Day 276: The Thomas Crown Affair 1968

Day 276

1 April 2018  0001

The Thomas Crown Affair

A Norman Jewison Film

Last night my wife and I watched this enormously entertaining film which is as much about cat and mouse warfare as it is about a chess game.

You probably won’t find this film on any list of the 100 Greatest Films Ever Made, or even 1000, although there are things, particular aspects of this film, which are remarkable, groundbreaking and potentially influential. I don’t think anything changed in filmmaking after this film was made and viewed but it represents something powerful and attractive in Hollywood filmmaking in the late sixties and the early seventies: the power that stars have and the money that is thrown at a film in which they star.

What it does do is provide a frozen moment in time where two actors are at the peak of being two of the most beautiful and handsome people ever photographed. Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind would be another, as would Audrey Hepburn in Charade. The magnetism of Steve McQueen shows he is a star, like Ford, Cruise, Clooney, Costner or Gibson in the age I grew up. When he’s serious, when he smiles, when he drives his beach buggy like a juvenile delinquent or steps out of a glider, or when he wears a three-piece suit, or reads the newspaper on his balcony (not wearing a shirt) after a night of good sex, he’s a star. Likewise Faye Dunaway. The camera loves her in films like Bonnie and Clyde and Thomas Crown.