Freebie and the Bean - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Freebie and the Bean Reviews

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August 27, 2015
James Caan and Alan Arkin are a couple free wheeling cops in San Francisco going after a local crime boss. With two great leads who have a great comic chemistry and smart director with Richard Rush, I'd have thought this film would have been better. Reportedly the director and stars clashed, with the stars wanting the film to be more of a comedy and the director wanting it to be more of an action film. The action is solid but sadly the comedy isn't all that funny, although watching the banter between Arkin and Caan is easy and both come across as very likable. A disappointing missed opportunity that should have been a whole lot better. And Evel Knievel did an uncredited appearance in the film as a motorcyclist.
August 27, 2015
An original cop partnership for the ages. A little far fetched, but worth a few laughs.
September 8, 2013
A clever buddy cop movie that focuses on the interaction between two individuals more than it does the actual story line--Don't take it so seriously!!
April 1, 2013
Awesome action comedy from the 70s, the first buddy cop film before the likes of Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour came along. Definitely one of the best of it's kind.
December 30, 2012
Amazing. A real one of a kind movie and one of the most gut-bustingly funny things ever. Totally insane.
March 31, 2012
I don't really know if Freebie and the Bean classifies as the first buddy cop film, but if it is, it's the best one I've ever seen. It's hard to believe that a comedy like this starring Alan Arkin and James Caan as a duo was ever made, but it was. The dialogue feels fresh and must have been adlibbed. The caper isn't much of a caper but that isn't really the point. The point is following these two lunatics around in their daily lives from one catastrophe to the next and enjoying every minute of it. The Warner Archive put this out not too long ago with a terrific picture but only the trailer as an extra. I hope this gets some special edition love sometime soon as it's a terrific little gem.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2011
Thoroughly awesome, the first real buddy cop film is also one of the best. Totally ridiculous and full of shenanigans.
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2011
I don't really know if Freebie and the Bean classifies as the first buddy cop film, but if it is, it's the best one I've ever seen. It's hard to believe that a comedy like this starring Alan Arkin and James Caan as a duo was ever made, but it was. The dialogue feels fresh and must have been adlibbed. The caper isn't much of a caper but that isn't really the point. The point is following these two lunatics around in their daily lives from one catastrophe to the next and enjoying every minute of it. The Warner Archive put this out not too long ago with a terrific picture but only the trailer as an extra. I hope this gets some special edition love sometime soon as it's a terrific little gem.
½ July 10, 2011
Hirveetä rasittavaa huutamista eikä edes kovin hauska.
July 2, 2011
The Birth of the 80s Buddy Cop flick happened in 1974 with the release of the bizarre, freakshow clash between James Caan's Freebie and Alan Arkin's The Bean. Beating out confessions and shooting lowlifes in the back punctuates the comedy, and you've got at least two of cinema's finest weirdo car chases. Politically incorrect in the nicest way possible, Freebie and The Bean should be cherished by all cop genre fans; the film wanders all over the place but still manages to deliver a rollicking climax. VF.
May 8, 2011
Bizarre comedy seems lees interested in its plot of two loose cannon cops (Arkin, Caan) trying to get the goods on a local crime lord than in prolonged scenes of buddy banter. The pacing is slow by today's standards, some of the jokes date badly, and entire subplots seem pointless. On the other hand, there's some wild stunt work, and director Rush delights in throwing visual and narrative curve balls to the audience. It's interesting to think of how this film may have influenced later action-comedies like "Lethal Weapon" and "The Blues Brothers".
April 13, 2011
Fianlly getting a DVD release thanks to Warners archive label

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
February 11, 2011
Best buddy cop film I have ever seen. The interaction between Alan Arkin and James Caan is hilarious. We love how much they love/hate each other. The film gives us a main story of two cops trying to keep a man alive to put him in prison later, while we get the side story of these two guys and their strange relationship. I also love how they can shoot up anyone at any time and it doesn't matter, they just walk away. Such a ridiculous, over the top, and highly entertaining film!
January 10, 2011
Funny movie these did a great job.
June 25, 2010
1974 was the year the buddy cop film came to fruition. With the release of Freebie and the Bean and Busting, the buddy cop film became a legitimate genre that mixed crime drama elements and comedy. Oddly enough there wouldn't be another major Hollywood buddy cop film for almost another decade until the release of 48 Hours in 1982. By the late 80s with the incredible success of Lethal Weapon the buddy cop film suddenly became a quite popular genre of film.

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.
November 29, 2009
Could well be to blame for the 48 Hours/Lethal Weapon school of buddy-cop flicks - full of obnoxious noise, property destruction and un-PC attitudes, but this one has some superbly staged action scenes and real belly laughs. Get it out on DVD!
½ November 22, 2009
Lots of car chases and car wrecks, there is plenty of action in this film, but it goes on way too long and the story wears very thin after awhile. The stars work well together, and Valerie Harper has a good bit as Alan Arkin's latin wife.
July 30, 2009
Funny banter plus some top old skool stuntwork. A watch and a half.
½ April 14, 2009
this blew me away - i couldn't believe it was made in 1974! it seems like the prototype for the slew of later "buddy cop" movies. if you like lethal weapon and those type of movies you'll like this i think.
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