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The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Where to Watch The Friends of Eddie Coyle

R
1973

The film, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, released in 1973 is an American crime neo-noir directed by Peter Yates and adapted from George V. Higgins' novel of the same name. It features an ensemble cast that include Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, and Richard Jordan. This movie serves as a gritty, authentic portrayal of the grimy underbelly of Boston's criminal world in the early 1970s.

Robert Mitchum embodies the eponymous anti-hero, Eddie Coyle, portraying him as a middle-aged ex-convict trying to steer clear of further complications in life. Known only in the streets as Eddie "Fingers" because of the crime that landed him in prison years prior, he's a small-time crook who supplies the Boston underworld with guns.

The film opens with Eddie about to lose his relatively free life as he faces a prison sentence for a truck hijacking. With a wife and kids to look after, he negotiates for freedom with a subtle terror in his eyes that gives us a glimpse into the desperation of his everyman character. Eddie is quietly haunted by aging, his impending jail term and the ruthless reality of his existence.

Peter Boyle features as Dillon, a stoic, manipulative bar owner who also doubles as a contract killer but whose allegiances become increasingly murky as the plot unfolds. Meanwhile, Richard Jordan plays the ambitious, unscrupulous federal agent Dave Foley who tries to leverage Eddie's predicament with unwavering authority.

Caught between desperation and survival, Eddie becomes an informant for Foley. The complex dance between these characters is a driving force in the film. The narrative brilliantly intertwines their lives and agendas, pulling you into the grim reality of Eddie's life in the process.

Director Peter Yates, known for his cinema vérité style, paints a gritty picture of Boston's landscape, inviting the audience into the city's labyrinthine underbelly. The film's realism is tangible, displaying a city teetering on the brink of decay, mirroring the predicament of Eddie Coyle. His view of Boston is claustrophobic, trapped in a web of threats and deals, stripped of glamour or romance.

There's a richness to the film's narrative, a technique that twisted 'gangster films' into a more sophisticated exploration of crimes and their motivations. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the real danger lies in the betrayal among friends, a deadly game where trust and loyalty teeter precariously on the edge.

Eddie Coyle's friends are not glamorous criminals. They are thieves, killers, and back-stabbers, mirroring the reality of the criminal underworld where friendships hang by a thread, ready to snap at the slightest provocation. Friendship here is merely a guise, a thin veil, to operating within the convoluted criminal realms where vested interests and survival take precedence over relationships.

This character-driven story hinges on Mitchum's brilliant and understated performance. His Eddie is world-weary, disillusioned, and painfully real. While his struggle is criminal, the humanity of his plight could apply to any man, giving the film its universal resonance. The film does a fantastic job of evoking sympathy, disappointment, and dread for Eddie; revealing a layer of pathos in the character that’s both alarming and appealing.

Far from glorifying the criminal world, The Friends of Eddie Coyle is an exploration of desperation, grit, survival, and the harsh truth about crime's impact on relationships, offering an unforgettable dive into the darkest corners of Boston's criminal life.

The film offers an exceptional performance from Robert Mitchum, who meets his doom with the weariness of an old pro who understands the inevitability of his fate. On the other hand, Peter Boyle and Richard Jordan also deliver brilliantly, their characters flawlessly embodying the malleability of morals when power comes into play.

While it might initially seem like a departure from the typical gangster-film genre, the film stands legendary as one of the most realistic depictions of life in the underworld. Its unglamorized depiction of Boston's criminal life, coupled with Mitchum's incredible acting, offers a chilling examination of a crime-ridden world where the only thing you can trust is that you can trust no one.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle, in summary, is a bleak, gripping dissection of the criminal underworld, a compelling narrative that remains an unsung gem in the annals of classic cinema. That being said, it's not just another crime film; it's a brilliant character study, a strikingly realistic portrayal of desperation and survival, and a grim reminder that crime doesn't pay.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a Crime, Drama, Thriller movie released in 1973. It has a runtime of 102 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.4. It also holds a MetaScore of 84.

How to Watch The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Where can I stream The Friends of Eddie Coyle movie online? The Friends of Eddie Coyle is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Friends of Eddie Coyle for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.4/10
84/100
Director
Peter Yates
Stars
Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan
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