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This review is from: Criterion Collection: Friends of Eddie Coyle [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Eddie Coyle is an ageing career criminal who is about to go down for a stretch, and naturally, he doesn't wanna go. So whilst working as the middle man obtaining guns for a team of professional bank robbers, he decides he's gonna try to secure his freedom by becoming a rat, offering information to the police. But before long the underworld are aware of his antics and he may be bargaining for more than his freedom's worth...
This is a class act it really is. Mitchum plays Coyle in one of his greatest performances. With a superb support cast featuring some very underrated guys, people like Keats, Jordan, Boyle and Rocco. The dialogue is as sweet as a nut and extremely tight. And although I've read some of Higgins' work I've not read this, so don't know how close it is to his novel. Either way, this is good. There's not a huge amount of 'action' but it certainly isn't dull, right up to the sour closure. Honestly, I've never understood why this isn't better known.
Verdict: If you like well made, 1970s, hard boiled American crime flicks, and you haven't seen it, then this is better than the likes of say... Charley Varrick, and I'd put it right up there with movies the calibre of The Taking of Pelham 123 and Prime Cut. Unmissable.