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Friday, April 19, 2013

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

A Boston millionaire playboy (Steve McQueen) plots a million dollar bank heist for pure kicks ..... and gets away with it. But when a glamorous insurance investigator (Faye Dunaway) gets on the case, they begin a cat and mouse game to see who'll blink first. But when they fall in love, the stakes are raised even higher. This elegant, sophisticated mix of action and romance is as shallow as they come but what a feast. The director Norman Jewison uses an innovative (for the time) split screen technique through out the film to mask a myriad of flaws but who cares when you've got the Star wattage of McQueen and Dunaway firing up the screen. Jewison knows his lead actors are his ace in the hole and he showcases them in a number of ways, the highlight of which is a chess game with no dialog, just Michel Legrand's seductive score and McQueen and Dunaway showing us just how erotic chess can be. But Jewison is savvy enough to give us a bittersweet ending (in contrast to the 1999 remake's happy ending) to keep it in perspective. The film's theme song The Windmills Of Your Mind (with lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman) took home a best song Oscar. With Paul Burke, Jack Weston, Gordon Pinsent, Biff McGuire, Nora Marlowe and Judy Pace.

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