Freebie and the Bean Reviews
I remember watching this on an old VHS tape when i was around 10 or 12 and then rarely seeing it after that.
Now its like meeting an old friend and its still as good as it was all those years ago.
Arkin and Caan are great as the freewheeling detectives called upon to keep guard on local hood Red Meyers.
What follows is a path of destruction involving Cars and motorbikes and loads of shootings, cross dressing killers, mistaken identities and all kinds of Chaos.
It may not be subtle but its a load of fun and you really cant help but enjoy yourself as they hapless duo wreak havoc on an unsuspecting city
Thanks Warner Archive
Freebie and the Bean is not only one of the first films in the buddy cop genre but it is also one of the best. Mixing high voltage action scenes, rampant violence and crude but hilarious comedy Freebie and the Bean is not only one of my favorite films in the genre but one of my favorite films of the 70s.
Starring James Caan and Alan Arkin as a pair of cops in the Intelligence Division of the San Francisco police department on the trail of well known mobster Red Meyers, the film is a nonstop ride of carnage, hilarity and superb stunts. Caan is Freebie, a bigoted cop who doesn't mind getting a few "perks" out of the job and Alan Arkin is Bean a family man and partner to Freebie who has to put up with Freebie's callous ways.
Caan and Arkin's pitch perfect interplay between each other during the film is endlessly laugh out loud funny. I particularly like the fact that both cops are prone to outbursts of violence, so the cliche of the dangerous maverick teamed up with the by the book cop thankfully doesn't really come into play in Freebie and the Bean. Both cops use very unorthodox tactics in getting what they want.
The rest of the cast includes Alex Rocco as a deliciously smarmy D.A., Loretta Swift and a very sexy Valerie Harper as Bean's wife.
Director Richard Rush shows his expertise in crafting exciting and phenomenally executed action scenes with highly memorable stunts. Rush would later go on to direct the cult classic The Stunt Man. The numerous car chases in the film are high quality and the stunt work and driving are might impressive. The high quality of the stunt work gives the film a palpable dangerous vibe throughout.
One of the aspects of the film that some critics had trouble with was the fact that many innocent bystanders get injured along the way in the film. In fact the film's mix of comedy and violence has been known to turn some people off from the film. Freebie and Bean's investigative tactics are another sore spot for some critics, these guys make Dirty Harry seem like an ACLU lawyer in comparison. One scene in particular that takes place in a bowling alley bathroom is rather infamous.
Freebie and the Bean is very un-PC, it is loaded with dialogue and situations that would never be admitted in today's Hollywood films. The crude humor of Freebie and the Bean is one of the main reasons it is one of my favorite films of the 70s, it is a relic from another era and we will never see a film like it made again.
The film is available on DVD as part of Warner Brothers Archive collection and is one of their biggest sellers. Presented in anamorphic widescreen, the film is a revelation to fans who never got to see it in the theater. The only extra is a rather mediocre trailer. I actually was shocked how poor the trailer for Freebie and the Bean was, I can't believe the film was a box office hit with such a stinker of a trailer. If you are a fan of this film or the buddy cop genre in general you need to get this DVD.
If you've never seen Freebie and the Bean do yourself a favor and get the Warner Brothers Archive DVD, you'll be amazed at what they used to get away with in films back in the 70s and you'll have a rip snorting good time at the same time.