Saturday, June 19, 2010

Point Blank & The Outfit

Sunday and Monday at the New Beverly Cinema - Lee Marvin punches guys in the crotch. Whenever this movie plays in Los Angeles, I go see it... because it's always a *different* movie. Is he dead? Is he Gay? Is he just a bad ass? Plus, Angie Dickenson is *nekkid*. Based on the novel by Richard Stark (Don Westlake). Doubled with THE OUTFIT - a kinda sequel.

A scene from THE OUTFIT - Robert Duvall vs. the great Timothy Carey. I love the way Duvall casually slams the guy with his gun while entering the room - doesn't even slow down. THE OUTFIT is also based on a Stark novel - the one that comes right after POINT BLANK - and has Robert Duvall playing the badass... but this is just a straight 70s action flick with no weird stuff. Duvall and Joe Don Baker screw with the mob and prove that two clever badass guys are stronger than a hundred goons in suits.

Written and directed by John Flynn, whose next film would be ROLLING THUNDER (screenplay by Paul Schrader). He was one of those no-nonsense action directors. There's a great scene in the film (right from the book) with Sheree North as a backwoods temptress who loves to have men fight over her - a great tense scene where she tells her husband that Duvall screwed her. The film is not on DVD (hey, MGM or whoever owns this, get off your butts!).

Between POINT BLANK and THE OUTFIT, MGM made THE SPLIT with Jim Brown playing the role. Peter Coyote would later play the role in SLAYGROUND - which is the stupid version of the Stark novel... a real mess! Joel Silver was going to make 4 of the books as cable movies (I think for Showtime) with Stallone in the lead, but it didn't happen.

Here's my obit for Don Westlake (aka Richard Stark): My Three favorite Mystery Writers have Died.

Coming soon to the blog - an essay on POINT BLANK...
Coming soon to the blog - a piece on the Parker novels: how the same basic idea (a heist) can be told in dozens of different ways.

- Bill


Rusty James said...

I submitted a flash fiction to the Semcoop Parker Contest (win all 12 new UoC Parker novels published thus far). Looking forward to that.

Have you read GEORGES SIMENON? Some great hard novels (other than his Maigret series) and he's got a 'better' publishing record then Westlake if you can believe that.

That Neil Guy said...

Film Score Monthly released a 2 cd set with the scores from both films a couple years back. In case you enjoy that kind of thing...

daveed said...

Bill, this is a nice little bit of serendipity as I finally got around to watching Point Blank. I've had it on loan from Netflix for months. What an amazing film; I think I'm going to purchase the DVD.

Looking forward to your essay.

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