The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

R  |   |  Crime, Thriller, Drama  |  27 June 1973 (USA)
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Reviews: 66 user | 66 critic

After his last crime has him looking at a long prison sentence for repeat offenses, a low level Boston gangster decides to snitch on his friends to avoid jail time.



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Keats ...
Peter MacLean ...
Kevin O'Morrison ...
Bank manager #2
Marvin Lichterman ...
The Man's contact man
Helena Carroll ...
Sheila Coyle


Eddie's friends are numerous, but the term friends is suspect. As a small time hood Eddie is about to go back to jail. In order to escape this fate he deals information on stolen guns to the feds. Simultaneously he is supplying arms to his bank robbing/kidnapping hoodlum chums. But who else is dealing with the feds? Who gets the blame for snitching on the bank robbers? Written by MovieMaster

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's a grubby, violent, dangerous world. But it's the only world they know. And they're the only friends Eddie has.


Crime | Thriller | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 June 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Freunde von Eddie Coyle  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The entire film was shot on location. See more »


At the hockey game, Eddie and Dillon arrive and sit together. Eddie goes to get beer for them, he is wearing his jacket. When he arrives back at their seats, Eddie's coat is folded and hanging on the rail in front of their seats. See more »


Dillon: There's this truck. It bothers me. I know it sounds funny because I suppose you would think that what would be worrying me would be the guys in the truck or maybe some guy I don't even know watching me pretty close in the bar or something. But I have seen the truck. Put two guys in that truck, they could get the pope. The only time I see an engine like that is in a Cadillac. So you know you aren't gonna run away cuz that thing's gonna run right away with ya. In the windshield they got a crack ...
See more »


Referenced in The Town (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

A bit of a mini masterpiece -- just as long as you know what you are in for.
19 October 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

An ageing small time hood (Robert Mitchem - in the title role) is looking at jail time and wants to cut a deal with the forces of law and order. However this is just one of the many plates that he wants to keep spinning on their wobbly poles.

This is a film that is a bit different. Indeed having seen a million films (or it seems like it) you expect it go off in a different direction, grab hold of the drama and try and pep it up with cheap thrills. The Friends of Eddie Coyle fights against that - throwing away many of the free gifts that comes its way and focus on how a man can paint himself in to a corner.

This is Mitchem's best ever role. Never having been in classic this is the next best thing. The world weariness helps him for this part - you feel that he really has been in the crime business since it was invented and has really seen it all and done it all (as his bar room stories seem to indicate). However for Eddie the party is over. He is like a late Elvis - fat, bloated and living on his old reputation. Hoping that he can play both ends against the middle one last time.

The title has an irony. He really has no friends. He knows that too (because he is not stupid), although he has to make do with people that pretend to be. It is too late for another life and the bills keep having to be paid and food needs to be kept on the table. He is not a master criminal -- more a brave odd-job man.

While this movie hasn't been widely seen (it gets of odd plays on UK TV) a lot of important people have seen it. You can see the Sopranos in some of the scenes where people view crime as a business with death and prison being occupational hazards.

This is quite dark and mean, but you are comforted that the people getting hurt or doing the hurting are more or less the same. People caught in the vortex of earning an easy buck and it is far too late to start changing now. Friends is a tough movie and one of the few films I have seen that while steeped in crooks and crime remains fair and moral for every frame.

47 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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