The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a lo-fi gangster film and shot clean through with Boston. An action film where the action doesn’t matter. What we’re interested in is sorting through the many so-called “friends” of Eddie. What kind of friends are they? Good or bad.
Eddie is a low-level hood that seems to know everybody, and done most everything. But Eddie hasn’t risen much in the world. He’s not ambitious. He just wants to provide for his family and make his way. Eddie is like most of us. Except of course, that Eddie is a criminal. You’d be hard pressed to cast a better actor for the role of Eddie Coyle than Robert Mitchum. Mitchum is at his weary, hooded-eyed best.
Before Gone, Baby, Gone, before Mystic River, there was The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Shot entirely in Boston, unvarnished and apologetic, this is a dramatic visual of the city – next to Mitchum, the real star of the film. From the rambling Quincy school bus, to City Hall plaza to the cafeterias and pool halls, the parks to a real live hockey game in the old Garden, Boston has the second lead in this film. Mitchum, shit-faced, as many Boston hockey fans used to be back in the big, bad Bruin days, yells out at one point
Greatest hockey playuh in the world. Numbah four. Bobby Orr!