Sharky’s Machine (1981)


“You know Frisco, when we used to flush the toilet upstairs, we always wondered where it came to… ” – Sharky

Number of Times Seen – 1 (20 Jan 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A detective following a witness falls in love with her from afar and after seeing her murdered before his eyes does all he can to find her killer.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall hearing about as a kid, yet never had the opportunity to check it out.

I was a big fan of Burt Reynolds movies from the 70’s and 80’s, so after his recent passing, I came across this movie and finally watched it to see what it was all about.

It’s very unlike most of his films of the era because this is a taut thriller and lacks any kind of comedy to it which he became quiet known for.

This is basically an updated version of Laura (1944) about a detective who falls in love with a witness and then watches her get murdered.

This film gets so much right and they made it quite gritty which adds to the realism of it all.

Reynolds does a great job in the lead and proved that he wasn’y just good in comedies, but could also play a tough cop.

The story escalates the violence and realism as it moves along and we quickly see that this isn’t a typical fairy tale film of good vs evil because they constantly keep things realistic the whole time.

This films story is filled with surprises along the way that help keep things paced very well so that we are always on the edge of our seats as we try to figure out what will happen.

Bottom Line – Nice updated version of Laura (1944).  They get so much right here and the grittiness of it all works so well. Reynolds is great in the lead here and shows that he can also play a tough cop really well. The story stays realistic the entire time and even as things escalate between the two sides, they don’t make this into a fairy tale of good vs evil.  They give us some nice surprises along the way which keep the story moving at a great pace throughout. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Clint Eastwood made the comedy Every Which Way but Loose (1978), Burt Reynolds reportedly said to him, “Clint, you’re getting into my territory [comedy], and if it’s a success, I’m going out and make ‘Dirty Harry Goes to Atlanta’!”. When Sharky’s Machine (1981) went into production, Eastwood sent a telegram to Reynolds saying, “You really weren’t kidding, were you?” Reynolds has described this movie as ‘Dirty Harry Goes to Atlanta’ whilst many reviewers and critics have likened it to the ‘Dirty Harry’ film series. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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One thought on “Sharky’s Machine (1981)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1981 | MovieRob

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