The Friends of Eddie Coyle (The Criterion Collection)
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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
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.
Unfortunately, the extras on this DVD are slim at best. As per usual, the accompanying booklet contains a well-written essay by film critic Kent Jones and an excellent profile of Mitchum published in Rolling Stone around the time of the film's release.
There is an audio commentary by director Peter Yates. He cites The Friends of Eddie Coyle as one of the three favorites of his career because of the cast and the location. They shot entirely in Boston. Naturally, he talks about working with Mitchum and praises his style of acting. Yates says that they used as much of the dialogue from the novel as possible because it so authentically represented the rhythms of the way people speak in Boston.
Also included is a Stills Gallery of rare, behind-the-scenes photographs including scenes that were deleted.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fabulous Mitchum performance. Like a Willie Loman of the underworld.Published 13 days ago by Richard Leavitt
The 70's was always gritty and this movie was disturbingly good. It's one of those which slips under the carpet and is under rated.Published 3 months ago by Andrew C Smith
A classic crime film. Performances by Richard Jordan and Steven Keats are outstanding.Published 3 months ago by Steve F.
Fair film, but nothing outstanding. I think it suffers from being elevated too highly on these boards. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Duncan Dogg