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The Friends of Eddie Coyle (The Criterion Collection) (1973)

Robert Mitchum , Peter Yates  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Mitchum
  • Directors: Peter Yates
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TIQT6G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Friends of Eddie Coyle (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In one of the best performances of his legendary career, Robert Mitchum plays small-time gunrunner Eddie “Fingers” Coyle in Peter Yates’s adaptation of George V. Higgins’s acclaimed novel, The Friends of Eddie Coyle. World-weary and living hand to mouth, Coyle works on the sidelines of the seedy Boston underworld just to make ends meet. But when he finds himself facing a second stretch of hard time, he’s forced to weigh loyalty to his criminal colleagues against snitching to stay free. Directed with a sharp eye for its gritty locales and an open heart for its less-than-heroic characters, this is one of the true treasures of 1970s Hollywood filmmaking—a suspenseful crime drama in stark, unforgiving daylight.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Peter Yates

• Audio commentary featuring Yates

• Stills gallery

• PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Kent Jones and a 1973 on-set profile of Robert Mitchum from Rolling Stone

Stills from The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Click for larger image)





Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Low-Key Classic February 20, 2009
Format:DVD
This is not only Mitchum's best performance, but also the best all-around movie he was ever in. Surrounded by some of the best character actors of the time (Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan, Steven Keats), the script is taut and low-key, and remarkably faithful to George Higgin's excellent novel. Is a gem of a movie, worth seeing again and again. Never available on laserdisc, and rumored to get the full Criterion treatment, this has been on my "wish list" for years. It can't be released soon enough!
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchum in Massachusetts November 30, 2007
By Sulla
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This is one of Mitchum's best. An excellent adaptation of Higgins' crime noir novel and if you are a nostalgic Bostonian, watch it to see how the city and its surrounding towns were 35 years ago. Mitchum, by the way, remains the only actor not from the area who pulls of a flawless Boston accent. Jack Nicholson (The Departed) and George Clooney (A Perfect Storm) butchered the accent. But then, Mitchum outshines both of them put together in terms of sheer talent and understated presence.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchum's Finest Performance May 25, 2009
Format:DVD
Though often dismissed by critics as "walking through" his roles, Robert Mitchum) was perhaps Hollywood's most underrated actor. True, many of his films were not worthy of his talent, but when he did get a good script (e.g. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, HEAVEN KNOWS MR. ALLISON, CAPE FEAR), his performance was always mesmerizing.

Arguably, Mitchum's finest screen performance can be found in THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (1973), now available on DVD from The Criterion Collection.

Directed by Peter Yates, who supplies audio commentary on the disc, the film is set in Boston and casts Mitchum as a small-time felon, a family man facing a 2-5 year sentence on a smuggling conviction. His only hope of avoiding prison is to give an FBI agent (Richard Jordan) information that will help to bring down some bigger bad guys...like the men who have been on a bank-robbing spree and killed a teller during their last job.

Mitchum's problem is that, if he "rats" on those guys, his life is not worth a plugged nickel.

Peter Boyle co-stars in the picture, playing Mitchum's "friend," a former felon who is now a bartender and also supplies confidential information to the Feds.

Adapted from the novel by George V. Higgins by Paul Monash, this is a gritty, first-rate crime drama, shot in almost a semi-documentary style. Mitchum's performance, particularly his first scene in which he explains to a young punk gun dealer how he got the nickname, "Fingers," is unforgettable.

The Criterion package contains a booklet of essays on Mitchum and the film.

© Michael B. Druxman
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchum's absolute best May 16, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
To steal a line, Mitchum "put his whole soul into" this film. Eddie is a loser who knows he will never be a big player but who manages to keep his niche in a criminal world well enough to raise his family, until he faces prison time he can't afford to do. He tries to do some small snitching for treasury agent Dave Foley (Richard Jordan)but Foley is as slimy as everyone he's after and wants more and more, and Eddie's despicable "friend" Dillon (Peter Boyle) is busy working both ends against the middle, where Eddie gets caught. Terrific cast at their best. Dark, dangerous, and frightening. Very Boston and very 70s. Very, very good.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch how it's done, Affleck April 24, 2011
Format:DVD
What a great day it was when this 70's masterpiece found its way to DVD. Perfect playing by Mitchum, Boyle, Keats and Jordan (and what a loss that Keats and Jordan died tragically young and are so unknown to current viewers). A rare example of a movie that was far superior to the book it was based on, too.

I just saw "The Town" with its endless gun battles, and while it's got some good points, I don't think "The Town" will be watched 40 years from now with the love and admiration that so many of us have for "Eddie."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Crime Films May 10, 2009
Format:DVD
This film has inexplicably been unavailable for decades,except for DVD's shot from TV.
the film was usually chopped badly for its TV appearances,although the Mystery Channel did a credible job.
Criterion-wow!!I have to see this.
This film was remarkably faithful to George V.Higgins' excellent dialogue-driven novel.
Robert Mitchum gave the performance of his lifetime and the supporting cast of a genially sinister Peter Boyle,as well as Mitchell Ryan,Alex Rocco,Richard Jordan,and Joe Santos played their roles to the hilt.
The location shooting and cinematography were perfect and the dialogue was as believeable as it gets.
There were even two good subplots that were never out of place.
This was truly a realistic,even understated, crime film devoid of gimmicks or gratuituous violence.
I spent 26 years in lw enforcement and consider this one of the best crime films ever made.
Now,when will Criterion get their hands on The Man From Mallorca and The Man on the Roof,two great Bo Widerberg crime films,and Nick Gomez'Laws of Gravity?
All are available only on VHS,although The Man on the Roof can be found on DVD if you have a region-free player.
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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I absolutely adore this film. My theory is that we sometimes feel a special affinity for films for the place and time where we grew up.
I think this is doubly true when we look back to a world we new that no longer exists. For me, who has viewed at least 2500 films in the last 5 years(more than half international) and came of age (21 or so) in the early 70's in the Boston area this is a particularly poignant, and powerful, film. I think for other people in this, at that time, very ethnically (e. g. Irish vs. Italian with Brahma still visibly at the top) racially (the busing crisis and the deplorable situation of Black people that still exists today), and economically segregated, pre-high tech, pre-globalized Boston, this film is very accurate and also reflects the somber economic quagmire of this area in the early 70's. I think only Paul Newman in the Verdict and the documentaries: particularly the Documentary "Salesman" - by the Maysles brother's- and to a lesser extent the great, largely unheralded, work- of Joseph Wiseman (e. g.; "Titticut Follies") come close to giving a unique view of this fascinating city before it started to lose it's provincial authenticity and charm; and the Oscar Winners: Mystic River, which captures some of pre yuppie Charlesown- although the characters are still a little too glamorous (i.e.; Sean Penn- although Tim Robbins is great) really doesn't capture the grit and desperation of that place at that time) although it is still a good story. Except for it's depiction of the somewhat Kafkaesque, and sometimes corrupt Boston Police and government, The Departed could have been shot anywhere. The Boston accents were terrible.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
Why can't they make good movies anymore? This movie was made when my mother was a kid so I don't remember the times, but old movies like this help me get a feel for what it was... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Aaron Fahl
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchum's Best
Haven't seen this one in decades and it still holds up as a first rate crime drama. Many films have been shot in Boston but this one is the finest.
Published 1 month ago by Bing
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic crime story
Great writing, acting, but it's Boston that shines here. Such a time machine into 70's Boston. Gritty, real, perfect. You can taste the city in all it's authentic glory. Read more
Published 1 month ago by peggyd
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, if you have not seen this...
You are in for a treat. How the heck is this free on Prime?

Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Moe Green from the Godfather. A book by George V. Higgins. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matt
4.0 out of 5 stars A great Mitchum movie
An excellent look at gangster life. This gritty feel for small time hoods is an excellent noir. Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle are outstanding.
Published 1 month ago by William E. Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Mitchums Role
Great movie. Robert Mitchum was deserving of an Oscar for his performance in this movie. Have watched this movie 3-4 times already.
Published 2 months ago by Hitter
5.0 out of 5 stars Killing Them Softly -1
One of the greatest movies you will ever see, the Friends Of Eddie Coyle walks a shaky narrative tightrope, but delivers everything a crime film needs.
Published 2 months ago by John Cockerton
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Robert Mitchum, perfect in this period piece, brings George V. Higgins' downtrodden character to his destiny with dignity and depth. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael H. Bartlett
5.0 out of 5 stars Higgins' first book
Read the book decades ago, very good as I recall, but hadn't seen the film version. Mitchum is terrific, as is Robert Jordan. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Peter C Isakson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent crime drama
Robert Mitchum at his best with a great supporting cast. Gritty and rich characterizations as well as great location shots make this film and instant classic.
Published 3 months ago by R. Napolitano
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The Magnificent Ambersons
Digitalbits website reports that Criterion has a "Magnificent Amrbersons" edition in the works. (maybe being issued fall or winter 2009?)
May 20, 2009 by FilmFan |  See all 2 posts
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