Sunday, April 25, 2010

Make Friends With Eddie Coyle By Reading George V. Higgins' Crime Classic & By Watching Peter Yates' Fine Film Adaptation

Troy Patterson has written an interesting piece at Slate Magazine about George V. Higgins' 1970 crime classic, The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

The tough, gritty crime novel is beloved by crime aficionados. The novel influenced a good number of crime writers, including Elmore Leonard. I love this book.
Higgins, a former reporter and assistant U. S. Attorney, captured the language of the common street criminal. In this authentic novel the characters are developed and the plot forwarded via the realistic dialogue.
Eddie Coyle is a great character. Coyle is a low-level street criminal with "friends" in the low places of the Boston underworld.
Patterson recommends that you read Higgin's novel and that you also watch Peter Yates' faithful film adaptation.
The 1973 film offers two fine performances with Robert Mitchum as Eddie Coyle and Philadelphian Peter Boyle as a bartender/hitman. Richard Jordon is also excellent as a federal agent and there are several other good performances as well.
I read that Boyle was orignally signed to portray Coyle with Mitchum cast as the bartender. Yates, in an inspired piece of casting, reversed the actor's roles.
You can read Patterson's Slate piece via the below link:
You can also read what Richard Rayner at The Los Angeles Times has to say about the classic crime thriller via the below link:

1 comment:

  1. I mis~spoke~it was the USS Holland, in Holyloch, Scotland1
    Leslie Williams