can beat a man to death without losing his cool or creasing his sharp suit. Other noteworthy character studies are Andy Robinson as Charley's sweaty, weasly accomplice; Sheree North as a two-timing photographer; John Vernon as Maynard Boyle, a suave but crooked bank owner; and Marjorie Bennett as a nosey trailer park resident.

The plotline is supposed to be that Charley expects to get only a modest sum from the bank heist, and then has to get his thinking cap and skates on when he realises he's taken a pile of Mafia loot. But Siegel teases us, and it's never very clear just how much Charley knows and how far ahead he's thinking; perhaps there was an insider and Charley knew about the big money before the raid. Overall, can we believe what we're seeing, or is Siegel playing with us, like Bryan Singer in The Usual Suspects?

Which leads to the third thing demonstrated by this and other Siegel movies - that current hotshots like Quintin Tarantino owe him a debt.

(Incidentally, those IMDb commenters who are offended by Charley bedding Boyle's secretary (Felicia Farr) because she is too young for him should check Ms Farr's DOB. Also, she was married to Jack Lemmon, Matthau's friend and film-partner, so the bedroom scene is something of an in-joke.)


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