Based on the novel by George V. Higgins, The Friends of Eddie Coyle is one of the more chilling of the crime film genre simply due to its realistic tone that it takes throughout. It wasn’t that the realism took the form of overt gore, drug use, sex etc. and I never felt the director or actors were trying to go over the top in terms of grit (I’m pretty tired of these gritty-styled movies being rolled out by Hollywood). It just had this almost drab nature about it that made you think about real life.
So many modern blockbuster hits in the same genre follow very predictable plot lines, while this one kept me guessing. Again, it wasn’t overly smart or full of twists. It just had that feeling that life and people are wild cards that can’t be counted on or predicted. Which is exactly like reality itself.
To add to it, the score was fabulously true to the 70s, and the acting…good. Grief.
Robert Mitchum gave the impression that he was a real criminal. Though this isn’t the case, Alex Rocco who also did a fabulous job in this film, really was. In his younger years he was a part of the notorious Winter Hill Gang in Boston, which gave him an eerie believability in this role.
If you’re a fan of crime films and haven’t yet seen this beaut, let it be your next weekend rent!