The Thomas Crown Affair

A very expensive caper picture that drowns in its own artiness, using multi-images, cinematic tricks, and other pretentious film gimmicks--all of which detract from the story. Set and partially filmed in Boston, it's the tale of a self-made millionaire, McQueen, who decides that he has been a member of the Establishment long enough. With the help of aides...read more

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A very expensive caper picture that drowns in its own artiness, using multi-images, cinematic tricks, and other pretentious film gimmicks--all of which detract from the story. Set and partially filmed in Boston, it's the tale of a self-made millionaire, McQueen, who decides that he has

been a member of the Establishment long enough. With the help of aides who never actually meet him, McQueen arranges a brilliant bank robbery that nets millions. McQueen pays off his assistants (most notable is Weston) and banks the remainder, almost $3 million, in Switzerland. The bank's

insurance company pays off the loss, then assigns its number one investigator, Dunaway, to the case. She is working in league with police officer Burke, and, through a totally unbelievable gut instinct, she picks McQueen as the most likely suspect (audiences groaned at this jump of logic). Dunaway

moves in on McQueen, and the two recognize each other as the enemy. In an artsy sequence, Jewison sends his camera around the two (the way it was done in A MAN AND A WOMAN) as they fall in love after a chess game that parodies the eating sequence in TOM JONES. Dunaway is completely ga-ga over

McQueen and thinks she can get him off without a prison sentence if he gives back the money. The chances of that are slim to none, and McQueen wants to see if she really loves him or is using her body as part of her investigation. McQueen says he's about to pull off another caper and wants her to

meet him in a local cemetery after the job's done. She shows up there with Burke, and the money is in a garbage can. McQueen's Rolls-Royce arrives, and she thinks it's him. But no--further double-cross ensues.

Split-screen techniques, which were all the rage after having been seen to great advantage at the 1964 World's Fair, are used time and again. The Bergman song "The Windmills of Your Mind," written with Legrand, won an Oscar, and Legrand was nominated for his music. The supervising film editor was

Hal Ashby, who also was associate producer. Walter Hill (who later became a writer-director) was one of the assistant directors and, thankfully, picked up none of Jewison's bad ideas. Trustman was a practicing attorney when he wrote the script; he has since written several more films. McQueen is

charming, reads his lines well, and shows that he isn't just another short actor with an interesting face. Watching the film today, one can sense the era in which it was filmed, as many other movies of that period made the mistake of placing technique over characterization.

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  • Review: A very expensive caper picture that drowns in its own artiness, using multi-images, cinematic tricks, and other pretentious film gimmicks--all of which detract from the story. Set and partially filmed in Boston, it's the tale of a self-made millionaire, Mc… (more)

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