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Master thief "Doc" McCoy and his wife Carol make a deal with a corrupt politician -- Doc will be paroled if he agrees to mastermind a half-million dollar heist. Due to his masterful planning, the heist goes off without a hitch. But as they step into hornets nest of double-crossing, Doc and Carol are pursued by both good and bad guys as they make a mad dash for the Mexican border.
Four years into a ten-year prison term in Texas, convicted armed robber Carter "Doc" McCoy applies for parole and, despite good behavior, is rejected. When Doc's wife, Carol, next visits, he directs her to advise corrupt but influential parole board member Jack Beynon that he is "for sale." Soon, in an unusual reversal, Doc's parole request is granted. After a nervous but highly anticipated reunion with Carol, Doc meets Beynon who explains that in exchange for his freedom he must rob a small local bank of over half a million dollars with the assistance of Beynon's chosen henchmen, Rudy Butler and Frank Jackson. After staking out the bank for several days to determine its routines and security measures, Doc goes over detailed plans for the robbery with Butler and Jackson, who are dismissive of Doc's complex arrangements. On the day of the heist, while Butler and Jackson arrive near the bank as planned, Carol covers for Doc, allowing him to sneak into an underground tunnel where he cuts the power to the bank and the surrounding block. While Carol drives away to set up diversionary bombs, Doc meets the others inside the bank. All goes well until the bank guard attempts to reach for his gun and a panicky Jackson shoots him. Butler and Jackson make their escape and Carol returns for Doc. Angered by Jackson's action, Butler kills him and tosses his body at a corner not far from the bank, then drives on to meet Doc and Carol. At the designated meeting place, Butler admits to killing Jackson and when he attempts to shoot Carol and Doc, Doc shoots him several times. Doc and Carol switch cars and, taking the money, head off to meet Beynon, unaware that the wounded Butler, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, is following. As they near the place they are to meet Beynon, Carol grows increasingly anxious, so Doc leaves her in the car while he takes the money to Beynon, who is displeased with the murders. When Doc asks why there is only half a million dollars from the robbery, when radio broadcasts noted that over $750,000 was stolen, Beynon admits that his brother, who sits on the bank board, had taken two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to cover business debts and the robbery was intended as a cover for the earlier theft. Beynon then mocks Doc for not understanding that Carol had sex with Beynon to ensure Doc's release. Carol, who has quietly entered the room behind Doc, stuns her husband by abruptly shooting and killing Beynon from over Doc's shoulder. Meanwhile, a dazed Butler stops at an isolated veterinary hospital where he forces Dr. Harold Clinton to tend to his wounds. That evening, Butler demands that Clinton and his pliant wife Fran drive him in pursuit of the McCoys. After fleeing Beynon's, Doc stops the car and furiously berates Carol for not telling him the truth, but she reminds him that he sent her to Beynon. Although still angered, Doc continues with the getaway plan to reach El Paso where he has arranged visas to enter Mexico. When Beynon's brother is unable to contact him, he and several henchman investigate and, discovering the dead body, set out to El Paso as well. At a train station, Carol takes the money to a locker where a young man assists her with the heavy bag. Afterward, when Carol meets with Doc and takes him to the locker, they find it is empty and Doc realizes the helpful man has stolen it. Spotting the man boarding the train to El Paso, Doc chases him on board while Carol waits uncertainly on the platform. When the thief discovers the bag contains money, he gleefully takes his seat with it, but moments later Doc arrives and knocks him unconscious, then gets off the train at the next stop with the bag. Some time later, Doc returns to the train station where Carol is waiting. Despite Carol's genuine happiness at seeing him, Doc coldly suggests they split the money and go their separate ways. Hurt and angered, Carol declares she does not want to break up with Doc and the couple return to their car in sullen silence. That night on the road, Butler and the Clintons stop at a motel where Butler takes perverse delight in tying Clinton up and forcing him to watch while he and Fran enthusiastically have sex. The next day, as Doc and Carol continue their journey, Carol tells her brooding husband that he must trust someone someday or he will have nothing. Peeved when the car radio breaks down, Doc insists they stop at the next town, but at the electronics store, the salesman recognizes Doc from the numerous televised police announcements and telephones the police. Doc hurries to a sporting goods store where he demands a double-barrel shotgun and ammunition and when the police arrive, he forces them to lie in the street while he shoots up their car. Doc and Carol then race out of town, but upon seeing a bus heading toward town, the couple speedily abandon the car, then innocuously catch the bus as the police and sheriff race past it. In the next town, Carol buys a used car and the couple return to the road. That evening at a drive-in, however, a carhop waitress recognizes Doc and notifies the authorities. When the police arrive, there is a shootout as Carol frantically tries to drive the couple out of the parking lot. Forced to abandon the car in town, Doc and Carol dart into an alley and take refuge in a full garbage bin, still carrying the money bag and shotgun. Although they evade the police, the McCoys cannot avoid a trash truck that deposits them and the garbage into the back of the truck. When Doc realizes the truck compacts the garbage, he and Carol hastily place numerous heavy objects around themselves as protection. At dawn, the truck dumps its full load of trash, including Doc and Carol, into a garbage landfill. After extricating themselves, the money bag and shotgun, Doc struggles to tell Carol he has realized they should stay together, but, still resentful over Doc's earlier anger, Carol remains doubtful. Doc vows never to mention Beynon again and Carol agrees they should continue together. The next morning, Butler is nonplussed to discover that the distraught and humiliated Clinton has committed suicide. He and Fran then continue to the El Paso hotel where Beynon had arranged travel documents with manager Laughlin. After Butler demands Laughlin inform him when Doc and Carol arrive, Laughlin telephones Beynon's brother who is waiting nearby. Later, when a now cleaned up Doc and Carol arrive, Laughlin dutifully informs Butler. Using the hapless Fran to pose as a room service attendant, Butler tries to get into the McCoys' room, but Doc sneaks up behind them and knocks them both out. When Doc and Carol attempt to slip out of the hotel, they run into Beynon's brother and his henchman and a wild shootout ensues in which Doc kills the gang with the shotgun. As Doc and Carol flee out of a back fire escape, a revived Butler attempts to follow, but Doc shoots him too. Flagging down an aging cowboy in a pick-up, Doc and Carol ask him to drive them across the border. Discovering the couple is married, the old man agrees. In Mexico, the old man cheerfully accepts thirty thousand dollars for the truck and Doc and Carol drive away together.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||PG||Premiere Info:||Los Angeles opening: 19 Dec 1972|
|Release Date:||1972||Production Date:||
A Sam Peckinpah Film
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||National General Pictures Corporation|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||First Artists Production Company, Ltd., Solar Productions, Inc., David Foster Productions, Tatiana Films, Inc.|
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They made it like they used to
Justin R Dutko 2011-04-30
This is the better of the two versions and watching it proves it never gets old Sam Peckinpah at the helm directing the King of Cool at his best with a...
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