Based on The Seventh: The Split (1968)




Depiction of Parker:


Parker played by: Jim Brown
Name in film: McClain
Directed by: Gordon Flemyng
Written by: Robert Sabaroff

An All-Star Cast!

Oscar Winner Ernest Borgnine!

Two time Oscar Winner Gene Hackman!

Oscar Nominee Diahann Carroll!

Oscar Nominee Julie Harris!

Oscar Nominee James Whitmore!

And fightin’ & lovin’ machine Jim Brown!

Combine their amazing talents to create one for the ages…

The Split

Ah, The Split.

The Split.

Let’s just hope your expectations weren’t all that high.

Despite torture scenes, The Split completely misses the dark spirit of the Stark novels, instead choosing to be an action movie shoot-’em-up that is incredibly low on brainpower. The film is ridiculous from start to finish.

Parker recruits a team to rob a Los Angeles Rams game by putting them through surprise tests.

Because that’s exactly what a master thief would do!  Like a ninja film!

The movie flirts with redeeming its sorry self shortly after the tryout ninja scenes when Jim Brown (I’m sorry,  I mean Parker) gets into an awe-inspiring fight with Ernest Borgnine, in which they both fly around the room without the benefit of wires. Awe-inspiring is not an exaggeration. A few drinks in, it’s not a bad way to spend twenty minutes, more or less.

Unfortunately, after twenty minutes, it gets down to the plot. The crime crew does manage to rob the stadium in a manner quite similar to the book (yes, believe it or not, this is based on the book), but then the money vanishes and everyone blames Parker.

And then the movie proceeds to be awful.

The Split is fairly close to its inspiration, The Seventh, in terms of plot elements, at least by Parker adaptation standards. However, the emphasis is on the stadium heist, which is only a small part of the book. Everything else, which comprises two thirds to three quarters of the novel, is crammed in at the end of the movie.

Interestingly, The Split has a couple of scenes that would indicate that the screenplay writer has read more than one Parker novel. Parker buys guns at a toy shop, very similar to the hobby shop where he considers buying guns in The Outfit. Motel owner Gladys is perhaps inspired by Madge, from The Seventh and others. Parker returning to his wife is reminiscent of The Hunter, and the man who sells the hot cars to the gang may be inspired by Chemy from the novels. While some of these are undoubtedly coincidence, a couple look genuinely inspired by the novels, especially the toy shop scene.

An Important Aside: I am pleased to note that while the heist is occurring, my Green Bay Packers are beating the Los Angeles Rams.

Image gallery for The Split

The Split is based on The Seventh