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Thief (1981)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  27 March 1981 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,069 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 97 user | 56 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

Becoming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the mafia, who have other plans for him.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jessie
...
Okla
...
Barry
...
Leo
Tom Signorelli ...
Attaglia
...
Carl
Nick Nickeas ...
Nick
W.R. Brown ...
Mitch (as W.R. [Bill] Brown)
Norm Tobin ...
Guido
John Santucci ...
Urizzi
Gavin MacFadyen ...
Boreksco
Chuck Adamson ...
Ancell
Sam Cirone ...
Martello
Spero Anast ...
Bukowski
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Storyline

Frank is an expert professional safecracker, specializing in high-profile diamond jobs. After having spent many years in prison, he has a very concrete picture of what he wants out of life--including a nice home, a wife, and kids. As soon as he is able to assemble the pieces of this collage, by means of his chosen profession, he intends to retire and become a model citizen. In an effort to accelerate this process, he signs on to take down a huge score for a big-time gangster. Unfortunately, Frank's obsession for his version of the American Dream allows him to overlook his natural wariness and mistrust, when making the deal for his final job. He is thus ensnared and robbed of his freedom, his independence, and, ultimately, his dream. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | heist | money | criminal | safecracker | See more »

Taglines:

Tonight, his take home pay is $410,000...tax free.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Einzelgänger  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank favors a Colt's 1911A1 "longslide" in .45 ACP customized by pistolsmith Jim Hoag. Carl is using a High Standard Model 10B "Bullpup-style" 12 gauge Police Shotgun, no longer in production. See more »

Goofs

When Barry is cleaning out the vault, a stage light is visible in the bottom of the jewel tray. See more »

Quotes

Frank: I have run out of time. I have lost it all. So I can't work fast enough to catch up. I can't run fast enough to catch up. And the only thing that catches me up is doing my magic act.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Solo quiero caminar (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A bit dated but still one of the finest action films ever made
3 February 2008 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

"Thief" may fool some viewers into overlooking just how intelligently made it is, mainly because of how dated it initially appears. Its full of quick cuts, a pounding Tangerine Dream score, and flashy cars and clothing. Knowing that Michael Mann later made "Miami Vice", one may fear this will resemble a feature-length episode of that show. Fortunately, one realizes quickly that this is a really quality product. Its dated elements can't really be held against the filmmakers, and considering that "Scarface" was still two years away, this style could be considered a bit ahead of its time. The screenplay is just so powerful and well developed that it overcomes its limitations quickly. Mann is well known for making smart, character-driven action films, and "Thief" is no exception. This ranks with "Manhunter" as his finest achievement in my mind.

As good as the direction and script are, what really makes the film is James Caan. Caan has always been a criminally underrated performer, and as a strangely moral thief who wants to leave the business, he's never been better. He infuses a good deal of nuance and subtlety into the performance that only reveals itself with repeated viewings. Its proof that the man is as good as either DeNiro or Pacino. Tuesday Weld is also fantastic, offering possibly her finest performance (and she still looks terrific fifteen years after her peak of stardom). Even Willie Nelson and James Belushi give good portrayals. "Thief" is a really fantastic hardboiled crime thriller that appears a bit dated but ends up being as potent as ever. (8/10)


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Finally getting a Criterion Collection release asktheages
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What does Frank do next? vpking77-276-694061
What's with the lady watching TV at the end? dullatron
The diner scene and other bits and pieces... hankmcn
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