The muted color scheme in this crime procedural gives dreary Boston its traditional flavor of corruption and working-class grit. While the attention it gives to the shady dealings full of suspicion by all, with city rat dialogue better than Tarantino's later not-so real talk, actually being layered and purposeful, even when it's nothing more than people shooting the shit. Call it, Pulp Fiction without the 'pulp'.
Seen at the Aero for Mitchum's 100th birthday, and who better to bridge classic hardboiled noir with the new brand of 70s grit? It is an outstanding performance, introducing Mitchum first as the cagey, tough, seen-it-all pro we know/love before stripping back layer after layer of dignity to reveal a sad sack facing the end. Contrary to many classic noirs—including some with Mitchum—there's no grandeur in fatality.
Maybe the saddest American crime film ever made. No sensationalism, no drama, just people trying to stay alive in a system they know will kill them. The dialogue (and how it reveals social standing) is phenomenal. Watch it for Mitchum, Boyle, Keats (spellbinding) and Jordan.
Timeless at its world-weary depths, exquisitely dated on its squalid surface, Yates' Coyle cribs whole pages right out of Higgins' novel, itself very nearly a script. "What dialogue!" blurbed Mailer on the back of the book -- it applies with equal wonder here. I prefer Higgins' ending, and feel mixed about "have a nice day," but can only love these performances of wounded fools and players in covetable sweaters.
Archetype 70's crime film almost plays like an episode of "Columbo" in its style, pacing, and especially the music. What makes this so different is Mitchum's performance, world-weary and empty; I wish Bresson could have directed this film instead of Yates. 70's film staple Peter Boyle is the perfect counterweight to Mitchum, and Alex Rocco ("Moe Green" in "The Godfather), also perfectly cast. Hauntingly bleak.
Mitcham excels as the low-level criminal turned informer, but when the great man is offscreen events seem inconsequential. Like Coyle, the film is torn between the romance and reality of the underworld, and the rather meek in-between result leaves me wanting bravura and brutality; instead there's a bullet through the car window, and no blood.
A low-key tragedy about a small-time criminal who rats on those further down the ladder than himself. Robert Mitchum is simply stunning as the title character, a man always on the make, but never seemingly in luck. The film seems to suggest Coyle is solely responsible for the choices he makes, yet that is seriously questioned by the machinations and misinformation rife both in the gang and within the police force.
A strong film with Mitchum bringing his full force of talent to astoudning effect. I saw it as a inviting peer hole into a complex seedy underworld far bigger than we the audience can concieve. My only critiscm is it's wavering between deep charecter piece and plot driven heist movie; meaning it doesn't quite truely fufill either as much as it could. Second viewing is demanded so my mind may change. Solid 4/5
sober, methodical, unsentimental and astonishingly faithful to the george v. higgins novel that inspired it. it's hard not to think of "the wire" during the surveillance sequences. i've never robbed a bank, or sold guns to people who rob banks, or tried to catch people who sell guns to people who rob banks. but i bet this is what it feels like.