PolitFlix 14: Lovable Rogues. Gentleman Thieves. And some seriously cool and charismatic characters. Dave Bond! James Murphy! Steve McQueen! Pierce Brosnan! Mel Gibson! Val Kilmer!
Welcome! We are looking at the idea of a gentleman thief and whether there can ever be a truly ‘victimless crime’ both on film and in life. Films in question:
THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968)
THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1999)
THE SAINT (1997)
We also ponder whether the tv show, FRIENDS, was in in any way remotely homophobic /racist/sexist in undertone. Oh and we assess the merits of a little known arthouse film called THE LAST JEDI 😉
So: Grab a brew; put feet up; relax and engage those windmills of your mind (click link below and listen). Thanks so much!
PolitFlix will return in the British Legends ep: Robin Hood and King Arthur
Post Script Show Notes:
James Murphy is Editor in Chief at Movie Viral. When he isn’t busied with mergers and acquisitions? Hobbies include flying Glider Planes and planning heists for kicks.
Dave Bond is an international man of mystery, services available to the highest bidder for high stakes gambling games. Also, he is Host at Do You Expect us To Talk
The Thomas Crown Affair has two versions. First, 1968’s split screen style fest, starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Directed by Norman Jewison, the film is famous largely for moments such as THAT chess scene. And THAT theme tune (Windmills of your Mind). The premise was also inventive: the very idea of a man robbing banks, for kicks. McQueen was on top form here, displaying the kind of leading man charisma, charm and sheer coolness that reflected his off-screen exploits as a real life racing driving daredevil action man.
Pierce Brosnan decides to take a bold step and remake the film on being crowned as James Bond. His version is released in 1999, directed by John McTiernan and co-stars Rene Russo. It is less distinctive in style than the original but more rewarding in substance, sporting a love story one can believe and a more psychologically profound exploration of why a man would dabble in theft for fun. The Brosnan iteration is notably more explicit in its sex scenes, but far softer in that Crown is not planning robberies here with any real force. The final heist scene is classic in its imagery and use of the Nina Simone song, Sinnerman, now overused, everywhere. The look, aura and style of the film were copied in their own right with everything from soap opera to adverts echoing its beats for a while around 2000-7 or so.
Michael B Jordan has a new take on Crown in mind and possible pre-production is on the horizon.
Maverick is a 1994 film version of a beloved television serial. Starring Mel Gibson and directed by Richard Donner, it traded off the Lethal Weapon brand whilst aiming for something softer and more comedic.
The Saint is a 1997 techno/spy thriller, starring Val Kilmer and directed by Phillip Noyce. Intended as the first in a franchise, the film under-performed and was therefore not followed by sequels. But the film is not without merits, even as a historical curiosity.
FRIENDS was a comedy series that everyone quoted, talked about and arguably lived through from the 1990s through the early 2000s. It is now on NetFlix UK and there have been complaints that its humour is a tad on the homophobic /sexist side. But we contest that, whilst citing its far bigger problem with an excessive corporate branding / status anxiety feeding.
THE LAST JEDI is the 8th episode of the space based saga and the first to be accused of a ‘social justice warrior’ angle. Once again: we contest any notions of the film having an agenda, though acknowledge that it is a very different kind of Star Wars experience, hence the division among the fans..
Just Remember: There is no such thing as a ‘victimless crime’: even if you pull it off in style and fun in an escapist Hollywood fantasy 😉