Cambridge, Mass. — Tickets are on sale now for George V. Higgins’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Stickball Productions’ world premiere stage adaptation of the quintessential Boston crime novel. The production runs Dec. 8–Jan. 15 at Oberon in Harvard Square, for tickets, visit www.thefriendsofeddiecoyle.com
It is the winter of ‘69 in Boston and Eddie Coyle is a bottom of the barrel hood attempting to stay alive and out of jail among his “friends” – cops, bartenders, radical hippies, bank robbers, hit men and informants. Weeks away from a prison sentence for trucking stolen booze, Eddie’s making a few bucks supplying the guns for a rash of brazen bank heists, while looking to tip someone in for a kind word to the judge.
George V. Higgins’ classic novel has been called the “best crime novel ever written” by Elmore Leonard, and literary scholars have compared his unforgiving and realistic depiction of Boston’s underworld with the works of Dickens, Dostoevsky, and Balzac. Through dialogue quintessentially Bostonian, and the most poignant homage to Bobby Orr and the ’69-’70 Boston Bruins in literature, The Friends of Eddie Coyle has set the bar for Boston crime stories for nearly 40 years.
Julie Powell went to Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is the Julie in the pair Julie & Julia, the author of the book by that title, and the person Amy Adams plays in the movie by Nora Ephron.
Powell is the young woman who cooked all of the recipes in Julia Child's French Cookbook, one recipe every evening after work at her dead-end office job, and blogged about it. Then she re-wrote the blog into a best selling book.
Powell still keeps a blog. Last week she wrote about the movie premiere in LA, a "screening" she modestly calls it, in a post titled Tales from The Red Carpet. Many of the comments on her blog are readers of her book who took inspiration from it.
Powell also recently wrote this article for The Atlantic's food blog, Being Julie, Not "Julie".
Now, don't get me wrong. I thought "Good Will Hunting" was a very good movie and am glad it won a couple of Oscars. And it does a far better job at capturing the real Boston than, say, "Celtics Pride" or "Blown Away" (to the point of including a line that only a local who was around before CharlieCards would understand: "He wanted to get you a T pass"). But even a movie written by a pair of locals has its errors:
Mind your Ps and Qs
When Lambeau goes to the boiler room to find out who the genius kid is, the head blob janitor eventually pulls out an index card that lists Will's address as "Q Street." There is no Q Street in South Boston (or anywhere else in the city).
Who da Man?
When Will walks out of court, he crosses in front of a blue-and-white "Metro Police" car. Boston no longer has any Metro Police, but even when we did, their cruisers never shared the blue-stripe-on-white scheme of Boston police.
Next stop: Quincy-Adams
Quick geography lesson: MIT is north of South Boston. Dorchester is south of South Boston. So why was Will always shown going through Dorchester on his way home from MIT? Maybe he was so deep in thought he kept missing his stop?
21 is out on DVD. The film is based on the nonfiction best-seller Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions.
Recently, at the Coolidge Theatre, I saw Michael Moore's new documentary film, SiCKO.
"It's a grubby, violent, dangerous world. But it's the only world they know. And they're the only friends Eddie has."
1973's The Friends of Eddie Coyle starring Robert Mitchum and a young Peter Boyle is the lost gem of Boston movies. Based on Rockland native and Boston-based federal prosecutor George V. Higgins's novel, this contemporary of Scorsese's Mean Streets features solid performances and a calculated plot involving Irish criminals and betrayal, making Eddie Coyle a fine precursor to 2006's Best Picture, The Departed.
I walked into Loews Boston Common yesterday afternoon, hoping to find a program booklet, a brochure, or at the very least a displayed advertising poster for the Boston Film Festival, which starts in five days.
The first few employees I talked to knew nothing about any upcoming festival. After about 10 minutes, I found a manager, who said they had received no printed material. He did offer to print out a schedule for me, however. The four-page printout lists the names and showtimes of films, but contains no descriptions. It does not match the schedule on the web site, so I have no idea which one is correct.
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