The Thief (1952)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  15 October 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 636 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 12 critic

A chance accident causes a nuclear physicist selling top secret material to the Russians to fall under FBI scrutiny and go on the run.



(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Mr. Bleek (as Martin Gable)
Harry Bronson ...
Rita Vale ...
Miss Philips (as Rita Grapel)
Rex O'Malley ...
Rita Gam ...
John McKutcheon ...
Joe Conlin ...


Interesting, but sometimes slow film about a nuclear physicist working in Washington DC who also spies for some unnamed foreign country. It does have a rather funny, patriotic/propagandist ending. It's most interesting aspect is that it is filmed entirely without dialogue. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Excitement Beyond Words! See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

15 October 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hirsiz  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Thief is one of the few films with synchronized sound to be made completely without spoken dialog. See more »


Martin Gabel's name is misspelled as "Martin Gable" in the closing credits. See more »


Referenced in Face of the Frog (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Open your mind to something new!
16 July 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is a pretty ambitious noir film that dared to tell its story without a single line of dialogue. It's plot is a bit hokey: a nuclear scientist who had agreed to pass on information to a fiendish band of communists (are there any other kind?) has second thoughts and must allude himself from their grasp. The film combines a wonderful mix of claustrophobic scenes of tension where our (anti)hero holes himself up in a small room while the phone rings menacingly (conjuring memories of Milland's brush with fear and paranoia in THE LOST WEEKEND), and terrific cat-and-mouse chase scenes that are truly Hitchcockian, including a climax on the top of the Empire State Building (how come Hitch never came up with that one?). Ray Milland does a terrific job as usual: one can almost hear his thoughts. And the cinematography is some of the most innovative you'll ever see outside an Orson Welles film. Don't get caught up in the idea that this is a 'gimmick' film. This is an innovative film, much in the same vein as some of the most inventive shows in THE TWILIGHT ZONE series. Try to open your mind to a fresh perspective and you won't be disappointed.

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