Freebie and The Bean is a 1974 action-comedy film about two San Francisco police detectives who have one goal in life, bringing down a local hijacking boss. While distracted by his suspicions that his wife is having affair, Bean and his partner investigate racketeer Red Meyers, only to learn that a hit man is after Meyers as well. The picture, a precursor to the buddy cop film genre popularized a decade later, stars James Caan, Alan Arkin, Loretta Swit and Valerie Harper. Harper was nominated for the Golden Globe for New Star of the Year. The film was directed by Richard Rush. Stanley Kubrick called Freebie and the Bean the best film of 1974. Arkin and Caan would not appear in another movie together again until the 2008 film adaptation of Get Smart. —wikipedia
The man once cited by none other than François Truffaut as one of American cinema’s greatest talents, filmmaker Richard Rush helped launch the careers of such cinematic luminaries as Jack Nicholson and Francis Ford Coppola, though his own stalled after The Stunt Man in 1980. A New York City native whose training in the U.C.L.A. film department fueled his passion of movies, early work as a recording engineer helped Rush learn the technical side of filmmaking, while working in industrial films gave him an eye for continuity and flow. Dubbed “the first American New Wave director” after his 1960 directorial debut Too Soon to Love (which he also wrote and produced) was acquired for distribution by Universal, subsequent exploitation flicks Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967) and Psych-Out (1968) established him as a filmmaker who could turn out an entertaining quickie on short notice. After Getting Straight became Universal’s highest grossing film of 1970, Rush’s unique style of social satire… read more
A balls-out destructive and anarchic buddy action comedy that's too politically incorrect to exist today, Freebie excels when it's at its most manic and Arkin/Caan exhibit their killer chemistry. The narrative slackness is its greatest strength in the opening segments but hurts the film as it slogs toward a more conventional cop drama climax. Definitely worth checking out on the Warner Archive Instant service.