It skipped the VHS era entirely. It has perhaps never shown on TV letterboxed. It has a mystique no other Boston movie has. Because it's the best--and it's been ridiculously underseen. But The Friends of Eddie Coyle finally comes out from under its puzzling rock this week, when The Criterion Collection releases a deluxe DVD of it May 19. Without George V. Higgins, the one-time Boston prosecutor who wrote the book upon which it's based (and did an uncredited polish of the script), there would be no Dennis Lehane and no what has come to be known as "Boston noir." He started it, and Peter Yates' movie of his first book is the godfather of Monument Ave., The Departed and Mystic River. Check out the Big Screen Boston excerpt about the ultimate Boston movie.