There has never been an insurance investigator like Vicky Anderson (Faye Dunaway) in The Thomas Crown Affair. With a wardrobe full of Paris fashions – some of them rather startling – she has been unleashed on Tommy Crown (Steve McQueen), a laid-back Boston millionaire playboy who has a nice line in bank heists.
Now he’s planning another one with the full knowledge that he’s being stalked by the sophisticated Anderson, whose investigative methods are as unconventional as her clothes.
The movie is highly styled, but it is also a powerful study of sexual chemistry. When Crown and Anderson lock horns over a game of chess in Crown’s pad, the way they handle the pieces gives a new meaning to the notion of foreplay.
After over six minutes with almost no dialogue, the kiss is a wonderful conclusion to a highly-charged piece of film-making.
Jewison’s use of split-screen effects during the heist (extremely innovative at the time) heightens the tension in a movie as sleek and self-satisfied as its protagonists.