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Sharky's Machine
     

Sharky's Machine

Cast: Burt Reynolds, Vittorio Gassman, Rachel Ward, Bernie Casey

 

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A William Diehl novel was the source of the noirish nailbiter Sharky's Machine. Sharky (Burt Reynolds) is an undercover cop who fouls up an assignment and is kicked downstairs to the vice squad -- a rough-shod bunch of hellraisers who make life miserable. Soon, however, Sharky's life does a 180 when he encounters Dominoe (Rachel Ward) a prostitute seemingly in

Overview

A William Diehl novel was the source of the noirish nailbiter Sharky's Machine. Sharky (Burt Reynolds) is an undercover cop who fouls up an assignment and is kicked downstairs to the vice squad -- a rough-shod bunch of hellraisers who make life miserable. Soon, however, Sharky's life does a 180 when he encounters Dominoe (Rachel Ward) a prostitute seemingly in danger from her interaction with a number of very seedy thugs. To protect her, Sharky lines the high-rise apartment across from her residence with security cameras and surveillance equipment -- which only makes matters sticky as Sharky begins to fall in love with her. The film opened to a very warm critical reception (Janet Maslin observed that "Burt Reynolds establishes himself as yet another movie star who is as valuable behind the camera as he is in front of it"). It also features one of the most dangerous stunts on film, wherein the late stuntman Dar Robinson free falls from 16 stories off the ground. The "machine" of the title refers to Sharky's fellow cops, played by heavyweights Brian Keith, Charles Durning, Bernie Casey, and others.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Made during a period when Burt Reynolds was so hot that he could have gotten a deal to direct the Sears catalog, this police thriller has something that might almost be described as a sensibility. A film that openly invokes the classic Laura (1944), this tale of a quirky undercover cop (Reynolds) who becomes obsessed with a high-class hooker (Rachel Ward) under 24-hour surveillance swings wildly between extremes of romanticism and violence, its protagonist both tougher than Dirty Harry and more vulnerable than Bambi. The star peoples his surveillance unit with a host of talented character actors including Charles Durning and comic stud Richard Libertini, and the throwaway humor and warmth of their exchanges has an improvised feel that seems to reflect the fabled looseness of Reynolds' sets. The unpersuasive plot concerning Vittorio Gassman's ridiculously overblown gangster's involvement with corruption in high places is clearly intended only as a framework for the star to stretch out. If Reynolds' direction is primitive and the film often looks as though it was edited with a meat cleaver, to hear the isolated star warbling a duet of "My Funny Valentine" with a distant and unwitting Ward is worth the price of admission.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/07/2015
UPC:
0883929445400
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Time:
2:02:00
Sales rank:
20,221

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Burt Reynolds Sharky
Vittorio Gassman Victor
Rachel Ward Dominoe
Bernie Casey Arch
Brian Keith Papa
Charles Durning Friscoe
Earl Holliman Hotchkins
Richard Libertini Nosh
Henry Silva Billy
Darryl Hickman Smiley
Hari (Harry) Rhodes Highball
John Fiedler Barrett
James O'Connell Twigs
John Arthur Pusher
Weaver Levy Chin 2
Joe Mascolo Joe Tipps
Carol Locatell Mabel
Val Avery Man with Siakwan
Suzee Pai Siakwan
Aarika Wells Tiffany
Tony King Kitten
Danny Inosanto Chin 1
Glynn Rubin Pregnant Woman
Bennie Moore Bus Driver
Elaine Falone Hooker with Mabel
Terrayne Crawford Woman
J. Don Ferguson Rally Emcee
Monica Kaufman Newscaster
Danny Nelson Man with Mabel
Lamar Jackson Boots
Allison Caine Voice Only
William Diehl Percy

Technical Credits
Burt Reynolds Director
Phillip Abramson Set Decoration/Design
Jerry Barrett Stunts
Capps Score Composer
Ken Chase Makeup
Tom Ellingwood Makeup
David R. Ellis Stunts
William A. Fraker Cinematographer
Tommy "Snuff" Garrett Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
William D. Gordean Editor
Walter Scott Herndon Production Designer
Buddy Joe Hooker Stunts
Joe Kenworthy Sound/Sound Designer
Terry Liebling Casting
Hank Moonjean Producer
Gerald Di Pego Screenwriter
Benjamin Rosenberg Asst. Director,Producer
Norman Salling Costumes/Costume Designer
Bobby Sargent Stunts
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer
Edward Teets Associate Producer
Dennis Virkler Editor
Glenn Wilder Stunts

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