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Art Blog

A blog by illustrator and designer, Bryan E. West. This blog will focus on my artwork as well as my thoughts about art & culture.

Movie Recommendation: Charley Varrick

Charley Varrick(1973) - Don Siegel


Charley Varrick feels weirdly like a movie caught between two eras of filmmaking, it’s like North by Northwest meets The French Connection. Classic Hollywood filmmaking meets violent 70’s crime story. Stylistically the film evenly blends gorgeous widescreen compositions with 70’s grit. Walter Matthau gives a surprisingly cold but refreshing performance as the film’s antihero, but I was even more surprised by Joe Don Baker who plays the film’s villain. Joe Don Baker brings true menace and brutality to his performance, and I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to call out his character in Charley Varrick as a possible influence on Javier Bardem’s Anton in No Country for Old Men. Charley Varrick doesn’t seem to me like a movie with a lot to say, and the pacing is a little slow, but it’s a significantly more engaging film than a lot of more well-known 70’s crime thrillers. If any of this sounds like it’s up your alley, then it probably is.