47 FILMS: 7. THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE

In our continuing series of 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams, we look at Robert Mitchum in The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

Racing driver turned eclectic director, Peter Yates’ 1973 crime drama is a “schl-epic of lowlife degenerate criminality” (me). Eddie ‘Fingers’ Coyle (Robert Mitchum) is a low-level criminal fencing guns to a team of bank robbers, but he has a sentencing hearing coming up and to get the law off his back is considering fielding information to an agent (Robert Jordan). 

Based on a novel by George V. Higgins (who also provided the inspiration for Andrew Dominik’s much underrated Killing Them Softly), the characters are unheroic, small minded, treacherous petty criminals who turn to crime out of necessity or failure. Their world is brutal and rife with betrayal, but also utterly credible.

The bank robberies are played out as a studied procedure, underwritten by nerves and panic; the cops are despicable and immoral and everyone looks tired. Even so, Victor Kemper shoots Boston in the Autumn with an eye for beauty in the Hopper-esque diners, the supermarket car parks, or down by the river. 

The supporting cast – in particular a young Peter Boyle – are superb, but it is Robert Mitchum as Eddie who seals the deal. No Hollywood star turn, he. Mitchum was a one time novelist, who had little time for acting, and he has a writer’s eye for detail and a consistent contempt for glamour. His Eddie is drab and defeated and desperate and feels utterly true. When he complains to a confederate of how he got his fingers broken – ‘hurt like a bastard’ – you feel for him in more ways than one. His is the portrait of a small time crook in the last days before the water closes over his head. It is grimly perfect and deserves to be seen before you too disappear into the void.  

Please note Peter Yates also directed Krull!

For more of our 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams CLICK HERE.

IN THE WORKS: CHOPPER 2











HOLLYWOOD- Andrew Dominik has confirmed that he has written a sequel to his acclaimed crime flick Chopper and plans to start the cameras rolling in spring 2014.

“I think the world wants to know what became of Uncle Chop Chop,” said a jovial Dominik.

I also think the world wants to know what the hell became of Eric Bana. For a while there, everyone thought he’d be the next big thing but he’s pissed it all away on crappy Rom-Coms and crappier thrillers. I saw him last week and my first words to him were “Have you gone retarded mate?” but he blamed it all on his agent. I said ” Well strewth Bana. I know she has a hot arse but I think it’s time you fired the useless bitch”. It wasn’t until he started crying that I remembered his wife was his agent.

Domnik went on to say that he has plans for the character of Chopper beyond the sequel:

Well this one is basically Crocodile Dundee. It’s practically the same storyline but with a remarkable increase in violence. We’re calling it Chopper Takes Manhattan and there’s a great tribute to King Kong at the climax when Chops climbs the Empire State Building and fends off the entire American Air force. If that does well; and there’s no bloody reason why it wouldn’t, then we’ll follow it up with Chopper in Love,Chopper goes Camping, Chopper Vs Frankenstein and The Unbearable Lightness of Being Chopper.


Chopper Takes Manhattanis due for release in 2015.

KILLING THEM SOFTLY: REVIEW

Joe Black is a mob enforcer who has to find out who knocked over Henry Hill’s card game, calling in Tony Soprano to help him out. Richard (oh I like him!) Jenkins and Black argues about The Fugees cover version of the Roberta Flack song.
Albeit the political subtext is as subtle as a kneecapping, Andrew Dominik’s third film is a dime store masterpiece, privileging dialogue over action, characters over plot, intelligence over cliché. You might not like it, but then again you might be a dumb FUCK.