The Thomas Crown Affair ★★★

It's fine. But man, watching this really strikes home how average it is in comparison to the remake, which took every idea in this and refined it to fine crystal.

The opening heist is excellent, a tense, clever and original bank job, and watching it you think you're in for a real treat, a freewheeling caper of a movie, and then it is mostly not that. Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen flirt and romance extremely well, but - and this is crucial - there is no real second heist sequence in the film to catapult the ending. The second heist is perfunctory and we only see snippets of it, because Norman Jewison wasn't concerned with the heists or the excitement but rather the human drama of the relationship. And he's good at giving us that. But where the remake builds to an exciting climax where the story could go in several directions, all of them legitimate, Jewison simply lets his film peter out. The second heist doesn't matter in the film because it's only a means to the ending Jewison has planned, and it's the least satisfying ending he could have picked.

And that kinda sucks.