Monday, January 10, 2011
Peter Yates (1929-2011)
The British-American director Peter Yates, who died yesterday at the age of 81, will probably be best remembered for the seminal cop and car-chase film Bullitt , one of Steve McQueen's definitive roles, or for his bicycle drama Breaking Away from about a decade later. Rather than write more about his career here, I'll just direct you to my favorite among his movies, the gritty proto-Tarantinian crime drama The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1972), a remarkably faithful adaptation of the George V. Higgins novel that has enjoyed a revival of esteem thanks to a recent Criterion DVD release. It's one of the best American crime films from a great decade for the genre, and it may lead to a greater appreciation of Yates's work if more people discover it now.