Urban Cinefile
"He has a wonderful sense of humour and is constantly in a side show, circus manner, juggling people's energies in order to get what he wants."  -Marton Csokas on xXx director Rob Cohen
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday December 3, 2019 



Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) is a billionaire who has everything - except some fabulous impressionist paintings and a mate. He steals the former and isn't looking for the latter. When a major painting is audaciously stolen, the insurers set investigator/bounty hunter Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) loose - she's as smart as she looks, maybe even more dangerous and just as solo and just as successful as Crown. Detective - as he'll keep reminding us - Michael McCann (Denis Leary) is wary of Catherine, until he recognises that she has more smarts than most of New York put together. She wants to catch Crown, professionally speaking, but somehow, cupid jams the airwaves, with two high-flyers coming face to face (and lips to lips). Still, when it comes to the crunch, nobody, not even the key players, know which way the dice will roll.

The ultimate in slick and sophistication, The Thomas Crown Affair DVD not only offers director John McTiernan's absorbing commentary, but also includes a fascinating comparative with the original 1968 version in a feature called 'The Making of a Masterpiece'. McTiernan talks about the relationship between the two films and describes how Faye Dunaway's tongue-in-cheek casting as Thomas Crown's analyst is a cinematic pun, and homage to the infamous notion that this is a remake. McTiernan ('most people call me McT') is obviously a perfectionist and points out some of the technically complicated shots and candidly discusses the balance of sexual aggression between Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo and their screen personas. While there is no repetition of the infamous chess game scene in which McQueen and Dunaway oozed suggestive sex, there's plenty of sizzle with Russo as the sexual predator the resulting undercurrents are as explosive as volcanic eruptions. As for the topless scene - McTiernan didn't tell Russo about it until the day of the shoot. She had no problem with it, but the studio was terrified and insisted on an alternative scene with a bathing suit. At one test screening, he recalls, someone said 'Once I saw she had no top on, I couldn't pay attention to what she said.' And of course, that is the point. Lovers of trivia will be fascinated - it was no coincidence that the Mustang used on Martinique was the same colour as McQueen's in Bullitt, and there's the car made for Arnie in Last Action Hero. But you'll have to get the DVD to hear all the details. The DVD menu is beguilingly set in an art gallery images from the film are framed as paintings on the wall and the music theme tantalises. Easy navigation allows access to scene selections, the excellent US trailer, a music video and languages. I must admit to some frustration with the disc sticking and jumping a few times, but the quality of picture and sound in widesceen is superb. The Thomas Crown Affair is serious, superb and stylish entertainment and worthy of repeated viewings."
Louise Keller

Email this article


THE ORIGINAL MOVIE starring Steve McQueen & Faye Dunaway

(M15+) (US)

CAST: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo

DIRECTOR: John McTiernan

RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes

DVD RELEASE: March 2000

DISTRIBUTOR: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2019