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Freebie and the Bean
     

Freebie and the Bean

Director: Richard Rush

Cast: Alan Arkin, James Caan, Loretta Swit

 

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Freebie (James Caan) and the Bean (Alan Arkin) are a pair of San Francisco cops. Red Meyers (Jack Kruschen) is the mobster whom Freebie and the Bean would like to see behind bars -- or, failing that, six feet under. Nothing stands in the way of the cops' pursuit of Meyers, meaning that private property is given quite a going-over in this picture. The film's most

Overview

Freebie (James Caan) and the Bean (Alan Arkin) are a pair of San Francisco cops. Red Meyers (Jack Kruschen) is the mobster whom Freebie and the Bean would like to see behind bars -- or, failing that, six feet under. Nothing stands in the way of the cops' pursuit of Meyers, meaning that private property is given quite a going-over in this picture. The film's most memorable scene finds Freebie and the Bean crashing their car into a poor schnook's living room. TV favorites Loretta Swit and Valerie Harper play the only female roles worth mentioning. The racist and sexist humor in Freebie and the Bean may not go over as well today as it did in the politically incorrect early '70s.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This unusual but kinetic fusion of comedy and action has been consistently scorned by critics over the years, but has won a cult following thanks to its blend of raucous humor and stylish filmmaking. Robert Kaufman's story line is self-consciously complicated to keep audiences guessing, but eventually delivers an impressive set of twists at its finale. However, its best attribute is its snappy dialogue; the verbal sparring matches between James Caan and Alan Arkin are full of hilariously profane interplay, and an interrogation-style showdown between Arkin and Valerie Harper near the end give the film its funniest (and most unexpectedly touching) moment. Freebie and the Bean also benefits from inspired work by leads Caan and Arkin. They give their characters the maniacal energy necessary to make their over-the-top excesses work, yet add some human shadings that give them unexpected depth. Both also deliver the comedy angle of the script with style. Arkin shines in a rare role that allows him to be aggressive and Caan shows an uncanny sense of comic timing. Behind the camera, Richard Rush keeps the zany events rolling at a carefully modulated pace that gives the actors room to breathe, but also fills the screen with kind of hardcore slapstick antics rarely seen outside a Tex Avery cartoon. The highlight is a crazed car chase that climaxes with the heroes' car crashing into the upper floor of an apartment building. On the downside, Freebie and the Bean's taboo-trashing sense of humor has something to offend virtually every brand of politically correct viewer, and the virulent racist and sexist attitudes of its antihero protagonists are likely to offend many. Despite this tone, Freebie and the Bean remains a well-made blend of comedy and action for viewers with skins thick enough to endure its savage sense of humor.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/05/2009
UPC:
0883316174197
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:54:00
Sales rank:
7,571

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Arkin Bean
James Caan Freebie
Loretta Swit Meyers' Wife
Jack Kruschen Red Meyers
Mike Kellin Lt. Rosen
Valerie Harper Bean's Wife
Alex Rocco District Attorney
John Garwood Chauffeur
Robert H. Harris Michigan Phil
Whitey Hughes Broder
Marvin Walters Policeman
Frank Orsatti Laundry Truck Driver
Ted Duncan Chicken Truck Driver
Gary Johnson Liquor Truck Driver
Kathryn Witt Whitey's Girl
Jerry Walter Salesman
Thomas Huff Bellboy
John Powers Dentist
Gary Kent Ambulance Attendant
Eddy Donno Bag Man
Maurice Argent Tailor
Paul Koslo Whitey
Linda Marsh Freebie's Girl
Christopher Morley Transvestite

Technical Credits
Richard Rush Director,Producer
Hilyard M. Brown Art Director
Dominic Frontiere Score Composer
Robert Kaufman Screenwriter
Laszlo Kovacs Cinematographer
Ruby Levitt Set Decoration/Design
Michael S. McLean Editor
Floyd Mutrux Executive Producer
Tony Ray Producer
Chris Seitz Asst. Director
Frederic Steinkamp Editor
Barry Thomas Sound/Sound Designer

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