A daft and insightful look at the gray world between criminal and straight, and the painful strategies men devise to keep from being submerged, brutalized, or emotionally bleached out. Peter Yates creates films in which men have to trust each other more than perhaps they should (Robbery, The Hot Rock, Bullitt) and in which mechanization often wins out over feeling. Robert Mitchum turns in an immaculate performance as the artful dodger and pathetic small-timer just barely in the know—with fine support from Peter Boyle as a man whose nastiness differs only in degree from the nastiness of his world.