Robert Redford in The Hot Rock (dir. Peter Yates, 1972).
Robert Redford is miscast at the most basic level as Donald Westlake's career thief Dortmunder: the role calls for a Harry Dean Stanton or a Bruce Dern, someone congenitally shifty and undernourished. The book, light comic fare that it is, retains a touch of the same convincingly seedy criminal underworld that Westlake explores (under the pseudonym Richard Stark) in his Parker novels; the film is all bright proto-Sting Hollywood shenanigans, and just this side of TV-movie squareness. It's meant to be rousing good fun, but it feels restrained, even lethargic. The New York locations inject a little color and vibrancy, especially during the unearned buoyancy of the final scene.
Labels: Peter Yates