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

Robert Mitchum , Peter Yates  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Mitchum
  • Directors: Peter Yates
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TIQT6G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,625 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Friends of Eddie Coyle (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


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.


• 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
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Low-Key Classic February 20, 2009
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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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchum in Massachusetts November 30, 2007
By Sulla
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
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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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchum's Finest Performance May 25, 2009
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 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Crime Films May 10, 2009
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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8 of 8 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 Crime thriller classic! July 28, 2010
By Cube
Format:Amazon Instant Video
The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a crime movie classic. Mitchum should have been nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the all most down for count street hood Eddie Fingers. It has a melancholy hardness that shows the dog eat dog life of Boston gangsters in the early 1970's. I love the cars, the footage of 1973 greater Boston and the hard cold realism of this movie.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Eddie doesn't rob banks...He's about this high in the bunch but he gets around more than any man I've ever seen," says Dave Foley (Richard Jordan), a baby-faced Boston cop about as amoral as the wiseguys he hunts. Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum) is a worn out, two-bit gunrunner. He provides untraceable revolvers when required. He draws the line at machine guns. Eddie is honorable in his way. He loves his family. He's just a low life who isn't all that shrewd. The fix he's in, because he can't take any more jail time, is what this superb Peter Yates' movie is all about.

"Look. I'm gettin' old, y'hear?" Eddie tells a young hood who deals in machine guns. "I spend most of my life hangin' around crummy joints with the punks drinkin' the beer, eatin' the hash an' hot dogs and watchin' the other people go off to Florida while I'm sweatin' how I'm goin' to pay the plumber. I done time when I stood up but I can't take no more chances. Next time it's goin' to be me goin' to Florida." Now he's facing more prison time for foolishly agreeing to drive a getaway car when he should have asked his friends some questions. He'll do just about anything to cut a deal for no jail time. He's nearly 50. He doesn't want his wife to go on welfare, doesn't want his three kids made fun of because their old man is doing time. He's squeezed by Dave Foley to inform...and Eddie decides he'll rat a little. He's too believing to understand he might be tagged for ratting big time. It's all betrayal, but Eddie doesn't really understand betrayal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I like heist films
My fav. movie of all time. I like heist films. This is the best. Well acted and filmed. See this film.
Published 7 days ago by David Stein
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie. I really liked this
Great movie. I really liked this. I think this would be modern film noir. The main character is not heroic, but a tragic figure in a hopeless situation. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Frank Barron
3.0 out of 5 stars the book is much better, only a little narrative
a little hard for me to follow, who's,who, and too many cars to remember who was driving what.
the book is much better, only a little narrative, and most of the story written... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Bob B.
1.0 out of 5 stars ... line is that this was one of the most boring films I've seen in a...
After reading the Amazon reviews I expected to view an interesting crime movie - the bottom line is that this was one of the most boring films I've seen in a long time.
Published 1 month ago by WW
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime- the Vintage Boston Version
The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a vintage Boston crime drama. It is directed by Peter Yates of Bullitt fame and usually an action director at his core. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jack Zubritsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Low-key thriller
Very 70's flavor. Understated, lots of different story lines running parallel.
Published 1 month ago by ron smith
4.0 out of 5 stars review for criterion friends of eddie coyle
Films are all subjective but if your a Robert Mitchum fan you'll probably like it. ---He's got that certain style/demeanor that only he has. Read more
Published 2 months ago by g
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good movie especially if you like Mitchum.
Published 2 months ago by Larry Snider
3.0 out of 5 stars Loser about losers
A movie about a penny-ante loser amid an ocean of losers that never rises above the subject matter in spite of the acting.
Published 2 months ago by Richard Combs
3.0 out of 5 stars Suffers for lack of context, and flat, uninteresting characters
Robert Mitchum is wasted here as Eddie Coyle, who is willing to sell out his hoodlum pals to avoid doing another prison stretch. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ron2BSure
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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
is there any english subtitles Be the first to reply
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