The Thomas Crown Affair was written by Alan Trustman and first released in 1968. Steve McQueen played the original role of Thomas Crown. In an interview with Daily News, Staff Writer Mike Jaccarino asked Mr. Trustman what he thought about that cast selection. He said he originally wrote the part of Thomas Crown for Sean Connery. When Steve McQueen was cast he was not happy. He ended up rewriting the part to better suit McQueen’s acting style. In the 1999 remake, Trustman said he thought Pierce Brosnan, who was cast the role of Thomas Crown, acted in a way more similar to the Connery style than the McQueen style. He called Brosnan’s role fuller. Alan Trustman also wrote the screenplay for the action packed drama thriller, Bullitt – 1968 which, ironically, starred Steve McQueen. At the time, McQueen was a hot commodity in Hollywood.
The screenplay for The Thomas Crown Affair – 1999 remake was written by screenwriter and producer Leslie Dixon and screenwriter, producer and director, Kurt Wimmer. It was directed by film director and producer, John McTiernan who is certainly not a stranger to the thriller genre. He also directed Die Hard, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and The Hunt for Red October. On a side note, McTiernan recently made the news when, in April, 2013 The Hollywood Reporter wrote that he currently reported to prison to serve a one year sentence for lying to the FBI and perjury related to a role in a wiretapping scandal.
Now back to our feature movie …
There is really nothing better than watching the development of a sophisticated heist … and The Thomas Crown Affair is definitely a crowd pleaser. It comes with all the bells and whistles. Wealth, beautiful people, intrigue, romance, you name it, you’ve got it. Our main character, Thomas Crown is a very wealthy, art loving, thrill seeking businessman. He plans and pulls off stealing the San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk by Monet from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His plan includes the delivery of a very large Asian horse, a crew of amateur foreign thieves, and a brief case to the museum. Local police are called in to investigate the robbery. Lead investigator is Michael McCann, played by Denis Leary. In addition, the insurer of the painting sends in their own insurance investigator, Catherine Banning, a fiery red-head, played by Rene Russo. She is great in this role and delivers her part with gusto. She and the suave and debonair Thomas, of course, become involved and we get to watch a very playful cat and mouse game ensue. And that’s all I can tell you. You’ll have to watch to see what happens next. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself rooting for Thomas and hoping for a happy ever after.
The chemistry between Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan was undeniably boiling over the top. Watching the intricate details of the robbery unfold was fun even though some times it was very hard to believe. Luckily, believability was not required to enjoy this movie.
Faye Dunaway had a cameo role in this 1999 remake as Psychiatrist to Thomas, which was interesting, considering she played the love interest of Thomas Crown in the original 1968 version. I suppose, if Steve McQueen were still alive we might have seen him play a small role in this remake, as well.
Fun Flick Finds
1. Where is Catherine originally from?
2. Where does Catherine live now?
3. In the end, when the man says, “You would be Catherine,” and hands her a briefcase, what time was it?
Interview with Alan Trustman published in The Daily News link – http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/thomas-crown-affair-screenwriter-alan-trustman-talks-films-working-steve-mcqueen-article-1.950830