Freebie and the Bean (1974) - Rotten Tomatoes

Freebie and the Bean1974

Freebie and the Bean (1974)



Critic Consensus: A sour blend of misguided comedy and all-out action, Freebie and the Bean is a buddy cop picture that's far less than arresting entertainment.

Freebie and the Bean Photos

Movie Info

Freebie (James Caan) and the Bean (Alan Arkin) are a pair of San Francisco cops. Red Meyers (Jack Kruschen) is the mobster whom Freebie and the Bean would like to see behind bars -- or, failing that, six feet under. Nothing stands in the way of the cops' pursuit of Meyers, meaning that private property is given quite a going-over in this picture. The film's most memorable scene finds Freebie and the Bean crashing their car into a poor schnook's living room. TV favorites Loretta Swit and Valerie Harper play the only female roles worth mentioning. The racist and sexist humor in Freebie and the Bean may not go over as well today as it did in the politically incorrect early '70s.

Watch it now


James Caan
as Freebie
Loretta Swit
as Meyers' Wife
Jack Kruschen
as Red Meyers
Mike Kellin
as Lt. Rosen
Linda Marsh
as Freebie's Girl
Paul Koslo
as Whitey
John Garwood
as Chauffeur
Alex Rocco
as District Attorney
Robert H. Harris
as Michigan Phil
Valerie Harper
as Bean's Wife
Christopher Morley
as Transvestite
Marvin Walters
as Policeman
Frank Orsatti
as Laundry Truck Driver
Ted Duncan
as Chicken Truck Driver
Gary Johnson
as Liquor Truck Driver
Kathryn Witt
as Whitey's Girl
Jerry Walter
as Salesman
Thomas Huff
as Bellboy
John Powers
as Dentist
Gary Kent
as Ambulance Attendant
Eddy Donno
as Bag Man
View All

Critic Reviews for Freebie and the Bean

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (13)

Robert Kaufman wrote the screenplay from a story by Floyd Mutrux, who is credited as the executive producer, and both men should be forced to spend the next few decades watching what they have wrought.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

The most schizoid film recipe of current memory. It is as if several different cooks had tried to poison the broth.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

Too often, producer-director Richard Rush startles us with injected scenes of violence that quickly turn comedic happenings into scenes of dismaying grimness.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

Neither screen writer Robert Kaufman nor director Richard Rush could decide if "Freebie and the Bean" was to be a comedy or a blood-and-guts melodrama. For every guffaw there is an equal and opposite scene of someone being shot clubbed or maimed.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

One of the most reprehensible film-yarns ever to subvert the original designs of the Keystone Kops. Also, it is, at moments, a talented and hilarious movie, which simply confounds the muddle.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

An offbeat cop flick and one of the year's funniest.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Freebie and the Bean

Thoroughly awesome, the first real buddy cop film is also one of the best. Totally ridiculous and full of shenanigans.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

I don't really know if Freebie and the Bean classifies as the first buddy cop film, but if it is, it's the best one I've ever seen. It's hard to believe that a comedy like this starring Alan Arkin and James Caan as a duo was ever made, but it was. The dialogue feels fresh and must have been adlibbed. The caper isn't much of a caper but that isn't really the point. The point is following these two lunatics around in their daily lives from one catastrophe to the next and enjoying every minute of it. The Warner Archive put this out not too long ago with a terrific picture but only the trailer as an extra. I hope this gets some special edition love sometime soon as it's a terrific little gem.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Freebie and the Bean Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features