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The Friends of Eddie Coyle (The Criterion Collection)

4.5 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews

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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 filmmakin--a suspenseful crime drama in stark; unforgiving daylight.

Special Features

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TIQT6G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,329 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Friends of Eddie Coyle (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: DVD
The Friends of Eddie Coyle is one of those forgotten films from the 1970s. It's a melancholic story of small-time criminals working on the fringes of Boston's underworld. It's not exactly the kind of feel-good story that lights up the box office but it is one of those fascinating, character-driven films that amazingly made its way through the studio system at a time when executives were willing to roll the dice on more challenging fare.

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.
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