I just finished re-watching The Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. I’m honestly not sure how many times I’ve seen it, and it’s one of my favorite movies… for the final thirty minutes. It is–hands down–one of the best caper movies I’ve ever found and probably one of my favorites of all time. The story, tone, and composition are all excellent, and the ending is spot-on.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was a re-make of an earlier film of the same name, starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Intrigued, I took the opportunity to watch ita while back.
I wish I hadn’t.
These two films are an excellent example of the rare case of the re-make being far and away the superior film. Faye Dunaway seemed a little young for her role, and Steve McQueen’s maniacal laughter over the success of his plot came off feeling forced or irrational or possibly insane. I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that it wasn’t satisfying at all. The original really was no comparison.
I don’t know who decided to do a re-make of The Thomas Crown Affair, but I am very glad they did. It is the better movie, by far.
Part of me would like to try my hand at a caper story… which means I probably will. Some day. Eventually.
I should probably read a few more, first, though. The Dortmunder novels are great fun. At least, the first (Hot Rock) is. I’ll have to pick up the rest to see if they hold up to the first.
That’s one of the awesome parts about my career. My reading habit is tax deductible as either Market Research or Continuing Education. In her “How to Write A Short Story: The Basics” online lecture, Kristine Kathryn Rusch says that the best way to learn how to write a particular type of story is to read a lot of them (paraphrasing here, not an exact quote).
Who knew that “studying” could be so much fun?