MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 402 this week

Thief (1981)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  27 March 1981 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 13,621 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 103 user | 79 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screen story), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 03 Jan 2014
 
a list of 40 titles
created 10 Jan 2014
 
a list of 35 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 44 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Thief" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Thief (1981)

Thief (1981) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Thief.

User Polls

2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Keep (1983)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Scott Glenn, Ian McKellen, Alberta Watson
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After his last crime has him looking at a long prison sentence for repeat offenses, a low level Boston gangster decides to snitch on his friends to avoid jail time.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan
Manhunter (1986)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Former FBI profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial murderer named "the Tooth Fairy" by the media.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen
Rififi (1955)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes...

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel
Sexy Beast (2000)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Brutal gangster Don Logan recruits "retired" safecracker Gal for one last job, but it goes badly for both of them.

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke
L.A. Takedown (TV Movie 1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Tough Los Angeles cop Vincent Hanna takes on a gang of professional bank robbers led by the precise, enigmatic Patrick McLaren.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Scott Plank, Alex McArthur, Michael Rooker
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen
The Jericho Mile (TV Movie 1979)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rain Murphy is a man sentenced to life in prison, choosing to do his time in near-isolation, and engages in distance running when given the opportunity for free-time. While his form and ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Peter Strauss, Richard Lawson, Roger E. Mosley
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

Director: Peter Collinson
Stars: Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill
Miami Vice (2006)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Based on the 1980s TV action/drama, this update focuses on vice detectives Crockett and Tubbs as their respective personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Li Gong
The Insider (1999)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
Edit

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
Edit

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:

thief | prison | heist | money | criminal | See All (209) »

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to James Belushi, on the documentary series "Directors", he says that Mann drove the costumer crazy trying to get Belushi a Hula shirt for the scene where they are casing the last vault. See more »

Goofs

During the gunfight in Leo's house, no empty shell cases are ejected from Frank's Colt semiautomatic as he fires it. See more »

Quotes

Frank: He down our merch? Is it gone? Does he carry the cash on him, what?
Barry: I'm talking to somebody's somebody. I will know in about 25 minutes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Punisher (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Michael Mann's Masterpiece
16 February 2001 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Thief(1981) contains the best performance of James Caan as a professional thief in a rare leading role. He is complex and three deminsional as the protagonist, Frank. Thief(1981) is similar in many ideas to the Dustin Hoffman film, Straight Time(1977). One of the best directorial debut as Michael Mann gives a realistic portrayal of the hardships in being a professional thief. The movie does a good job in showing the corruption that Frank has to go against.

Its much better than Heat(1995) because it focuses on one person instead of trying to interweave in confusing detail the lives of two people who are opposite in job but the same in spirit. Willie Nelson is terrific in the small of of Frank's mentor, Okla. Robert Prosky is impressive as the father like crime boss, Leo. The heist scenes are the highlight of the film. Thief(1981) has to be one of the best movies to come out during the 1980s and is definitely the director's top film.


37 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
When Barry tackles his wife on the beach ramcamcole
Fans of this film, get the Criterion release NOW! mountainjam819
Drive Countorloc
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
Discuss Thief (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?