Tonight's Saturday Night Cinema is one of my all time favorite post Hollywood's golden age classics, The Thomas Crown Affair. Starring the sleek, sharp and ultra fashionable Faye Dunaway and the stuff of man-crushes, the hunky Steve McQueen, it's a smart, sexy, modern love story. When men were men and women wanted them that way. ~Swoon~
I was like all of ten years old when I first saw this, and that's who I wanted to be when I grew up. Dunaway was an inspiration -- her beauty, self confidence, intelligence, fashion, (those lashes!) and wit pitted against McQueen's tough, cool, reserved machismo was the feminine ideal.
The Norman Jewison film tells a crackerjack story, well-tooled, professionally crafted and fashioned with obvious meticulous care.
The movie is a game of wits, a chess game, and interestingly enough, the chess scene is one of the great erotic scenes. I only recently became aware that some of the chess moves in that scene showed parts of the famous chess match, Zeissl-Walthoffen, Vienna 1898.
Hot stuff, kids.
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)Screen: 'The Thomas Crown Affair':Film Stars McQueen and Faye Dunaway
"THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR," starting Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway and directed by Norman Jewison (of "In the Heat of the Night"), is just the movie to see if you want to see an ordinary, not wonderful, but highly enjoyable movie—of which there have been so few this year. In a way it is the last word in a girl's career versus love story; Miss Dunaway plays a single-minded insurance investigator determined to arrest McQueen, a millionaire who robs a Boston bank to express his alienation from the System. It is not quite clear why she pursues him in a monomaniacally professional way, but the ending is just right and it is very important not to walk in late and see it before the beginning, which is the lovely robbery itself.
..... there are a lot of good things; McQueen is always special, and although this role is too indoors and formal, for him, he does get a chance to race across the desert, or fly a glider or lounge on the beach, in the casual-intense work he is best at. Miss Dunaway has some nice scenes in which she struggles tearfully with her monomania. Alan R. Trustman, who wrote the screenplay, has tried for some flat, straight ersatz Bogey lines, "I know who I am. Don't you pin your labels on me, Eddy," or "It's my funeral. You're just along for the ride." Sometimes this gets to be like the similes (He, after a date: "Tomorrow night?" She: "What about it?" She, at police headquarters: "Say good-by to Irwin, dear." He: Good-by, Irwin dear." He, at home at chess: "Do you play?" She: "Try me."), but it is worth trying just to hit some idiom that will catch on in the imagination as the old one did. And the final stages of the plot are really admirable.
Also, the robberies themselves are graceful and funny. Peggy Shirley has a pale, screaming walk-on as a nagging wife, and there are a couple of songs, written and sung by Noel Harrison (who recorded Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne"), just put in, almost irrelevantly, as they were in "Up the Junction" to cover the action. They work out very well. The movie opened yesterday at the Astor, the 34th Street and the 86th Street East.
THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, written by Alan R. Trustman; produced and directed by Norman Jewison; a Mirisch Corporation presentation released through United Artists. At the Astor Theater, Broadway and 45th Street, the 86th Street East Theater, at Third Avenue, and the 34th Street East Theater, east of Third Avenue. Running time: 102 minutes.
Thomas Crown . . . . . Steve McQueen
Vicky Anderson . . . . . Faye Dunaway
Eddy Malone . . . . . Paul Burke
Erwin Weaver . . . . . Jack Weston
Carl . . . . . Yphet Kotto
Benjy . . . . . Todd Martin
Dave . . . . . Sam Melville
Abe . . . . . Addison Powell
Arnie . . . . . Sidney Armus
Curley . . . . . Jon Shank
Don . . . . . Allen Emerson
Ernie . . . . . Harry Cooper
Bert . . . . . John Silver
Gwen . . . . . Astrid Heeren
Sandy . . . . . Biff McGuire
Miss Sullivan . . . . . Carol Corbett
John . . . . . John Orchard
Jamie MacDonald . . . . . Gordon Pinsent
Danny . . . . . Patrick Horgan
Honey Weaver . . . . . Peggy Shirley
Jimmy Weaver . . . . . Leonard Caron