The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

Criminals, Lovers, Sexual Chess Champions. McQueen and Dunaway Style.

Want to make next year’s Valentine’s Day more memorable? Start planning a heist. Not small-time petty theft, but Art heist of the highest order, Monet’s $200 million, San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk. Once in possession of your art object, act like it’s no big deal. This is sure to turn your partner on and he/she will want to sleep with you immediately. But, instead go play an hour-long game of dirty, naked, one-on-one…chess.

At least, that’s what Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway would have done. In their stylish 1968 film, The Thomas Crown Affair, the dashing millionaire (a million was quite enough back then), played by Steve McQueen, meets his unlikely match, an Insurance Investigator played by the preternaturally sexy Faye Dunaway. The Faye Dunaway character tries to seduce McQueen into giving up details of the heist, but somehow during the ‘investigation’ she gets her heart stolen too. (Or is it the other way around?)

[expand title=”READ +”]But forget the details and lose the plot, this movie (and indeed, this post) is all about style and an impossibly contrived love story. Watch this exquisitely styled film for its luscious cinematography and its Martini mix of flirtation, innuendo and loudly said un-saids. No doubt, a lot the sex happens off-camera. All we get to see is an elaborate and multi-position chess scene, masterfully fore-played by McQueen and Dunaway. So does the guy get the girl or the $200 million painting? Does the girl get her millionaire in bed or into high-security prison? It doesn’t matter, switch off the brain and get all mushy in the name of V-day. We think that love is a crime worth committing, just don’t get caught stealing the Monet.

Text by Howard Collinge- The Unique Creatures 


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