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Archive for the ‘Faye Dunaway’ Category

The Thomas Crown Affair

31 Jan

The Thomas Crown Affair — directed by Norman Jewison. Caper Romance. A brilliant wealthy executive thrill seeker commits the perfect heist and then is tracked by a wily huntress. 102 minutes Color 1968.

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Perfect in every way, including the little detail that it has not dated in 45 years. This is largely due to everyone and everything in it, but particularly to Haskell Wexler who filmed it and Hal Ashby who edited it. Because what you see is rich and suave at all times, witty and cruel at all times, and engages two of the coldest actors ever to appear before the eye of the general world, Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen, as cold and as hot as dry ice. The casting of them opposite one another is the smartest thing here, because you cannot know which if either will melt and at what specific centigrade it might happen. It also sets a thrill seeker millionaire in a relationship with the hunter paid to track him down as the mastermind behind a brilliant bank robbery. McQueen had a hard time getting the part, that of a Harvard educated millionaire, because, of course, he is Mr. Other-Side-Of –The Tracks – but he does just fine in a suit, unless you think everyone from Harvard must talk like George Plimpton and could never wear the most sumptuous orange bathrobe seen since the fall of the Emperor Hadrian, who died for one. The climax of the film, and it is almost a climax in another regard as well, is a chess game  – chess, a game for the cold – in which the lady wears such a dress and puts her fingers to her lips in such a way, and caresses the glans of a bishop in such a unmistakable flirt, that the gentleman becomes disconcerted and must change the game and kiss her. From this point on, he courts her with thrills, particularly in a beach buggy, to see if she will drop being a hunter and become a thrill seeker with him. The entire film teeters on this Taming Of The Shrew fulcrum. They love one another; you know they do. But they never say so, for to do that would be to open up an entire field of understanding at variance with the criminal codes on which their excitement is founded. Dunaway has said it was her favorite film. She brings a rare glee to her role, and Mc.Queen blue eyes of glacial reserve.