Throughout the film, McQueen and Dunaway play a cat and mouse game, both on the professional level and also on the sexual level.
The sexual tension during the chess game for example is so palpable, you can’t help but be drawn in, dwelling on every stroke of Dunaway’s fingers and every twitch on McQueen’s face.
The car driven by Dunaway, referred to as “one of those red Italian things,” is the first of only ten Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyders built.
Today, this model is one of the most valuable Ferrari road cars of all time. McQueen liked the car very much, and eventually managed to acquire one for himself. The dune buggy was a Meyers Manx, built in California on a VW beetle floor pan with a hopped-up Corvair engine. McQueen owned one, and the Manx, the original “dune buggy”, was often copied. Crown’s Rolls Royce carried Mass. vanity license tag “TC 100” for the film.
Left early. Please come with the money… or, you keep the car. All my love, Tommy.
Sandy: You’re mad! Absolutely mad!
Thomas Crown: What else can we do on Sunday?
The film also features the chess scene with McQueen and Dunaway play a game of chess, silently flirting with each other.
The photography is unusual for a mainstream Hollywood film, using a split-screen mode. McQueen undertook his own stunts (playing polo) and driving a dune buggy at high speed on the Massachusetts coastline.
This was similar to his starring role in the movie Bullitt, released a few months afterwards, in which he drove a Ford Mustang through San Francisco at more than 100 mph. In an interview, McQueen would later say this was his favorite film.
Four men pull off a daring daytime robbery at a bank, dump the money in a trash can and go their separate ways. Thomas Crown, a successful, wealthy businessman pulls up in his Rolls and collects it. Vickie Anderson, an independent insurance investigator is called in to recover the huge haul. She begins to examine the people who knew enough about the bank to have pulled the robbery and discovers Crown. She begins a tight watch on his every move and begins seeing him socially. How does the planner of the perfect crime react to pressure?