Lot 503: Sylvester Stallone's Handwritten Letter to Burt Reynolds
Partial Text: 'Sharky's Machine' looks great, which only goes to prove you have more talent than anyone you work with - Ain't it the truth! Sincerely, Sly.
Sharky's Machine came out in 1981; it is the third movie Reynolds directed, and it is a darkly comic film about a detective who gets bumped down to vice squad and investigates a high-end prostitution ring. It is classic Burt, in that it appears to be caught between several different tones. The supporting cast – Charles Durning, Brian Keith, Bernie Casey, Richard Libertini – steals most of the scenes. There is a moment early in the film where Sharky is walking downstairs to his new assignment with the vice squad and a fellow detective says, "This is as far as I go – people go further [down] and you never see them again," and it was hard not read it as a metaphor: After Sharky's Machine, pretty much everything Reynolds touched through the '80s was an unmitigated disaster.