The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) Poster


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  • Billionaire Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) is bored and in search of a challenge, so he decides to steal a painting by Claude Monet, worth $100 million dollars, from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Insurance investigator Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) is certain that the thief is Thomas Crown and intends to catch him. Things get complicated when Catherine and Thomas fall in love. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The Thomas Crown Affair is a remake of the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). The screenplay for the original movie was written by American screenwriter Alan Trustman. It was adapted for this remake by American screenwriters Leslie Dixon and Kurt Wimmer. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • In the original movie, the insurance investigator came upon Crown's name by cross-checking airline records to see who had traveled to Switzerland multiple times since the robbery. Thomas was one of eight suspects, and her instincts told her that he was the one. In the remake, Catherine compiles a list of bidders at recent auctions of Monet's paintings, and Thomas Crown is at the head of the list. When Crown lends another painting of a similar size to compensate for the museum's loss, Catherine is certain that there is a connection and sets out to find it. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The thieves came into the museum in a hollow statue of a horse that they called a "Trojan horse." This is in reference to the end of the Trojan War in Greek mythology in which the Greeks pretended to retreat and left behind a huge wooden horse filled with soldiers. When the Trojans discovered that the Greeks were gone, they believed the war was over and dragged the horse inside the city. The following night, the Greeks left the wooden horse and attacked the unsuspecting Trojans, subsequently conquering Troy. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Taking into account the age of painting, the type of oil used, the thickness of the oil, and the manner in which it is folded, the canvas could possibly be folded (and apparently was) without harm. On the DVD commentary, the director explains that there were more shots showing how the canvas could be folded without ruining the painting. What couldn't be folded, however, is the wooden stretcher frame to which the canvas is affixed, yet the canvas is still attached to the unbroken stretcher when Crown later takes the painting out of his briefcase. It was explained that the plan was to have the briefcase outfitted with knives that would precisely cut the stretcher without harming the canvas when the briefcase was closed. However, all this explaining slowed down the scene too much, so they cut them out and figured most people wouldn't notice that the briefcase was half the size of the painting. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • If she recovers the painting, Catherine will receive five percent (5%) of its 100-million-dollar value thus 5 million dollars. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • With no explanation offered in the movie, viewers have suggested that it could be a green drink made of spirulina, a blue-green algae, and/or a wheat grass drink popular in California during the 1990s. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • First Catherine asks him in French: "Vous aimez les Etats-Unis?" ("Do you like the United States?") to which he doesn't reply, so she asks in German: "Sehen Sie gerne Edward G. Robertson?" ("Do you like gangster movies...with Edward G. Robertson?") He snickers, so she continues. "Seine Familie stammt aus Rumänien" (His family is from Romania). He answers, "Ich will einen Rechtsanwalt" ("I want a lawyer") to which Catherine replies, "Aber Sie sind doch kein Staatsbürger...Da gibt's keinen Prozess...Sie werden ganz einfach deportiert...Rumäner ohne Ausweise machen uns nervös... nervös...Die könnten Securitat sein...Deine Regierung nimmt Geheimpolizei... Was die mit dir machen... hm?" ("But you are no U.S. citizen...There won't be a trial...You will simply be deported...Romanians without ID cards make us nervous... nervous...They could be Securitat [from the Romanian Secret Service]...Your government takes Secret Police... What they'll do with you... hm?") Edit (Coming Soon)

  • When they were in the museum, she says it's cold so Crown puts his jacket on her shoulders. She grabs his keys from his coat and puts it on a display stand. One of the cops in disguise takes it from the stand. Thomas and Catherine go to dinner, and the cop brings the original keys to the restaurant. Later, as she kisses Thomas goodnight, Catherine slips his keys back into his pocket. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Thomas' private jet flies him and Catherine off to a beautiful island where they spend "two days and two nights". The island is not identified in the movie, other than not being Manhattan. It was Martinique, a French island located in the east Caribbean. Martinique can be seen (off to the right) on the map here. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • In order of appearance, the principle paintings are: (1) Crown's favorite, "Haystacks", is actually "Noon: Rest from Work" (after Millet) by Vincent van Gogh, (2) the invaluable Monet is "San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight" (a view of the monastery island of San Giorgio), (3) the man in a bowler hat with a green apple in front of his face (hanging in Thomas' study) is "Son of Man" by René Magritte, (4) the loaner to the museum is "The Artist's Garden at Aragny" by Camille Pissaro, (5) Catherine's favorite (and the second painting to be stolen) is "The Banks of the Seine at Argenteuil" by Edouard Manet, (6) the woman riding on the bow of a boat (seen in the stairwell in Thomas' house) is "Certain Uncertainties" by Christian Vincent, (7) the group of women looking into a pool of water (hanging over Thomas' bed) is "The Mirror of Venus" by Sir Edward Burne-Jones*, and (8) the ghost painting of the dogs playing cards is "Poker Sympathy" by C.M. Coolidge (one of a series of nine paintings he did of Dogs Playing Poker). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Catherine is referring to Magritte's "Son of Man". A subtle feature of that painting is that the man's left arm appears to bend backwards as if broken at the elbow. Since Thomas models himself as the man in the bowler hat, Catherine is remarking that she'll break his right arm as well as the already broken left. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Thomas had previously informed Catherine that he would be disappointed if she backed off. He wanted someone uncompromising, someone like him, or as the psychiatrist (Faye Dunaway) termed it, a "worthy adversary." In fact, the entire ending, like the test using Anna Knudsen (Esther Cañadas) to make Catherine jealous, was a set up. Thomas knew that, if Catherine were true to herself, she'd have to bust him at the museum. However, he gave her a second chance not to betray him again by bringing cops to the helipad and, when she didn't, he pursued her onto the plane, finally certain that her love for him was real and not just a function of her job. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • That little detail is not explained in the movie, and most viewers come to see that mystery as part of Thomas' ingenuity. Not only has he fooled both Catherine and the police, but he's fooled the audience, too. However, there are a few ways that it can be logically explained. Since the Impressionism wing was sealed off, someone (maybe Thomas, maybe one of the men in the bowler hats, or maybe someone inconspicuous, hired by Thomas for the sole purpose of stealing the painting) might have gotten in the wing, perhaps through the skylight or the air ducts (there is a scene showing the burglars at the beginning of the movie dropping down from the air ducts), and taken out the painting while everyone was chasing after the men in the bowlers. However, as the protective covers begin sliding over the walls, the camera shows various shots of the walls revealing that all the pictures are still in place. If that's the case, then logic says the painting must have been stolen from behind the wall. In the original screenplay, it was apparently explained that there were passageways behind the wall, evidenced in the movie when the schoolgirl appears to be listening to sounds coming from within the walls. However, when they shot the scene of the second painting being gone, the frame was hanging on an interior wall, making the original plan unworkable. By leaving it as an unsolved mystery (actually an error in continuity), it adds to the question that everyone is asking: "How did he do that?" Edit (Coming Soon)

  • After the thieves cut the wires on the air conditioning unit, the temperature in the Impressionism wing would begin to rise, commensurate with the fact that it was a hot day as mentioned in the movie. The numbers of warm bodies in the room would also add to the buildup. Some viewers have suggested that the direct sun from the overhead skylight would act like a greenhouse and further increase the heat. It was curious, however, that the same lack of air conditioning and buildup of ambient heat still allowed images to show up on the cameras, whereas the camera in the Monet room was a total washout, suggesting that there was an additional heat source somewhere in that room. When Catherine discovered 'the third leg', the briefcase under the bench that Thomas planted during an earlier visit and in which he later carried out the Monet, she theorized that it might have held a compact heater. If the heater was not in the briefcase, it was elsewhere in the room (e.g., the air duct). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • As promised, Thomas shows up at the museum, carrying his briefcase and intending to return the Monet. Catherine and the police are watching his every move. He places a bowler hat on his head and walks toward the gallery. Suddenly another tall man in a dark suit and wearing a bowler walks by and switches briefcases with Thomas. This is followed by a third man in a bowler, then a fourth, and a fifth, until it becomes obvious that there are dozens of tall men in dark suits wearing bowlers, all walking around and switching briefcases with each other, making it impossible for the police to tell who is holding the Monet. Unsure of what to do, the police start rounding up all the men in bowler hats and opening their briefcases only to find piles of photos of Magritte's "Son of Man". Meanwhile, Thomas has changed his clothes. While the police are distracted, he releases three smoke bombs into the Impressionism gallery and triggers the emergency smoke alarm. Protective covers begin rolling across the walls, concealing all of the paintings with the exception of Manet's "The Artist's Garden at Aragny", Thomas' loaner. Then the sprinklers switch on. Right before everyone's eyes, "The Artist's Garden at Aragny" begins to bleed its paint, revealing the Monet underneath, safe and sound. When the smoke clears and the protective covers roll back, it is immediately apparent that Manet's "The Banks of the Seine at Argenteuil" is now missing. Now that the Monet has been returned, Catherine's job is finished so, with only 20 minutes before she must meet Thomas at the helipad, she heads for the exit but is stopped by Detective McCann (Denis Leary). He admits that he's probably not going to pursue Thomas because he's no longer interested in wasting his time on rich people's games when there are people who really need his help. Catherine takes her leave, hails a cab, and races to the helipad where she finds Thomas and a helicopter waiting. When he turns around, however, it is just another tall man wearing a dark suit and a bowler. He greets her politely and hands her a portfolio case. Catherine opens it to find Manet's painting. Realizing that her betrayal has cost her the relationship with Thomas, Catherine purchases an airline ticket home and gives the portfolio to the ticket agent, requesting that she return it to the police. As her plane approaches its altitude, Catherine begins to cry. She is handed a handkerchief from the person in the seat behind her and turns to see Thomas sitting there. "Did you set this up!?!" she screams at him and leaps over the seat and into his arms. In the final scene, she warns him, "If you pull a stunt like that again, I'll break both of your arms." Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Viewers who have seen The Thomas Crown Affair say that the plot, that of an insurance agent attempting to catch a master art thief, is very similar to the plot of Entrapment (1999). They also recommend The Heist (1989) (1989), which features Pierce Brosnan attempting to heist the day's take at a racetrack, as well as Topkapi (1964) (1964), which was said to be the movie on which a planned by cancelled Thomas Crown Affair 2 was going to be based. Other movies involving heists of art works and museum artifacts include Gambit (1966) (1966) and its remake Gambit (2012) (2012), How to Steal a Million (1966) (1966), The Hot Rock (1972) (1972), and Incognito (1997) (1997). Edit (Coming Soon)


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