Thomas Crown Affair, The (1968) A-
One of Steve McQueen’s two or three most popular and legendary films, “The Thomas Crown Affair“ displays his iconic persona, distinctive charisma, and abundant sex appeal.
McQueen, America’s most popular star at the time, plays Thomas Crown, a self-made Boston millionaire who masterminds a bank heist in hopes of leaving it all behind. Bored and tired, he hopes to pull off the caper and fly to Rio.
Erwin Weaver (Jack Weston) leads the cast of crooks who never actually meet Crown but manage to pull off the robbery without a hitch.
Crown deposits $3 million in a Swiss bank account, pays off the crooks, and waits for the insurance company to repay the bank for the loss.
However, Eddy Malone (Paul Burke) is the savvy detective who helps insurance investigator Vicky Anderson (Faye Dunaway) find the mastermind behind the heist.
There’s great erotic tension between McQueen and Dunaway and their chess game is considered to be one of the sexiest scenes ever put in a Hollywood movie, largely due to Haskell Wexler’s sharp imagery and hijinks camera moves.
Skillfully directed by Norman Jewison (right after “In the Heat of the Night”) from a screenplay by Alan S. Trustman, “Thomas Crown Affair” became one of the first films to use split-screen images, devised by editor Hal Ashby (who later became a director in his own right) .
Michel Legrand’s score was nominated for an Academy Award, and the song “The Windmills Of Your Mind, written by Legrand with Alan and Marilyn Bergman won the Oscar.
Oscar Nominations: 2
Song: The Windmills of Your Mind, music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Original Score: Michel Legrand
The winner of the Original Score Oscar was John Barry for “The Lion in Winter.”
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