“The Getaway is an utter bore. A failure as drama, as film, as entertainment. It is morally corrupt, artistically arid, conceptually outdated and in sum as thoroughly unredeemable a piece of shit as has been released this year, and the horror and wonder of it, is that it came from such massive talents.”
The above quote is from the always outspoken Harlan Ellison, writing in the January 19, 1973 edition of The Staff about Sam Peckinpah’s 1972 crime movie The Getaway, starring Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw. The review is collected in the book Harlan Ellison’s Watching. As good a quote as any to inaugurate this new blog feature.
Below is a scene from the movie, giving you a little taste of what Bloody Sam did best. If you haven’t seen it before and plan to, you may want to back off. Plot lines are resolved and not everyone makes it out alive. Good scene.
I think you could argue that Ellison is the godfather of the kind of belligerent, smartypants writing that blankets the internet nowadays. The sort of hostile over-the-top typing that is frequently mistaken for having an opinion. The big difference is that Ellison could write and he was informed about his opinions. He harangued the reader, but it came loaded with just as much brains as brawn. Most of the time.