Peter Yates Died

A great film director who never, ever pigeonholed himself. The same guy made Bullitt, Breaking Away, and The Friends of Eddie Coyle. You should watch these films! Breaking Away is one of my favorite films ever, and The Friends of Eddie Coyle is arguably the best Boston film ever. I’m not exaggerating!!

I wrote a tribute to Eddie Coyle a couple of years ago, before it was reissued on a pretty Criterion DVD. It’s one of the better pieces I’ve written, although I’ve since revised my opinion on The Departed. “Eddie Coyle, on the other hand, has the nuance and, for lack of a better word, the dig-your-heels-in authenticity of a troubled city breathing a wheezy sigh. Perhaps that’s due to the fact that you believe these characters are poor and desperate and Yates is willing to let their status color the frame—the stillness of Eddie Coyle lingers long after the final shot.”

Here’s another really good piece on Eddie Coyle’s Boston authenticity. The Departed screenwriter William Monahan has some choice words about Eddie Coyle, but mostly due to George V. Higgins: “The Departed is the first time Boston was ever put accurately on screen, and I’m intentionally excluding the Friends of Eddie Coyle, which incidentally had an English director, because Higgins did a sort of Amos and Andy dialect comedy about his own people to entertain an audience of wannabe WASPS. Higgins had an investment in trashing his own people to entertain cunts who thought the Irish were fucking animals, with the possible exception of George V. Higgins.”