The Getaway (1971)

Carter ‘Doc’ MacCoy is in prison and wants to get out. His parole is denied and only when his wife Carol convinces the dirty businessman Benson to use his connections, Doc is released. There is however a condition, Doc has to rob a bank for Benson. This goes all spectacularly wrong and Doc and Carol have to get away while the cops and Benson’s men are after them.

Sam Peckinpah was the director and Steve McQueen knew him well, they worked together before and they liked each other.
Steve McQueen needed a new success, since his role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid had not worked out and his movie Le Mans (1971) was not the success he had hoped for.

Several actresses were mentioned for the role as Carol, but finally Ali MacGraw got the role. She was not an experienced actress, she only played in Love story before, but this was a success and she was in much demand.

The getaway was the movie that brought McQueen and MacGraw together. They began an affair and after Ali divorced her husband, she married Steve McQueen. Their marriage would not last long, by the way, they would get a divorce in 1978.
Peckinpah only hoped the scandal would not affect the success of the movie.

Just a few fun facts, the first scene with Doc in prison is shot in Huntsville prison with real inmates as extra’s.

When Doc finds out Carol slept with Benson to get him out of prison, he hits her. This was not in the script and Ali MacGraw’s shocked reaction was real.

Sally Struthers, mainly known for her role as the daughter in Archie Bunker, also has a part in this film. She is so very irritating that you actually cheer when Doc knocks her out.

Despite being made over 40 years ago, The Getaway is still a very great movie, it is a good action film, that is not dated or boring at all. It is one of the best movies Steve McQueen made. 

In memory of Steve McQueen who would have celebrated his 85th birthday yesterday, if he was still with us.