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The Outfit (free)

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

The most glaring omission from UW Cinematheque’s series of films based on pulp author Donald Westlake's work is John Boorman’s cult classic Point Blank, with Lee Marvin as professional criminal Parker (there’s only one print in circulation, so we’ll just have to wait until fall). The rarely-seen 1973 film The Outfit will have to make do for now. It stars Robert Duvall as Parker (here renamed Macklin), who exacts his own personal brand of revenge on the crime syndicate that tried to kill him. Duvall is a brilliant choice to play the stone-cold protagonist, giving the character a grittier, more human edge than Marvin’s invincible tough guy. The film is set in a Midwestern crime underworld of small towns and dumpy motels, populated by aging veterans of 1940s noir such as Robert Ryan, Jane Greer and Elisha Cook. The result is a sordid feel true to Westlake's Parker novels. Director John Flynn was early in his career when he made The Outfit; his grindhouse masterpiece Rolling Thunder was still four years away, but the best moments of The Outfit illustrate Flynn’s skill at taking you along for the ride with a fast-moving action scene. —Ian Adcock

Earlier Event: July 18
The Hot Band, Hippie Xmas
Later Event: July 19
Ne-Hi, Tippy