“We’ve come a lot of miles, but we’re not close to anything.”
After making a deal with a corrupt parole officer (Ben Johnson) to help release her husband (Steve McQueen) from prison, a woman (Ali MacGraw) joins McQueen in conducting a required payback heist involving a double-crossing felon (Al Lettieri) who is nothing but bad news for all involved.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Ali MacGraw Films
- Criminal Couples on the Run
- Sam Peckinpah Films
- Steve McQueen Films
Just after her star-making turn in Love Story (1970), Ali MacGraw was cast for her bankability as the lead in this heist-adventure flick, directed by Sam Peckinpah and based on a 1958 novel of the same name by Jim Thompson. Thankfully, the role suits her well, and she gives one of her best performances (though she didn’t think so). It’s easy to imagine this woman so in love with McQueen that she will do anything for and with him — and while there are significant plot twists related to what exactly this entails, it feels believable enough to stay engaged.
In addition to following the rocky travails of McQueen and MacGraw’s on-the-lam romance, we’re watching to see what will happen with a rogue henchman (Lettieri) who has captured the attention of a bored doctor’s wife he’s holding hostage (Sally Struthers).
Given that this is a Peckinpah film, viewers can expect plenty of stylized action and violence taking place across a range of settings — including (of course) a bank, a veterinarian’s office, a shady hotel, a train station, an electronics store, and a dump. If it’s hard to believe the characters can escape so many close calls with death, you’ll just have to suspend judgment.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Ali MacGraw as Carol McCoy
- Al Lettieri as Rudy
- Lucien Ballard’s cinematography
- Quincy Jones’s score
No, but it’s worth a look.