Tagged: Steven Keats

The Friends of Eddie Coyle: Jackie Brown’s Gun-Running Road Runner and Rollnecks

Steven Keats as Jackie Brown in The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

Steven Keats as Jackie Brown in The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)


Steven Keats as Jackie Brown, swaggering street-level arms dealer

Boston, Fall 1972

Film: The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Release Date: June 26, 1973
Director: Peter Yates
Costume Designer: Eric Seelig

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


A year after The Godfather introduced the cinematic world to the prestigious “honor among thieves” world of the Corleone crime family, The Friends of Eddie Coyle shined a gritty spotlight on the other side of the criminal spectrum: the unscrupulous robbers, rats, and gun-runners who would just as soon double-cross an erstwhile partner-in-crime if it meant an extra twenty bucks in their pocket.

There are no wood-paneled mansions, dramatic monologues, or swanky long-wheelbase limousines in Eddie Coyle’s world, a polluted Boston where our profane crooks conduct their business in dive bars and out of the trunks of the latest Detroit gas guzzler. At the surprising epicenter of these enterprises sits Eddie “Fingers” Coyle (Robert Mitchum), a long-in-the-tooth three-time loser far more at home warming his favorite saloon stool than helming an ambitious heist.

Enter Jackie Brown, an opportunistic twentysomething arms dealer motoring through the Beantown suburbs in a Plymouth Road Runner, dropping platitudes of “wisdom” about how hard life is to any of the scumbag suppliers or customers who will buy his guns. He prides himself on his caution but doesn’t recognize the irony of touting his illegal wares from his hardly unobtrusive electric green muscle car while boasting about his success to crooks all just one pinch away from spilling the proverbial beans to Boston’s finest.

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