|Tom Reese and Duvall with Karen Black in the background|
Earl Macklin (Robert Duvall) gets out of prison to discover that his brother was murdered. It seems the two of them knocked off a bank that was owned by the crime cartel, the "Outfit." Macklin decides to pay back and wage war on the Outfit by carrying out heists -- with his pal, Jack (Joe Don Baker) -- that will hit the Outfit where they live. His main antagonist is Outfit bigwig Mailer (Robert Ryan), who lives in a big mansion with bodyguards and has a fairly disinterested wife (Joanna Cassidy). The Outfit is loosely based on the third "Parker" novel by Richard Stark (Donald Westlake), a series of books in which a career criminal is the protagonist. [Another Parker adaptation was The Split.] Frankly, the book is much more entertaining than this indifferently directed "thriller" in which only Robert Ryan gives an especially memorable performance. Baker isn't bad, Karen Black [Trilogy of Terror] has her moments as Macklin's girl, and Duvall is Duvall. Sheree North [Mardi Gras] also has some flavorful moments as the wife of an associate, but Jane Greer isn't very good as Macklin's sister-in-law. Richard Jaeckal, Marie Windsor, and Henry Jones aren't on screen long enough to register much but are all effective. John Flynn also directed The Sergeant.
Verdict: Indifferent adaptation of a gritty Parker novel. **.