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 under-appreciated film from director Peter Yates features one of the last 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, as does Richard Jordan playing a cynical Fed. Steven Keats steals scenes as a scuzzy black market gun dealer. Paul Monash adapted his screenplay from the novel by George P. Higgins. A tough, 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.