Freebie and the Bean
|Freebie and The Bean|
|Directed by||Richard Rush|
|Produced by||Richard Rush|
|Written by||Robert Kaufman
|Music by||Dominic Frontiere|
|Edited by||Michael McLean
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||113 minutes|
Freebie and the Bean is a 1974 action-comedy film about two San Francisco police detectives who attempt to bring down a local hijacking boss. The picture, a precursor to the buddy cop film genre popularized a decade later, stars James Caan, Alan Arkin, Loretta Swit and Valerie Harper. Harper was nominated for the Golden Globe for New Star of the Year. The film was directed by Richard Rush. An article in Rolling Stone magazine alleged that Stanley Kubrick called Freebie and the Bean the best film of 1974. Arkin and Caan would not appear in another movie together again until the 2008 film adaptation of Get Smart.
Freebie and Bean are detectives with the San Francisco police. While distracted by his suspicions that his wife is having affair, Bean and his partner investigate racketeer Red Meyers, only to learn that a hit man is after Meyers as well.
- James Caan as Freebie
- Alan Arkin as Bean
- Valerie Harper as Bean's wife
- Jack Kruschen as Red Meyers
- Loretta Swit as Mrs. Meyers
- Christopher Morley as Hit Man
- Maurice Argent as Tailor
Key scenes were shot on location in early 1973 in San Francisco at Candlestick Park, then home of the Major League Baseball San Francisco Giants, and later the home of the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers until 2014. One chase sequence was filmed on the (now-demolished) Embarcadero Freeway, which ends with Caan and Arkin's car crashing into an apartment building next to the freeway. After the car lands in an elderly couple's bedroom as they are watching television, Arkin collapses from nervous shock against the wall as Caan calls for a tow truck, checking the third floor address by reading the couple's mail. The couple seem unaffected by the car crashing through the wall.
Plans to distribute the film in early 1974 were shelved due to concerns about competition with Peter Hyams' similar Busting. Freebie and the Bean was finally issued as a Christmas release, and became a substantial box office success.
A short-lived nine-episode television series based on the film and sharing its title, starring Tom Mason and Héctor Elizondo in the title roles, was broadcast on CBS on Saturday nights at 9:00 PM in December 1980 and January 1981.
Regular cast members
- Tom Mason as Freebie
- Héctor Elizondo as Bean
- William Daniels as the District Attorney
- Mel Stewart as Rodney Axel
- Carmen Filpi as Wally the Wino
- Richard Meyers (1981). A.S. Barnes, ed. TV detectives. p. 276.
- Vincent Terrace (1985). "Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials: 1974-1984". VNR AG. p. 154.
- Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present