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. —The Criterion Collection
Yates began staging plays in the British provinces at the age of 19 and worked as an assistant to J. Lee Thompson and Tony Richardson in the early 1960s. He then alternated between film and TV work and made his feature debut with “Summer Holiday” (1963). Yates’ early work exhibited a talent for fast-paced action, reflected in such films as “Bullitt” (1968), which included one of the most harrowing car chases ever filmed, and “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” (1973). In a change of pace, he directed the coming-of-age comedy-drama “Breaking Away” (1979). During the 1980s Yates crafted a number of fine, character-driven studies such as “The Dresser” (1983) with Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney, “Eleni” (1985) and “Suspect” (1987). In the 90s, he worked sporadically, helming “Roommates” with Peter Falk, and reuniting with Finney for the Irish drama “The Run of the Country” (both 1995). —TCM.com
The characters and dialogue are what drives this low key crime story. I miss that in movies and it doesn't surprise me that they are few and far between. What is a surprise? BLACKHAWKS/BRUINS game with Esposito and Bobby Orr featured prominently. I HEARD ROBERT MITCHUM SAY "NUMBER 4, BOBBY ORR!" AND NO ONE ON MUBI KNOWS HOW FUCKING AWESOME THAT IS. This is the closest I'll get to hockey this year. Sigh.
Influential gangster movie still has it's rough charms. Tarantino, Affleck, even PTA's Hard Eight, they all started here. Read my full review here: http://366movies.com/2012/11/28/325eddie/
This truly is a undiscovered gem. Great all-star cast all on top of their game. This is a film that lays open part of the criminal underworld of boston, not sensationalistic but subdued and low-key… read review
“The Friends of Eddie Coyle” has more quick witted, well constructed, gritty dialog than you know what to do with. It’s a perfect depiction of the multi faceted, clever criminal mind and the underworld… read review
An incredibly laid back film, Coyle manages to really capture the essence of the characters perfectly. There isn’t a moment in the film where you believe these men are anything more than mooks, working… read review