The Survivors (1983)


“I’m sorry I’m gonna have to blow a large hole in your skeevy heart.” – Donald Quinelle

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Oct 2020)

Brief Synopsis – After losing their jobs, two strangers become friends after being held up in a diner together by a robber.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall hearing about when it came out yet ever had much desire to see despite the great leads.

There are films that have really silly premises that are elevated by the performances.

This is one of them.

Both Robin Williams and Walter Matthau are great actors and they have great chemistry n this film together despite the fact that their characters are both far too eccentric and crazy here.

The story itself goes in some very strange directions that are hit and miss throughout because sometimes things do seem a bit more enjoyable than in other instances along the way.

Jerry Reed plays the robber who’s plans are inadvertently foiled by this duo and tries to kill them because of it.

Unfortunately, Reed just doesn’t work in this kind of role and feels very miscast despite some humorous moments in the film.

Bottom Line – Really silly premise that works a bit better due to the two great leads, but otherwise falls flat. Williams and Matthau have great chemistry together despite the fact that their characters are both a bit too eccentric. The story moves in very strange directions that alternate between being fun and cheesy.  Reed seems very miscast as the man trying to kill them after having been foiled by them during a robbery.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Robin Williams was attracted to the project for several reasons. Williams said: “First of all, after ‘Garp’ [The World According to Garp (1982)], I wanted to do a far-out comedy, and The Survivors (1983) certainly qualifies. Secondly, I like the basic premise – if we stick together, it will all work out. It’s sort of like Yin, Yang and Yong. You’ve got me, who, I guess, specializes in frenetic and bizarre energy. You’ve got Walter Matthau, who’s very grounded and subtle. And then you’ve got Jerry Reed, whose character is like a cross between Mister Rogers and Jack Nicholson. He’s a lovable villain”. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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