Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 19th, 2018
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1943
Director: Norman Jewison
Writer: Alan Trustman
Cast: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke, Jack Weston, Biff McGuire, Addison Powell, Astrid Heeren, Gordon Pinsent, Yaphet Kotto
BluRay released: February 13th, 2018
Approximate running times: 102 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
The Thomas Crown Affair was directed by Norman Jewison, whose other notable films include, In the Heat of the Night, Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar and Rollerball. Key collaborators on The Thomas Crown Affair include, screenwriter Alan Trustman (Bullitt), cinematographer Haskell Wexler (Medium Cool, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and composer Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Bande à part).
On the surface, The Thomas Crown Affair appears to be an exercise in style over substance. And yet, the end result is a film, that far exceeds the sum of its parts. And nowhere is this more evident, then in its ability to deliver on an emotional level.
Content wise, though this film has all the ingredients that have since become synonymous with heist films. The actual crime is nothing more, than an igniter to the story that unfolds. With the heart and soul of this film being the cat and mouse game between Thomas Crown and Vicki Anderson, the specialist brought in by the insurance company to recover the stolen money.
Performance wise, the cast are all very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being Steve McQueen (The Sand Pebbles, The Getaway) in the role of Thomas Crown. Before he appeared in this film, he had already established an onscreen persona, that is in direct contrast to the character he superbly portrays in this film. Another performance of note includes, Faye Dunaway (Chinatown, Network) in the role of Vicki Anderson.
From a production standpoint, there is not an area where this film does not deliver and then some. The premise is well executed and the narrative is perfectly paced. And not to be overlooked, when discussing this film, are its stylish and inventive visuals. Standout moments visually include, the bank heist at the beginning of the film, the scene where Thomas Crown and Vicki Anderson play what is arguably the most erotic game of chess ever played and the film’s finale, which provides a very satisfying conclusion to the events that have just unfolded.
The Thomas Crown Affair comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source for this releases transfer was sourced from a brand new 4K Restoration. When compared to previous home video releases for this film. This new 4k transfer is superior in every way. Details look crisp, grain looks natural and black levels remains strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds clean, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise, the ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented and Michel Legrand’s score sounds appropriately robust.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 4 seconds), a 1967 on the set featurette with the cast & crew titled Three’s A Company (8 minutes 53 seconds), an interview with title designer Pablo Ferro (7 minutes 39 seconds), an interview with director Norman Jewison (19 minutes 26 seconds), an audio commentary with Norman Jewison and an audio commentary with film historians Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman.
Topics discussed in the interview with Pablo Ferro include, Norman Jewison, The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!, The Thomas Crown Affair and Hal Ashby.
Topics discussed in the interview and audio commentary with Norman Jewison include, the origins of the film, screenwriter Alan Trustman, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, the cast, the Mirisch Corporation, how the film was shot on location in Boston, the visuals, key moments, the score, the director’s role in the filmmaking process, his thoughts about the screenplay and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary with Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman include, Norman Jewison, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, the cast, the score and their thoughts about the film.
Other extras for this release include trailers for The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!, F.I.S.T. and In the Heat of the Night. Overall The Thomas Crown Affair gets an excellent release from Kino Lorber, highly recommended.
Note: Kino Lorber are also releasing this film on DVD.