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Sharky's Machine
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Genre:Thriller
Year:1981
Rating:R
Length:2 Hours 2 Minutes
Cast:Burt Reynolds, Burt Reynolds, Vittorio Gassman, Rachel Ward

A William Diehl novel was the source of the noirish nailbiter Sharky's Machine. Sharky (Burt Reynolds) is an undercover cop who messes up an assignment and is kicked downstairs to the vice squad. The disgraced cop holds gang leader Vittorio Gassman responsible for his demotion, and he's not about to forget it. While consigned to Vice, Sharky organizes a highly trained "Machine"--a group of men willing to take on cases that others avoid like the plague. Out of pique, Gassman apparently kills Sharky's hooker girlfriend (Rachel Ward), giving the detective all the more reason to exact revenge. Sharky's Machine is distinguished by one of the most dangerous stunts ever filmed: a stunt man jumping sixteen floors from a high-rise. Some of director Burt Reynolds' creative choices are bizarre in the extreme, meaning that half the audience will be delighted, while the other half will be wondering what the heck is going on. Hal Erickson

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