Another of my many, many favorite movies, the Thomas Crown Affair, is not for prudes. It is however a lovely heist movie sans the murder and violence that many movies of this kind include. For me the best part of the movie was the music which captured the spirit and helped tell the story in a unique and interesting way.
The movie has been done before and starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Faye makes an appearance in the remake. But the original didn’t have near the box office appeal and was markedly different, told in a different style and provided a totally different ending than this lovely remake.
Spoiler Alert! This following video is one of my favorite parts of the movie based on the painting called the The Son of Man by René Magritte. It is an example of the excellent juxtaposition of music, script, and art that is a big part of why this movie was such a hit.
The soundtrack was composed by Bill Conti and features a variety of jazz arrangements which harken back to the film’s original version. In addition, the film ends with a reprise of the Academy Award-winning song “Windmills of Your Mind” sung by Sting. Throughout the film, segments are used of a song by Nina Simone called “Sinnerman“. Many of the non-vocal parts are used (hand-clapping and piano riffs), but in the final scenes, where Crown returns to the scene of the crime, Simone sings “Oh sinnerman, where are you gonna run to?“
Okay, moment of truth here, I enjoy the movie for the use of nudity and adult situations too. Rene Russo was 45 when this film was made. You have respect a woman who is happy and confident enough to allow the kind of footage in a movie at her age.
Movie makers typically like to use nubile young women for nude scenes—not that there is anything wrong with that. <smile> But how sexy is Russo on the dance floor rumba-ing seductively in a see-through dress with her prime suspect? At that point in the movie, Pierce Brosnan becomes an extra.
Anytime a movie uses nudity en lieu of violence, love instead of murder… well that movie has a much higher chance of getting my attention. When a story becomes more about the violence than the story line we should vote with our dollars and feet.