4 days ago
Friday, November 24, 2006
Directed by; John Boorman, USA, 1967
Action / Drama / Classic, 92min
Distributed by: Warner Home Video Inc.
Walker [Lee Marvin], a hit man as hard as a bag of nails helps out his gangster mate Reese [John Vernon] with one last heist. Reese suddenly turns the tables around and swindles Walker. Walker is shot, left for dead and his share of loot from the robbery is stolen from him by Reese, all $93.000 of it. But you can't keep a cool man down. A year or two later, Walker is back on track and decides that he's going to reclaim his money and get some revenge on Reese for screwing him. He soon find's out that his ex-wife Lynne [Sharon Acker] was having an affair with Reese at the time of his shooting. He tracks down his ex-wife's sister who is Reece's girlfriend Chris [Angie Dickinson], and from her he soon learns that the threads he's been following lead to the top of a secret underworld called The Organisation. So it's The Organisation who now owe Walker his $93.000
This is one of those movies that left a very big impression on me when I first saw it some twenty years ago, and I still frequently think about this movie. If you think that the story sounds familiar, then your'e probably right, it was remade in 1999 as Payback with Mel Gibson in the Walker role. The movie is a visual orgy of style and innovative tricks, which is probably one of the reasons I still keep returning to it. Just in the first few minutes the viewer is bombarded with loads of strange time cuts, flashing forward and backward to bring us up to date with what we need to know about Walkers back story. Lee Marvin is great as the stone-faced Walker, and Vernon is sleazy as the backstabbing Reese. The women of the movie are all cold and distanced. There's a very seventies American paranoia feel to the movie as each step Walker takes brings him further and further into the murky crime world. You never know who the top dog of the organisation is and where the chase will end. A true gem of seventies US cinema, much in the vein of movies like Coppola's The Conversation 1974, Paul Schrader's Hardcore 1979, and Alan Pakula's The Parallax View 1974. If you liked the Mel Gibson version, then you have to see the original. A true classic.
Image: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1. Beautifully remastered and the print looks great.
DolbyDigital 1.0 Mono Optional Englesh or Frech dubbed soundtrack, the commentary track is in 2.0
Extras: A commentary track by John Boorman and Steven Soderberg. The original vintage featurettes from the sixties The Rock part 1 & 2, and the theatrical trailer.