The Thomas Crown Affair
is a quirky 1968
drama about the unusual relationship that develops between a millionaire who robs banks for the fun of it and the sassy insurance investigator who is hired to catch him. Directed by Norman Jewison
and written by Alan Trustman
, it stars Faye Dunaway
and the inimitable Steve McQueen
This original version differs greatly from the 1999 remake starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. Whereas Brosnan's Crown was pretty much good at heart, Steve McQueen's thief is much more of a sociopath. McQueen also plays the character as much more mysterious and darker, although he still manages to project that ineffable sense of utter cool that made him such an icon as an actor. The movie is a bit quirky with weird split screens and strange camera angles, but in the end I decided I liked the way it was not afraid to have its own style. The music - mostly rippling piano leads - is funky but cool. On the unfortunate side, Dunaway's character may have been a bold woman for the time, but hers is not nearly as strong and independent as Russo's version. There was some clear sexism back then, at least from my modern perspective, that ultimately weakens the movie a bit. Interestingly, the ending is totally different in this version and in the remake. Ultimately, this version's characters are perhaps a little more human and for that reason, interesting, than their modern counterparts - more complicated in there desires and motivations - but their relationship is not as deeply explored as the the newer version's is. Overall, a stylish, solidly entertaining movie.