The Friends of Eddie Coyle

A new print of this noir classic for Robert Mitchum’s 100th birthday.

R, 102 minutes

Part of our Robert Mitchum 100th Birthday celebration —

Sun, Aug 7, 7pm: Special intro by Jonathan Knipp (UIUC Media & Cinema Studies)

Don’t miss the new 4K print of 1973 noir THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, which pares versatile director Peter Yates (Bullitt, Breaking Away, Krull) with legendary actor Robert Mitchum (The Night of the Hunter, Cape Fear) in one of the best performances of his storied career. In this film, Mitchum plays small-time gunrunner Eddie “Fingers” Coyle. World-weary and living hand to mouth, Coyle works on the sidelines of the seedy Boston underworld just to make ends meet. But when he finds himself facing a second stretch of hard time, he’s forced to weigh loyalty to his criminal colleagues against snitching to stay free. Directed with a sharp eye for its gritty locales and an open heart for its less-than-heroic characters, this is one of the true treasures of 1970s Hollywood filmmaking—a suspenseful crime drama in stark, unforgiving daylight. (1973, Peter Yates, US, R, 102 min, DCP)

“Robert Mitchum turns in an immaculate performance as the artful dodger and pathetic small-timer just barely in the know—with fine support from Peter Boyle as a man whose nastiness differs only in degree from the nastiness of his world.” -The Chicago Reader

“No shots are wasted, imparting sufficient information or deer-in-the-headlights emotional freeze to say everything. It’s action as entropy, ducking the usual pandemonium of heist movies in favor of a sober account of how successful career criminals operate… FRIENDS stands as one of the most unsparing movies ever made on the subject of honor among thieves.” -Movie Mezzanine

” … inescapably cold in its rigorous refusal to indulge in the sort of warmly lurid soap opera that pervaded The Godfather or the previous generation’s gangster films that paved the way for Francis Ford Coppola’s epic. But there’s a subtle and tensely coiled element of suspense to Yates and Monash’s work that’s equally unnerving and enlivening.” -Slant

“Seen today, the movie’s supposed faults look like virtues. Admittedly, the standards of its moment were high: this was the era of Get Carter, The Getaway, The Godfather. But FRIENDS has a rhythm and tonality of its own. The ingenuity of Higgins’s narrative structure and the laconic bite of his language find their counterpart in a beautifully sustained visual scheme and an ensemble attuned, down to the smallest bit player, to the film’s mood of evenly diffused unease.” -Film Comment


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