The Getaway (1972)
Moody and morose film showing Peckinpah in retreat, trying to urbanize the western, making it jazzy and chic. Steve McQueen is the instrument, but he's an inane camera suspension, going through the motions technically, but remaining an abandoned representative. That abandonment is also the centre of Peckinpah's thematics here, as he shows that the gritty 70s has removed all the fun from the once flourishing Texas bank robber on the run to Mexico. And he spends oceans of time mourning his loss. In the process, The Getaway is supposed to be tense and intriguing, but is so only in small segments. If nothing else, Peckinpah shows his class from time to time. There is a steaming eroticism early on, as McQueen and MacGraw sweat it up together, and Peckinpah follows up with fast, fancy cross-cutting that gives the film style if not substance. For the latter, writer Walter Hill turns to the vicious and bizarre, such as the Lettieri/Struthers sub-romance. But, although it attracts interest, it remains an impassive observation. With the McCoy couple, Peckinpah tries a little harder, but the material is mediocre and MacGraw is desolately out of her depth. Remade, for some reason, in 1994 with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.