The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Based on the best-selling novel by George V. Higgins, The Friends of Eddie Coyle chronicles the last days of a weary Boston-based weapons dealer. Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum) doesn't want to serve a life sentence in prison, so he becomes an informant for both the police and the treasury department. Coyle is likewise unwilling to give up his lifestyle, thus he continues his illegal gun-running operation for the underworld. The mob becomes aware that Eddie is squealing to the cops, so they send his best friend, Dillon (Peter Boyle), to rub him out. Dillon compassionately takes Eddie out on the town, treating him to dinner and a hockey game...then drives to a deserted field to carry out his orders. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Classics , Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
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Robert Mitchum
as Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle
Peter Boyle
as Dillon
Richard Jordan
as Dave Foley
Steven Keats
as Jackie Brown
Alex Rocco
as Scalise
Joe Santos
as Artie Van
Mitchell Ryan
as Waters
Helena Carroll
as Sheila Coyle
Peter MacLean
as Partridge
Kevin O'Morrison
as Manager of 2nd Bank
James Tolkan
as The Man's Contact Man
Margaret Ladd
as Andrea
Jane House
as Wanda
Alan Koss
as Phil
Judith Ogden Cabot
as Mrs. Partridge
Jan Egleson
as Pale Kid
Jack Kehoe
as The Beard
Ted Maynard
as Sauter
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Critic Reviews for The Friends of Eddie Coyle

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (1)

Robert Mitchum brings late-career gravitas to this brilliant Boston-set crime thriller.

Full Review… | February 1, 2016
The Skinny

[An] un-romanticized portrayal of organized crime ... In Coyle, the heists don't go according to plan, the gun dealers are teenagers or junkies, and mob hits are messy affairs.

Full Review… | April 28, 2015
Under the Radar

Deep weariness and disappointment hover in every gesture and line reading, especially when [Robert Mitchum] manages to get off a funny remark

Full Review… | November 17, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

Peter Yates' crime drama is chock-full of wonderful moments, creative framing (especially an intrusion in a bank teller's home early on in the proceedings), and emotional punch.

Full Review… | July 9, 2011
Film and Felt

Laced with a fatalism as romantic as its Beantown milieu is damp and grungy.

Full Review… | June 7, 2011
Lessons of Darkness

Great icon-smashing and icon-making all in one.

Full Review… | October 10, 2010

Audience Reviews for The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Eddie Fingers finally set free after being beaten around the bush (to save him from serving several years of prison life) by a cunning ATF agent. "Everybody ought to listen to his mother." Okay.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Above average mid period Mitchum drama. Very dated in look now but that adds to the feeling of the story. Excellent cast of character actors, most of whom were just starting out at the time.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Seventies noir that owes much of the austerity and realism to the cold city of Boston as well as to the the french crime thrillers of Jean Pierre Melville mostly to the superb "Le Doulos" as the character study of a man moving between two factions, Robert Mitchum as an old, weary weapons dealer turned into an informant to keep himself free from a conviction he thinks would be his last. The street prose of writer George Higgins, and Peter Yates' minimalist direction are the stronger points of this notable film.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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