John Flynn, director of Rolling Thunder as well as the semi- legendary 1973 crime pic The Outfit (which you still can’t get on DVD), passed away on Wednesday, April 4th, and I only just found out today…er, yesterday.

Warner Home Video should naturally release The Outfit on DVD as a fare- thee-well tribute to Flynn. Based on Richard Stark‘s (i.e., Donald Westlake‘s) 1963 book of the same name, it’s a lean, hardboiled crime film costarring Robert Duvall, Karen Black, Joe Don Baker, Robert Ryan, Richard Jaeckel, Joanna Cassidy and Sheree North.

Duvall gives one of his best performances (in my book anyway) as Macklin, an ex-con out for revenge against some cold-blooded mob types. The Outfit is a studly, pared-to-the-bone programmer in the same realm as Charley Varrick. Not as sombre or big-city noirish as The Friends of Eddie Coyle, but a very fine and flavorful film of its type.