From George Higgins’s book, The Friends of Eddie Coyle is absolutely the best, grittiest, most expertly crafted crime thriller made in the golden decade of the genre — the ’70s. Shot entirely in Boston, this was Robert Mitchum’s last great work and unfortunately went unnoticed by Oscar. To think he wasn’t even considered at first for the role boggles the mind. Ben Affleck’s The Town, also placed in Boston, pays homage to this film. Affleck actually duplicated a shot involving a hostage and a waterway. The Criterion release includes a booklet with a 1973 on-set profile of Robert Mitchum from Rolling Stone.
- The Friends of Eddie Coyle (USA) 1973, Criterion Collection
- List price: $29.95
Author Frederick Forsyth’s political thriller The Day of the Jackal is based on a plan to assassinate Charles de Gaulle in the early ’60s. Fred Zinneman’s direction never lets you down. His film builds suspense to an exalting level, so you even cheer on the bad guy! Badly remade.
- Day of the Jackal (England) 1973, Universal
- List price: $14.99
— Tony Baker
TV operations and production engineer, KPBS TV