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DVD Review

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)


Starring: Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway
Twentieth Century Home Entertainment
RRP: from £2.99
Certificate: PG
Available 25 February 2008

Millionaire businessman Thomas Crown plans a high-stakes robbery at a Boston bank using a group of men who have never seen his face and have never met each other. After the robbery goes according to plan, insurance investigator Vicky Anderson is called in to track down the mastermind behind the crime. Crown is driven by the thrill of dangerous challenges, while Anderson gets a buzz out of always catching her prey. What follows is an elaborate game of cat and mouse as each tries to stay one step ahead of the other...

The Thomas Crown Affair is a '60s classic starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. If you've only seen the '99 remake starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, then you're in for a treat. The original is far superior to the remake - which is not really a remake as such, being more inspired and loosely based on the original.

The '99 version doesn't really capture the charm or the passion between the two leads in quite the same way as the original - even if you ignore the rather bizarre chess game that is full of cheesy innuendo. The whole movie feels a lot more polished and flows more smoothly than the remake too.

This DVD is being released as part of MGM's celebration of 90 year's of United Artists filmmaking, but as 20th Century Fox now owns the DVD division of MGM it's, rather confusingly, being released by Fox. This is the same DVD that has been previously released, there are no additional extras, and it's just one of a series of United Artists movies that are being relaunched with a new retail price, that starts from £2.99.

Extras include an audio commentary by the director and the US trailer. The commentary is well worth listening to. Norman Jewison has either the world's best memory, or he spent a lot of time thinking through what he wanted to say on this commentary. It's packed full of interesting information on the film's production. His final thoughts are also quite moving, as he talks about the last time he saw McQueen before his untimely death.

We're not quite sure of the exact price for this release - the PR company told us they didn't have information on the RRP for each release and, at the time this review went live, there were no online stores stocking this DVD at a reduced price. If you can pick this up for less than a fiver it's well worth it.


Pete Boomer