Thomas Crown Affair vs. Thomas Crown Affair

I had watched the 1999 “Thomas Crown Affair” but had never had the opportunity to watch the original. Both are on Hulu right now, so I tortured my wife by forcing her to watch the 1968 version this weekend. OK, I turned the movie on TV and she didn’t leave.

Plot: Independently wealthy Thomas Crown is bored and decides to execute the perfect crime for fun. The insurance agency calls in their specialist to recover the loot. 

1968 Version

Rating (2.5 out of 5)

Summary: A decent offering of a bank heist film. The movie starts off well but slows to a screeching halt when Thomas (Steve McQueen) and Vicki (Faye Dunaway) start their love affair while playing a game of chess. Little transpires after the first 20 minutes and we rush to an end, that is rather anti-climatic.

1999 Version

Rating (2.5 out of 5)

Summary: Believe 99 Thomas offers the audience deeply entrancing beginning and ending sequence with Thomas (Pierce Brosnan) himself executing the heists. Like the middle of the 68 Thomas, the movie grinds to a halt with love sequence specialist Catherine (Renee Russo). The final heist is perfectly matched with the soundtrack.

Comparison: The 1968 version segments the screen into tiles to create a montage. The overused technique and distracted from the film.

68 Thomas while rich, wasn’t filthy rich as portrayed by 99 Thomas. Additionally, the heists are dramatically different. In 68 Thomas, he steals money from a bank. Money has purpose and is tangible, transferrable, usable. 99 Thomas steals a painting. Paintings are difficult to sell and transfer. The 68 Thomas’s motivation is a desire to escape his mundane life versus 99 Thomas’s heist where the objective is purely for the entertainment. The eccentricity of the 99 Thomas adds an element of whimsy to the film.

Both stories suffer from a long and boring loving story. When the females investigating the crime and try catching him, the story bounces along well. However, they stop the investigation to kiss and engage in long boring discussions…Snooze.

The 68 Thomas is 60’s music, and frankly, the music doesn’t hold up well. The final heist in 99 Thomas plays Nina Simone Sinnerman, need I say more. The musical score for 99 Thomas is by Bill Conti and while the score is superb, the tracks for the glider scene are phenomenal. I have these scores on my iTunes playlist.

I can save you a ton of time, watch th first 25 minutes and the last 25 minutes of 99 Thomas Crown Affair and you are good.