Comedy veteran Walter Matthau stars as the eponymous small-time bank robber in a rare return to the kind of straight roles he played at the start of his career. After he and his younger partner, Harman Sullivan (Andrew Robinson), take down a small bank in Tres Cruces, New Mexico, Charley realizes that the $750,000 the bank turned over is very likely mob money.The sticky-fingered Harman wants to keep the money, and, although Charley warns him that the mob will soon be on their tail, the crooks opt for escape. Meanwhile, Molly (Joe Don Baker), a ruthlessly Terminator-like hit man, is in close pursuit of the thieves, wreaking destruction on everything in his path. Police dectective Mr. Garfinkle (Norman Fell), less frightening, but no less persistent, is also on their trail. The cagey bank robber realizes he'll need a phony visa to get out of the country but must pay heavy coin to knowing photographer Jewel Everett (Sheree North) to do the dirty work. Thanks to Matthau's sardonic performance and some tasty dialogue from veteran scripters Dean Riesner and Howard A. Rodman, this well-paced, suspenseful caper film, laden with patented Don Siegel violence, is an extremely enjoyable experience.
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