The Outfit

John Flynn's The Outfit (1974), a brutally efficient bit of business based glancingly on Richard Stark’s procedurally inquisitive and poetic crime novel of the same name, is a movie that feels like it’s never heard of a rounded corner; it’s blunt like a 1970 Dodge Monaco pinning a couple of killers against a Dumpster and a brick wall. I say “glancingly” because the movie, as Glenn Kenny observed upon The Outfit’s DVD release from the Warner Archives, is based less on the chronologically unconcerned novel than an idea taken from it. On the page Stark's protagonist, the unflappable Parker, his face altered by plastic surgery to the degree that past associates often take a fatal beat too long to realize to whom it is they are speaking, assumes the detached perspective of a bruised deity, undertaking the orchestration of a series of robberies administered to Mob-run businesses
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