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Headline news: Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair

Meet the man who has everything that money can buy…

The Movie

He looks like Bond, he sounds like Bond and in many respects Pierce Brosnan is really playing Bond as Thomas Crown, a daredevil New York millionaire who happens to steal a $100 million dollar painting for recreation.

A slick and glossy re-make of the 1968 original, The Thomas Crown Affair pits insurance investigator Catherine Banning (Russo) against the high class thief – and the lively chemistry between the pair makes excellent viewing. Director McTiernan piles on the retro, often keeping tongue firmly in cheek, and quite often the result seems more like another take on The Avengers (the bowler-hatted Brosnan and leather-clad Russo look fabulous). However, nods to the original play awkwardly: Windmills of Your Mind can be heard during a ballroom dance, while the stunt casting of Faye Dunaway as Crown’s psychiatrist seems terribly obvious.

With Thomas Crown we have a good story, if one that delivers few surprises. Ultimately your enjoyment will probably depend on how well you 3 stars - Worth a Watchknow and love the original

The Extras

John McTiernan might be one of the best action directors around, but on the strength of The Thomas Crown Affair his skills at audio commentary seem questionable. Laconic to the point of seeming half-asleep, McTiernan drawls his way through the movie’s duration, imparting little information and leaving l-o-o-o-ng gaps along the way.

He does reveal that Dunaway was cast to acknowledge that this was a re-make, says that the crew were banned from filming inside and revealing the name of the New York museum (although the outside belonged to the city) and even admits to using some tricks learned from Predator. However, there are minimal comparisons to the original and I would have liked to have known more about his working relationship with producer/star Brosnan.

However, top marks go to the animated menu, a dazzling re-creation of the art gallery, with framed clips from the movie on the wall. The gallery even rotates 360 degrees, and comes complete with slamming grids. Through this one can access two trailers, one for the 1999 film (a highly effective piece brimming with sex, action and big money) and one for the 1968 original (which feels wonderfully clunky by comparison). More features are promised on the Region 2 release, which hits the 3 stars - Worth a Watchshops on February 28.

David Richardson

The Thomas Crown Affair

Cast • Pierce Brosnan
Rene Russo
Bonnie Bedelia
Director • John McTiernan
Duration • 113 mins
Screen Ratio • 2.35:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby 5.1
Chapters • 36
Languages • English, French
Subtitles • English, French
Release Date • January 4
Distributor • MGM
Price • $24.98


Chapter 33 – Bowler Derby Setting a trap for Thomas Crown.

Also in this issue: Production Notes on The Thomas Crown Affair – behind the scenes with Pierce Brosnan

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