All the kudos usually goes to Bullit, released the same year, yet with this movie, McQueen, the King of Cool, comes of age as an actor, at the height of his power as the No.1 Box office Hollywood star. Commonly regarded by critics as a triumph of style over substance, Jewison crafted a movie for the age and drew from McQueen the kind of performance of which few thought him capable. True, Dunaway's outfits (and Burke's hats) do cement the movie pretty firmly into its time period but anyone coming new to this movie who wasn't around at the time it was made has ample compensation in the luminosity of the stars, the fabulous jazz inspired Michel Legrand soundtrack, a gem of a performance from Jack Weston, as Erwin, and the famous chess game scene.
Through the filter of McQueen's performance in the movie, picturing Brosnan as Crown in the recent remake is even more ludicrous than trying to picture Alec Baldwin as Doc McCoy: watch out for the scene in which Crown sets the 'ball rolling' by phoning up the members of the 'gang' he's hired to carry out the heist and then reflect on the observational skills of his detractors. His acting in this movie was matched only by that of his performances later in Papillon and the Getaway. Ultimately, the movie has stood the test of time and will continue to be watched long after DVDs of the Brosnan remake are gathering dust, deservedly, on the shelves of charity shops up and down the country.