The Friends Of Eddie Coyle | 1973
Dour, downbeat story of smalltime crooks and snitches, set and filmed in a dingy 70s Boston and its surrounding communities – no gleaming State House dome or Beacon Hill townhouses here.
Robert Mitchum gives one of his most impressive understated performances, yet still manages to blend with a pitch perfect ensemble cast, as small-time crook Eddie ‘Fingers’ Coyle, facing a jail stretch and desperately looking to cut a deal for a reduced sentence.
The ‘South Shore National Bank’, robbed at the beginning of the film, is Citizens Bank, 5 Bryant Street at Eastern Avenue, in Dedham, a few miles to the southwest of Boston (MBTA, Endicott Station).
Also in Dedham, Eddie Coyle picks up a cache of guns from dealer Jackie Brown (Steven Keats) at Dedham Plaza Shopping Center, Providence Highway. Yes, author Elmore Leonard – a big fan of the original novel – borrowed the name for a character in Rum Punch, and when Quentin Tarantino in turn brought this to the screen, he chose Jackie Brown as the title of the film.
Over in Back Bay, the bar tended by Dillon stood on the southeast corner of Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue, the site now occupied by the Best Buy store.
Eddie Coyle lives in Wollaston, south toward Quincy, at 236 Fayette Street, between North Central and Elmwood Avenues.
South of Dedham, the car park at Sharon railway station is where Jackie Brown is nabbed by the law as he tries to pull off an arms deal.
Suspected of having informed on the gang, Eddie Coyle is taken for one last evening out, before he’s unceremoniously left in a car outside Boston Bowl, 820 William T Morrissey Boulevard, Dorchester. The bowling alley, which has unsurprisingly had a bit of a makeover since 1973, is tucked away behind the Candy House store.