The Thomas Crown Affair

The Thomas Crown Affair aimed for 1968's new generation of filmgoers by packaging hip emerging stars Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in a stylish tale of bank robbery, romance, and stickin' it to “the Establishment.” McQueen plays a Boston super-tycoon who'd rather plot elaborate heists than attend board meetings, with Dunaway as an unscrupulous insurance detective who's on his tail, and soon at his side. “What would you do with all that money?” she wonders to a city flatfoot. The film finds its pleasure in what McQueen and Dunaway do with the dough: polo, dashing outfits, dune buggies, chess matches in the manse, reading the Wall Street Journal shirtless. Haskell Wexler's cinematography, Hal Ashby's editing, and the then novel multiscreen formatting of Pablo Ferra provide the visual flourishes, while a flowery soundtrack by Michel Legrand gives a fitting refrain to this decidedly upscale version of counterculture cool.

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