Movies / Movie Reviews

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)


By Hervé St-Louis
October 23, 2011 - 06:47

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Thomas Crown is a wealthy man but organizes a heist at a Boston bank where over two million dollars are stolen. Insurance investigator Vicki Anderson, a glitzy and sexy woman, is brought in to assist Lieutenant Eddy Malone catch the mastermind of the heist. Anderson suspecting Crown from the start plays a game of cat and mouse with Crown as the two fall in love simultaneously. Will Kate catch her man?

Ok, this is a very old movie way before my time that I just discovered. I know the Bin is about comics and film reviews are usually about recent films. But once in a while, it is interesting to go back and share about an old film that I hope will trigger some interest in readers. The Thomas Crown Affair is such a film. It’s a classic from the 1960s and has that over acting vibe that we associate from period films and the Batman television series. But it’s also a cool film of wits to watch and a cool way to discover older Hollywood actors in their prime.

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Right off the bat, Anderson suspects Crown and one might think that she’s giving away her trump card by squeezing in on his turf so early in the film. It’s not. The game of cat and mouse becomes midway a love film with two different lead actors. I like Faye Dunaway’s in your face stance on screen where she does not apologize for being a strong and feminine woman. Anyone who crosses her in this film knows to watch their back. However, in the end in the “Last Supper” scene, she is transformed into a typical damsel in almost distress and loses the wittiness and smarts that made her such a great character earlier.

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Steve McQueen is cool and has that rugged look that one associates with villains instead of leading men. Yet, he pulls off the part with charm. For some reason, I kept thinking that he was like an older version of Casino Royale’s Daniel Craig. The two are not regular leading men, but their stage presence is strong enough to make you believe in their bad boy ways. One thing I can say is that Paul Burke’s Eddy Malone was as cliché as a detective cop could be with lines uttered like he was from an old radio actor.

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The stylish panel-based visual design for many of the important shots in the film was not pioneered by director Norman Jewison, but had some feel of a comic book page. I wonder if Ang Lee based his designs on the 2003 Hulk movie on Jewison’s work. This is a classic film that’s quite entertaining to watch although some scenes like the sexually tensed chest game did not age as well. Get this film on DVD or Blu-ray or just rent it. The Blu-ray version from 2008 comes with the 1999 remake of the Thomas Crown Affair starring Pierce Brosnan and Renée Russo, however, it appears that much of the plot has been changed to appeal to current Hollywood endings where everyone is happy at the end.

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Rating: 9.5 /10


Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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