I will be the first to admit that I am a bit behind the times when it comes to older films...for instance, I never saw "The Getaway." I can honestly say that after watching "Bullitt" and now "The Getaway," I will be taking more time out of my life to watch the older films that inspired the directors, editors, and actors of the present day to do what they do. "The Getaway" is a great example of a movie that I should have seen years back.
After being released from prison Doc (Steve McQueen), and his wife Carol (Ali MacGraw), find that loving each other is not as easy as they remembered it to be. Making a deal with the local mob boss (Why he got out of jail), Doc must cover up the mob boss's brother and rob a bank. When everything turns upside down, Doc and Carol are on the run. With the mob boss's men and the entire police department hot on their tails, Doc and Carol try and find love once again and escape to Mexico to live a life they didn't think they would have a chance to live.
McQueen fits the bill perfectly as an ex-con and a man who struggles with showing emotion. He completely takes us into his ex-con role and makes us believe that there is good inside this person who has routinely made some mistakes in life. With everyone out to kill him and going through a rough patch with his wife, McQueen still manages to show that he is not a killer. Even when faced with the option to kill, he never wants to finish the job. That is one thing I love about his character--we really dive deep and understand that he is a bad boy, but inside he still can't kill someone in cold blood.
"The Getaway" has absolutely incredible cinematography. Everything from car chases to hallway shootouts--the way that director Sam Peckinpah was able to bring McQueen's character to life and have us next to him throughout the movie is amazing. Considering its age, "The Getaway" stands up against many of the modern marvels of great cinematography today.
I had an absolute blast watching "The Getaway." You really can't compare "Bullitt" and "The Getaway" because they are two completely different films, but after watching both, I was engaged much more into these movies then I have been in quite a while with more recent films.
We are presented with a nice transfer, despite the age of the film. The colors are good, there is nice contrast especially compared to "Bullitt" (which in my review of I thought the image looked flat). However, there are some areas of grain, which can be expected in any movie that was filmed 30 years ago.
As I mentioned earlier, the cinematography is simply outstanding. There are some shootouts in hallways, and chase scenes that you would think for sure they are using a steady cam, when in all reality it is just a guy holding a camera...very steady at that. All of this translates into more of an engaging film then some of the other movies filmed near the same time period. "The Getaway" really focuses on its action scenes--there are times where the dialogue is predominant but it gives us the opportunity to learn more about the relationships being built. For the most part, we are deeply engaged the entire film hoping to see if Doc and Caorl can get away successfully.
Unfortunately "The Getaway" does not get special treatment in the sound department. The opening scene in the prison is extremely rough on the ears. There are highs constantly and for the first 10 minutes we have to listen to this machinery whistle and whine and make horrifically high noises that pierce the ears. Then on the flips side, there is low dialogue, so as we try and ignore the nasty machinery noise, we can't hear the dialogue well enough. Another struggle is the surrounds...oh wait we get a Dolby Digital 1.0 mono track. It really could have helped having an immersive surround experience during "The Getaway."
Commentary: Nick Redman, Sam Peckinpah, Authors; Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons & David Weddle. This is a really nice commentary track that steps into the world of Director Sam Peckinpah, almost as much as it does "The Getaway" itself. There is a lot about the jail sequence, using real inmates and shooting in the jail. They talk about the cutting of the film, shooting specific scenes, and just editing in general. They also talk about character development, and how they brought McQueen's character to the screen. The only negative thing I found was they jump ahead a lot, and talk about things that are coming up but then pause and say..."Oh, you will see that soon." Other than that, a very nice commentary track that is worth a listen for fans of "The Getaway."
Virtual Commentary: Interviews with Ali MacGraw, Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah. This is a pretty neat little commentary where they place pictures of these three on screen while they are talking. It only runs about 12 minutes, but they chat about each other and their acting abilities, directing, and then they actually go into our two man characters Doc and Carol and how they felt about each other in real life.
Bank Robbery Sequence with Jerry Fielding Score with dialogue and effects: This just how it sounds, they added Jerry Fielding's original score and used it over the bank robbery sequence.
Main Title 1M1 Jerry Fielding, Sam Peckinpah & The Getaway: Jerry's wife Camille, daughter Elizabeth & Kathy Haber, Sam's Assistant are interviewed. This actually a neat piece that talks about Jerry Fielding and his life, family, relationships he had, and how his score had been replaced, which in turn affected his life. They ultimately discuss his death and their feelings for him, and what his life meant.
Jerry Feilding Alternate Score: This is the entire soundtrack without dialogue or sound effects placed onto the film. We get to listen to how Jerry would have scored the film with his score, which was ultimately replaced.
"The Getaway" is a great movie, with acting that hits right home. There are a lot of scenes that will be remembered forever. Thankfully we are treated with a really nice transfer, but unfortunately given a poor audio track. Overall, "The Getaway" is well worth a look, and if I overlook the audio in the movie I can easily Recommend "The Getaway."