SHARKY'S MACHINE (director: Burt Reynolds; screenwriters: novel by William Diehl/Gerald DiPego; cinematographer: William Fraker; editor: William Gordon; music: Snuff Garrett; cast: Burt Reynolds (Sgt. Sharky), Brian Keith (Papa), Charles Durning (Lt. Friscoe), Bernie Casey (Arch), Richard Libertini (Nosh), Vittorio Gassman (Victor Scorelli), Rachel Ward (Dominoe), Earl Holliman (Donald Hotchkin), Darryl Hickman (Smiley), Henry Silva (Billy Score), John Fieldler (Barrett); Runtime: 122; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hank Moonjean; Warner Bros.; 1981)

"Violent noir crime drama."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The actor Burt Reynolds ("The Last Producer"/"The Final Hit") stars in and directs himself in this violent noir crime drama--think Dirty Harry. Writer Gerald DiPego adapts it from the novel by William Diehl.

Burt Reynolds is an Atlanta vice-squad detective, after busted from homicide because of a botched arrest. When a hooker is slain, Reynold's second-rate vice team, led by Charles Durning and including Bernie Casey, Brian Keith and Richard Libertini, stake out the residence of high-class call girl Rachel Ward. She's linked to the dead hooker and the politically connected mob boss Vittorio Gassman, who is linked to the fast-rising senator Earl Holliman. During the stakeout Burt gets romantic over Rachel and has a dangerous encounter with Holliman.

Not a memorable film and the action scenes are staged in a forced manner, but if you can stomach the sleaze and gore you probable can handle the engaging macho cop pulp story.

REVIEWED ON 5/26/2016       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"