Freebie and the Bean (1974)

R   |    |  Action, Comedy, Crime

Freebie and the Bean (1974) Poster

San Francisco police detectives Freebie and Bean are determined to bust local crime boss Red Meyers at any cost, even if this means destroying the whole city in the process.


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7 May 2007 | inspectors71
Probably Not a Good Recruitment Tool
It's the antidote for The Laughing Policeman, that grim "police procedural" from 1973; it's Freebie and the Bean, a crude, politically incorrect, and very funny buddy movie for the sophomore in all of us.

Alan Arkin and James Caan play a couple of San Francisco PD Inspectors on the hunt for . . . oh, who cares? The procedural part of the movie doesn't matter. The fun is in Arkin's neurotic and fastidious Bean (you have to forgive the racial slur right from the start) and Caan decked out in a leisure suit and looking for the next "five-finger discount" (hence, the name "Freebie").

It's clearly not a movie for your mom--violent and foul-mouthed, with Arkin accusing his wife of infidelity by demanding to see if she's douched recently, and Caan performing noisy cunnilingus on his girlfriend. It all seems so daring for the 17 year old in 1975, but now, I suspect, I would just cringe and blush at the crudity and concentrate on the hostile chemistry between Arkin and Caan.

After so many serious cop-dramas from the early '70s, FATB came across as something of a breath of different air. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a good movie or a nice one, but there is an entertainment value and a vitality that makes it worth watching.

And don't miss the cop car through the side of the apartment building!

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