Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

Day 325 - 11/21/09 - Movie #325

BEFORE: Which film wins the side-by-side comparison? The original or the remake? Quien es mas macho? - Brosnan or McQueen?

THE PLOT: A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.

AFTER: This Thomas Crown also likes golfing and expensive gliders - but he doesn't like to get his hands dirty pulling the heist. He just enjoys planning them, down to the last detail, and paying others to carry them out. And he's not interested in art, just cold, hard cash. And he lives in Boston (not NYC), where he plays polo and trades currency.

I dunno, Steve McQueen just seems a little too rugged for this - I prefer to remember him jumping over a Nazi barbed-wire fence on a stolen motorcycle, or riding a coconut raft off of an island prison. Late in this film, we see him driving a very expensive dune buggy around a beach at high speed - now THAT'S the McQueen I like!

There's an innovative use of multi-split screens during the heist, but there's also a long sequence where Thomas Crown and Vicki (Faye Dunaway) play chess. I realize it's a metaphor for their relationship, but it also represents 10 minutes of silent, boring screen time.

I think the Brosnan version edges out the McQueen film on the basis of action and overall suaveness.

RATING: 4 out of 10 smoke bombs

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