By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on November 28, 2009)
The Friends of Eddie Coyle – Criterion Collection DVD
One of the best film noirs of the 1970s finally made its belated debut on DVD , thanks to Criterion. This vastly under-appreciated film from director Peter Yates features one of the last truly great performances from genre icon Robert Mitchum, at his world-weary, sleepy-eyed best as an aging hood. Peter Boyle excels in a low-key performance as a low-rent hit man, and Richard Jordan is superlative as a cynical and manipulative Fed. Steven Keats steals all his scenes as a scuzzy black market gun dealer. Paul Monash adapted his screenplay from the novel by George P. Higgins. A tough and lean slice of American neo-realism enhanced by DP Victor J. Kemper’s gritty, atmospheric use of the autumnal Boston locales. Criterion’s restoration and transfer of the print is outstanding.