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Ah Mannion, you warm the cockles of the Siren's heart by mentioning the sadly underrated The Reivers. Great score, too.

Dan Leo

Did you ever see "Hell Is For Heroes"? I think McQueen is brilliant in that, and it's hard to imagine anyone else playing the part.

Mike Schilling

Interesting that you mention "Soldier in the Rain". It's probably my favorite early (i.e. pre-Princess Bride) William Goldman novel. Goldman was an incredible success as a young novelist, but most of his earlier work has aged badly. SitR has a sweetness that's still fresh today.

Bill Altreuter

Yeah, but how many of those other guys had a Rolling Stones song about them?


You left out what I think is his best role, the sailor Jake Holman in The Sand Pebbles. This was both a visually stunning movie, and a role in which McQueen does show his human side. He has a love interest (Candice Bergan's first movie role) and friends whom he loses (Mako and Richard Attenbourgh). He comes across as both brave and vulnerable, and completely human.

Buffalo Savage

I'll second The Sand Pebbles. In the climactic battle scene (one of the best ever filmed), when Jake Holman's shouting "What the hell are we doing here," he's commenting on US foreign policy in SE Asia in the Sixties. Legend has it McQueen didn't like the character, because Holman was too sensitive and weak, not like McQ would've been in the same situation.

I became an independent movie goer at 16, in 1972, mainly at the Calvin Theater in Dearborn. I saw McQueen in Peckinpaugh's The Getaway. Crazy violent is the bank robbery sequence. In one satisfying scene McQueen cooly disables a prowler with double-aught buck shot. In another hoot, he and Ali McGraw escape by hiding in a garbage tip, only to be dumped in a land fill. Jack Dodson who you know better as "Howard Sprague" comes to an unhappy end and Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens put in good turns. Sally Struthers has some fine scenes (she tells how her mother explains the origin of her dimpled chin - a mean heart-breaking story). Yes, flawed personalities making ruthless choices, but we end up hoping they'll get away.

Watch it, you won't be sorry though it is not quite as bleak and unrelenting as Peckinpaugh's Bring Me the Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974), with Warren Oates. How about an essay on Sam or Warren? I'll enjoy it like I enjoyed this one.


Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia has to be the sweatiest movie this side of Cool Hand Luke.


Having come of age in the sixties, I can attest to Steve McQueen's star quality during that era. Before 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' women regularly talked about 'Steve McQueen and Paul Newman' as the two sexiest male movie stars. They were on equal footing as heartthrobs. To this day, I'll watch 'Love with the Proper Stranger' whenever it's playing.

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