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Thomas Crown v. Thomas Crown


slaytonf
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I'd like to do a thread comparing the two movies, the original and the remake,but I can't, not having seen the latter.  I did see a few moments of the remake, but when I saw that Thomas Crown was doing the heisting, I lost interest.  One of the great attractions for the real one is that he commits the crime without ever taking part in it.  I will observe, however, that nobody has to keep insisting that the McQueen/Dunaway movie is really actually good.

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) for me is the chicest, most stylish movie ever.  Steve McQueen, sophisticated, cosmopolitan--cool.  Faye Dunaway, gorgeous, sexy, chic, polished, predatory.  Norman Jewison gives her one of the great movie entrances.

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1 hour ago, slaytonf said:

I did see a few moments of the remake, but when I saw that Thomas Crown was doing the heisting, I lost interest.  

Yeah, that was a brief, weird phase, when John McTiernan set out to remake all of his buddy Norman Jewison's 60's-70's classics as labors-of-love without really having a fundamental understanding of them.

Of course, after that, we got the '02 "Rollerball" remake, and we'll never know what would have happened after that.

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The original is brilliant and works on many levels. The remake is typical Hollywood bumbling.

The remake may have worked better if the editing had been competent and if they had cast a decent female lead and if some person had given the director a glass belly-button so that he could see what was being filmed.

The major flaws: the heist is very drawn out and has several severe plot holes; the female lead is a cheap hooker instead of an adventuress; there is no chemistry between male and female leads; it has an inane Hollywood ending instead of an awesome revelation.

The writing is very uneven in that there are moments of genius and stretches of minimally-recycled garbage.

The best performance was delivered by Denis Leary. That does not speak well of the A-List leads.

I feel the remake is watchable. That is the extent of the good things I can say of it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

NO WAY, The King of Movie COO: Steven (Terrence) McQueen's version was weaker!!!  Brosnan's about as exiting as watching paint dry, plus that typical year marvelous number WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND took home Best 0./ Song *Gold for '68 (same yr he filmed the explosive BULLITT)  In reality Steve was hurt thinking exces could not imagine him in a button down suit, so he set out to make them believe

Plus it had fine editing & smarts & I like Russo, a better actress than Ali McGraw

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On 7/27/2018 at 1:36 PM, sewhite2000 said:

The female lead is a cheap hooker? I don't think we watched the same movie. Perhaps you don't mean that literally, but because she offered herself to Brosnan too easily?

She is dressed more appropriately for a street corner than for a fine arts museum when she first appears. She is rude and uncouth and vamps her way through every scene. She does not respect any of society's refinements as exemplified by her appearance at the black-and-white ball. She uses brute force instead of the original's finesse. She is quick to make a scene when she believes that she does not have exclusive rights to him. It is obvious that she was playing above herself when she took the role of a character of normal intelligence.

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15 hours ago, SansFin said:

She is dressed more appropriately for a street corner than for a fine arts museum when she first appears. She is rude and uncouth and vamps her way through every scene. She does not respect any of society's refinements as exemplified by her appearance at the black-and-white ball. She uses brute force instead of the original's finesse. She is quick to make a scene when she believes that she does not have exclusive rights to him. It is obvious that she was playing above herself when she took the role of a character of normal intelligence.

LOL

Boy Sans, you JUST have never liked Rene Russo, have ya!  ;) 

(...but yeah, in this case, I have a tendency to agree with ya about Russo's more "overt" take on Dunaway's original more "subtle" approach to the role)

 

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8 minutes ago, Dargo said:

LOL

Boy Sans, you JUST have never liked Rene Russo, have ya!  ;) 

(...but yeah, in this case, I have a tendency to agree with ya about Russo's more "overt" take on Dunaway's original more "subtle" approach to the role)

 

How much do you believe Russo had to due with this 'take' on the character?   I say < 10%.    

Even the biggest stars like Davis,  had to follow what was in the screenplay and the direction of the director.

Also,  the same goes for how Dunaway played the character.

 

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It seems anytime a good film from the classic era is compared to a remake, its solely to rip the new film and praise the old one. Its very predictable and boring frankly.  If they made the second identical to the first, there would be no reason to watch. They make changes and every change is bad because its not like the original. Its like fishing in a bucket.

I enjoyed both films. I don't compare and contrast. I just try to enjoy the show.

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

How much do you believe Russo had to due with this 'take' on the character?   I say < 10%.    

Even the biggest stars like Davis,  had to follow what was in the screenplay and the direction of the director.

Also,  the same goes for how Dunaway played the character.

 

You definitely made a good point earlier about actors following their directors wishes James, and lets not also forget here that the second version was not a scene-for-scene remake of the first one, and thus would be another reason Russo's take on the role, her more "aggressive" take on it than how Dunaway played it(and as Sans pointed to), would also contribute to your argument here.

(...you see, my previous post was really more a little nod to Sans, as I remember a thread about this very thing a few years back and where she mentioned her, lets say, "lack of enthusiasm" for Rene Russo in general)  ;)

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1 minute ago, GGGGerald said:

It seems anytime a good film from the classic era is compared to a remake, its solely to rip the new film and praise the old one. Its very predictable and boring frankly.  If they made the second identical to the first, there would be no reason to watch. They make changes and every change is bad because its not like the original. Its like fishing in a bucket.

I enjoyed both films. I don't compare and contrast. I just try to enjoy the show.

 

 

 

Well said;     I assume none of these complainers like jazz music,  because most jazz music is a group of musicians taking well written songs and making their own interpretation of said song.      

If these complainers were in charge of jazz music all the songs done by sound composers like Gershwin,  Porter,  Ellington, Kern,   etc...  could only be done ONCE.      

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Just now, Dargo said:

You definitely made a good point earlier about actors following their directors wishes, and lets not also forget here that the second version was not a scene-for-scene remake of the first one, and thus would be another reason Russo's take on the role, her more "aggressive" take on it than how Dunaway played it(and as Sans pointed to), would also contribute to your argument here.

(...you see, my previous post was really more a little nod to Sans, as I remember a thread about this very thing a few years back and where she mentioned her, lets say, "lack of enthusiasm" for Rene Russo in general)  

I hear you;   sometimes people's "lack of enthusiasm"  (see I didn't use the H word),  is so strong they can't see straight.

 

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2 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Well said;     I assume none of these complainers like jazz music,  because most jazz music is a group of musicians taking well written songs and making their own interpretation of said song.      

If these complainers were in charge of jazz music all the songs done by sound composers like Gershwin,  Porter,  Ellington, Kern,   etc...  could only be done ONCE.      

I am a jazz fan. And I like that directors, actors etc... take the challenge and remake a classic and give their own take on the concept. There are always angles not explored in a film that a skilled professional might want to expand upon. I think it adds to creativity.

Or maybe Brosnan simply wanted to be McQueen for a film ? Dennis Leary was great in the film.

 

 

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While I can't speak with knowledge about Ms. Russo's performance.  I would like to say I don't think there was anything restrained about Fay Dunaway's Vicki Anderson.  She was chic, stylish, refined, and frank about her interests and appetites.  Although she didn't tear Thomas Crown's clothes off him the moment she first met him (admittedly inconvenient at a polo game), she made her interest in him clear, both sexually, and as a suspect.

I personally am not predisposed to dislike remakes of older movies I like.  As an example, I think Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974) the best adaptation of Dumas' work, not withstanding earlier good versions.  I lost interest in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, as I said, because the remake had Thomas Crown doing the actual thieving.  This destroyed one of the major aspects of the original that made it appeal to me.  The way he committed the crime indirectly through others who had no knowledge of his identity was an expression of a vital part of his character.  And this affected his relationship with Vicki and how the movie played out.

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I too, thought Crown's direct involvement in the crimes the remake did made it a somewhat weaker take, but too, it did put a new aspect in Crown's character.  Perhaps the writer felt his involvement in the actual crimes made him seem more daring and courageous, and therefore more compelling.  I mean, look at it this way....

Would you or ANYONE want to see a movie about western outlaws like JESSE JAMES that hired OTHER GUYS to rob the banks, and not HIM?  And too.....

How believable IS it that some guys would take the risk of prison time to pull some heist for some rich priss who's gonna be miles away while THEY risk their future pulling HIS heist, and then NOT try to double cross him and keep all that loot for themselves?

THAT was the biggest "flaw" in the original besides that "lame-O" tune.

Sepiatone

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With regard to believability, I think both films rely on a generous suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience.  And the people recruited to pull off the heist had no idea who it was they were working for, as I'm sure you knew when you typed your post.  The surest way to make Mr. Crown uncompelling for me is to make him just like any other criminal who tries to pull off a robbery.  

In the '68 movie Crown is a businessman successful, accomplished, and continually in search of opportunities.  His delight is in pulling off a deal, gaining the advantage on others doing it.  Remember his comment leaving the room after closing the sale of one of his properties:  "You paid too much."  The robbery is the in the same line with his business practices.  But he never dreams of exposing himself to danger from law enforcement, delegating the work to others.  Just like he routinely has others take on tasks.

This sets up the romance/combat between him and Vicki Anderson.  They are both brilliant, confident (to the point of egotism), and predatory.  Their parallel games of fencing and lovemaking create strange tensions that are fascinating to watch play out.  What is pretense, and what is real?  Are these two just amoral machiavellians not adverse to taking some time out from their cobra/mongoose act to play around with each other?  Worse, use it gain their end?  Is all this sophisticated, cosmopolitan planned spontaneous relationshipping just a front for the desperate covert struggle going on?  Well, we find out in the end--sorta.

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Yes, I knew that when I typed my post.  And, it's THAT fact ALONE that would make a "double cross" by them more likely.  And I'd say that in "real life", Crown would never see either a dime of the loot, or be able to find those guys again. 

Sepiatone

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16 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Yes, I knew that when I typed my post.  And, it's THAT fact ALONE that would make a "double cross" by them more likely.  And I'd say that in "real life", Crown would never see either a dime of the loot, or be able to find those guys again. 

Sepiatone

So there could be no resentment on their part for the rich priss.  As for speculating on what would happen in reality, as I mentioned before, it's a dangerous path to venture on with both of these movies.  One observation I might make is that it would be unproductive to analyze too closely the heist--in this movie, at least.  It occupies so little of the movie, its role serving as the pretext of what follows, the affair.  In this, it exemplifies the formula for a good heist movie.  That being that the heist is the least important part of it.

With regard to the latter movie, I can't say anything about it, about how much the heist--or multiple heists--occupy the movie.  But if I know my movies, I would risk saying that it, or they, take up a considerable amount of time, dwelling on the cleverness of them, and substituting for what would otherwise be spent on the characters' development and interplay.

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6 hours ago, slaytonf said:

So there could be no resentment on their part for the rich priss.  As for speculating on what would happen in reality, as I mentioned before, it's a dangerous path to venture on with both of these movies.  One observation I might make is that it would be unproductive to analyze too closely the heist--in this movie, at least.  It occupies so little of the movie, its role serving as the pretext of what follows, the affair.  In this, it exemplifies the formula for a good heist movie.  That being that the heist is the least important part of it.

With regard to the latter movie, I can't say anything about it, about how much the heist--or multiple heists--occupy the movie.  But if I know my movies, I would risk saying that it, or they, take up a considerable amount of time, dwelling on the cleverness of them, and substituting for what would otherwise be spent on the characters' development and interplay.

Well, I'd too say that focusing SOME on the cleverness of the heists, how they were done and how Crown would escape detection and still outwit  whatever  female investigator comes along is what would make the movie interesting. Like, in both versions, it's the knowing that Crown is somehow involved in the crimes, but the NOT being able to nail down concrete proof  is also what makes them both a bit compelling. That the two different versions ARE different in their own ways makes the difference too.  Like, say, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", some like the NEWER version, bcause it IS newer.  ;)

Sepiatone

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1 minute ago, Sepiatone said:

Well, I'd too say that focusing SOME on the cleverness of the heists, how they were done and how Crown would escape detection and still outwit  whatever  female investigator comes along is what would make the movie interesting. Like, in both versions, it's the knowing that Crown is somehow involved in the crimes, but the NOT being able to nail down concrete proof  is also what makes them both a bit compelling. That the two different versions ARE different in their own ways makes the difference too.  Like, say, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", some like the NEWER version, bcause it IS newer.  ;)

Sepiatone

I like the newer version because it's not censored by the MPPC, I like the older version for John Garfield and the little bit of Audrey Totter we get to see. Lana Turner never floated my boat. 

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