The Friends of Eddie Coyle

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  • Gritty Storytelling At Its Best
    The accents were not great even if they weren't butchered. But TFOEC has an understated gritty realism that left me profoundly moved at the end of the film. The movie lacks the frequent dramatic, violent scenes and plot twists that seem so common in newer movies (The Departed). Instead, TFOEC relies on deceptively simple storyline that progresses inexorably to a subdued but compelling ending. Everything about the film (Mitchum's performance, the score, the scenery) is powerful without resorting to the gimmicks and histrionics of almost any recent crime film. I grew up in and right outside Boston and in my opinion, TFOEC got the scenery, dialogue and accents (almost) just right. One of my favorite films of all time. I came to this page looking for the DVD and was suprised that the movie was only available for digital downloading. Finally, it will get the treatment it deserves in this Criterion release....more info
  • Mitchum's Finest Performance
    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...more info
  • Mitchum's absolute best
    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....more info
  • Please release this movie on DVD
    Please Paramount release this great movie on DVD. Nice to see that is available as a download. Unfortunately it doesn't work in Europe. There are a great number of movie fans out there that want this movie in their collection....more info
  • One of the Best Crime Films
    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....more info
  • Scheduled to release Tuesday, May 19, 2009 on DVD
    The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

    Friends Of Eddie Coyle DVD
    Regular Price: $29.95
    Our Price: $21.99 DVD
    Scheduled to release Tuesday, May 19, 2009
    Place your order today and be one of the first to receive this product when it arrives.

    Category Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Criterion Collection

    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.

    Actors: Robert Mitchum
    Directors: Peter Yates
    Format: Color, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
    Language: English
    Number of discs: 1
    Studio: Criterion
    DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
    Run Time: 102 minutes
    ...more info
  • Where is the DVD?
    This is a fantastic and realistic movie with a great cast, great story, and great music that still holds up to this day. I watched it a long time ago when it first came out. I bought the download on itunes the other day and watched it again and it is still great! So I ask, what is that hold up on getting this movie on DVD? It is fantastic....more info
  • Very Good Crime Film
    This film was a minor letdown after reading all the five star reviews. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the film. My theory is that after years of being out of circulation it's reputation exceeds it's actual artistic worth. Everything here is aces, though. Good direction, atmosphere and writing. The acting is superb with the stolid Robert Mitchum leading the cast. I particularly liked Steven Keats' gundealer and Richard Jordan's duplicitous fed. I think we've been spoiled by the high quality of films in this genre with Sidney Lumet's "Prince of the City" and Martin Scorsese's "The Departed". Recommended without reservation but not as enthusiastically as some....more info
  • A Low-Key Classic
    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!...more info
  • A great, underappreciated crime film from the 1970s!
    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....more info
  • One of the best films of the 70's
    It was a crying shame that The Friends of Eddie Coyle was unavailable in any format for years and years. This Criterion edition is both long overdue and very welcome indeed. Quite simply, this is one of the best American films of the 70's, and one of Peter Yates's best films ever. The documentary quality to much of the film is riveting, and the location shooting in Boston and environs, as well as the superb supporting players, give a real feeling of authenticity, of time and place. Then there's Robert Mitchum...certainly, this is one of the outstanding performances of his career, and I would call it the best of the latter portion of his career. The people who call it the best of his ENTIRE career have a very arguable point (Out of the Past and Nigh of the Hunter aren't exactly chopped liver) but I can see where they're coming from. But undoubtedly this gritty film deserves to be better known. ...more info
  • Not the best Boston film, but certainly one of them
    "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" is a fine film and one that features one of the best performances by the always great Robert Mitchum. It is one of the best films made about Boston, and living in the area my whole life, gives it a little more value to me personally. While the book had great dialouge and characters, its ending was a little anti-climactic and didn't seem to say a whole lot, which inevitably reflects in the film. I will have to disagree with the reviewer who claimed that this was better than The Departed, however. It was not in the same league as that film, which stands above all other Boston based films, like the great "The Verdict", "Good Will Hunting", and "Gone, Baby, Gone", all terrific films. To say the accents in the Departed by Damon and Nicholson were butchered is absurd, and DiCaprio especially nailed. However, we are talking about "Eddie Coyle" and if you want to see a gritty crime drama with great characters and awesome location shooting, check this one out....more info


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