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LiamCasey

Now Watching: Charley Varrick (1973)

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Charley Varrick (1973)  - TCM

w/ Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Felicia Farr, Andy Robinson, Sheree North and John Vernon. And directed by Don Siegel.

Caught this one as part of a double feature in a second run theatre back in the '70s. Haven't seen it since but my memories of it (especially of Mr. Baker's performance) are strong enough that I've been looking forward to tonight's airing.

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On 3/18/2018 at 10:03 PM, LiamCasey said:

Charley Varrick (1973)  - TCM

w/ Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Felicia Farr, Andy Robinson, Sheree North and John Vernon. And directed by Don Siegel.

Caught this one as part of a double feature in a second run theatre back in the '70s. Haven't seen it since but my memories of it (especially of Mr. Baker's performance) are strong enough that I've been looking forward to tonight's airing.

Yes, this was an enjoyable gangster picture, and it was fun seeing Matthau in a non-comedic role, and also quite a ladies man.

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If I started rattling off all the good things about this superb picture, I wouldn't know where to leave off. Another stupendous flick from a stupendous decade.

Matthau is either in my top five all time favorite actors or he rings in at #6.

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Got the DVD of this one  a few months ago.  Very enjoyable crime movie.  Matthau is very good at anything he does.  Of course, he is fantastic in Odd Couple Two, Grumpy Old Men and Grumpy Old Men Two.  Have never liked Odd Couple (one) though.  Have a DVD with Matthau in a Route 66 episode.  Very good performance.

Charley Varrick is definitely a different type movie and it you lived in the 70's also kind of dated.  Speaking of how they made the movie mostly, sets and so forth.  Sort of like watching a TV series from that era.  Very enjoyable.

Supposedly Don Siegel was Clint Eastwood's favorite director for his style and movies he made.  Siegel also directed The Big Steal, my favorite movie.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

Charley Varrick is definitely a different type movie and it you lived in the 70's also kind of dated. 

Curious what you mean by the above since I have found people have different interpretations of what 'dated' means to them.

E.g. how does being someone that 'lived in the 70' makes CV more dated then someone that was born after the 70s (because typically I have found that 'dated' is used by folks that were not adults in an era a film was set it).

Thanks

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There's no sense to the statement. Charley Varrick is part of a modern standard of movie-making that still persists today. Cameras, lights, director, actors. Anytime you want to make a realistic movie, that's still how you do it. If you're making a space-opera set in another galaxy for dopey kids, then yeah you can say "well this is how we do things now" because that kind of juvenile silliness needs all sorts of specialized CGI and digital gadgets and absurd, fake, exaggerated, camera-movements. But any nuts'n'bolts indie production today is indistinguishable from the way they made 'Varrick'. Its boilerplate. There's not a single thing 'dated' about it. Film production still has theater as its bedrock. 'Varrick' is an actor's movie: there's a handful of action scenes but otherwise it's all actors.

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16 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Curious what you mean by the above since I have found people have different interpretations of what 'dated' means to them.

E.g. how does being someone that 'lived in the 70' makes CV more dated then someone that was born after the 70s (because typically I have found that 'dated' is used by folks that were not adults in an era a film was set it).

Thanks

It is dated in the respect that it is very 70ish.  To me it just seemed to be done in the style that many 70's movies were.  Everybody is entitled to their own opinions.

I realize that someone could say that about 30's, 40's, 50's movies, etc., but to me many movies made in 70's period had a certain feel to them, particularly crime movies such as Charley Varrick.  Maybe because I was living then.

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11 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

There's no sense to the statement. Charley Varrick is part of a modern standard of movie-making that still persists today. Cameras, lights, director, actors. Anytime you want to make a realistic movie, that's still how you do it. If you're making a space-opera set in another galaxy for dopey kids, then yeah you can say "well this is how we do things now" because that kind of juvenile silliness needs all sorts of specialized CGI and digital gadgets and absurd, fake, exaggerated, camera-movements. But any nuts'n'bolts indie production today is indistinguishable from the way they made 'Varrick'. Its boilerplate. There's not a single thing 'dated' about it. Film production still has theater as its bedrock. 'Varrick' is an actor's movie: there's a handful of action scenes but otherwise it's all actors.

I disagree.  See my comment above.

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16 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

There's no sense to the statement. Charley Varrick is part of a modern standard of movie-making that still persists today. Cameras, lights, director, actors. Anytime you want to make a realistic movie, that's still how you do it. If you're making a space-opera set in another galaxy for dopey kids, then yeah you can say "well this is how we do things now" because that kind of juvenile silliness needs all sorts of specialized CGI and digital gadgets and absurd, fake, exaggerated, camera-movements. But any nuts'n'bolts indie production today is indistinguishable from the way they made 'Varrick'. Its boilerplate. There's not a single thing 'dated' about it. Film production still has theater as its bedrock. 'Varrick' is an actor's movie: there's a handful of action scenes but otherwise it's all actors.

I agree that there is 'no sense to the statement'. 

Anyhow, this is why I don't like the term 'dated'.   A term that applies to a majority of the movies made in a decade that are NOT 'period' films (films that represent a historical period of time),  or a future period of time are 'dated',  is a useless term.

    

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It definitely gets under my skin too. I can't help but sound off when it crosses my path. On the other paw, maybe I should adjust my doctor-prescribed Jameson dosage on weekends.  There's no excuse for blowing my stack as I often do. It's embarrassing. I need to talk to my nurse about this. Maybe when she's wiping down the glassware later tonight.

Although, you know...where I really "go off" about 'dated' are book sites where overly-PC readers newly introduced to classic lit will make this same kind of remark. Bemoaning the 'misogyny' of Jack Kerouac or Henry Miller; the imperialism of Joe Conrad; the sexism of Ian Fleming. My god!

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On 11/3/2018 at 2:46 PM, jamesjazzguitar said:

I agree that there is 'no sense to the statement'. 

Anyhow, this is why I don't like the term 'dated'.   A term that applies to a majority of the movies made in a decade that are NOT 'period' films (films that represent a historical period of time),  or a future period of time are 'dated',  is a useless term.

    

Explained already.

On 11/3/2018 at 3:04 PM, Sgt_Markoff said:

It definitely gets under my skin too. I can't help but sound off when it crosses my path. On the other paw, maybe I should adjust my doctor-prescribed Jameson dosage on weekends.  There's no excuse for blowing my stack as I often do. It's embarrassing. I need to talk to my nurse about this. Maybe when she's wiping down the glassware later tonight.

Although, you know...where I really "go off" about 'dated' are book sites where overly-PC readers newly introduced to classic lit will make this same kind of remark. Bemoaning the 'misogyny' of Jack Kerouac or Henry Miller; the imperialism of Joe Conrad; the sexism of Ian Fleming. My god!

Explained already, but will elaborate for your benefit.

It is dated in the respect that it is very 70ish.  To me it just seemed to be done in the style that many 70's movies were.  Everybody is entitled to their own opinions.

I realize that someone could say that about 30's, 40's, 50's movies, etc., but to me many movies made in 70's period had a certain feel to them, particularly crime movies such as Charley Varrick.  Maybe because I was living then.

Perhaps not so much dated as typical for movies made in early 70's.  I have seen it on TV and on DVD and it looks like an "old" movie in that has not been remastered.  Not to mention clothing, dialogue, some scenarios, scenery, etc.  While expected, the movie is not quite old enough to fall into the "classic" stage such as ones from the 50's and earlier where all of the "dated" stuff is expected.

While many of the techniques of filming are modern, not as good as what has been done in past couple of decades.

It is a good movie.

 

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Certainly 1970s movies have a style and a feel to them. But unless the flick is about sex ('The Harrad Experiment' for example) I still fail to see why any such '70s undercurrent' or '70s tone' in "Varrick" makes for a hindrance or an obstacle. What fails to make the transition from then to now?

State troopers, a small bank in the rural Southwest, pickup tucks, trailer park, radios, a crop-dusting plane, a cathouse, a pawn shop, a photographer's studio; a girl wearing cut-offs, a middle-aged guy in a windbreaker, a beefy villain in a cowboy hat; a junkyard, and a couple of bank officials. There's many films with similar content; is any of this alien to our eyes?

On the other paw, you could even take a very topical 70s film like 'Network' which has quite a few scenes with a 'noticeable cultural difference' (newsmedia technology, political activisim) and yet the film still works just as thunderingly good as it ever did.

The question always comes back to the sensibility of the individual audience member. If you over-focus on what's around us today, (arguably frivolous differences like microwave ovens) then yes, 'movie differences' become noticeable. But they're not deep differences.

(In my humble opinion) some of us simply have modernistic lifestyles which makes it hard to keep unaware of trends and fads. For instance its hard to be traditional if one must work in an electronics store; naturally there's a lot of "significant" changes in that environment from one year to next. Or so it would seem if you worked there.

But me, this is one reason I myself will never be a fad-follower; consumer; etc. I'd be livid if I couldn't turn to "Charley Varrick" and enjoy it just the same as I have always done!

I guess what I'm saying is: human life never fundamentally changes. We're not essentially different than the Ancient Romans; why would we be different from 1970s Americans?

 

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I have this on my watchlist.  Gonna speed up my screening after seeing these reviews...

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