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The Thief (1952)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Drama  |  15 October 1952 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 592 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.

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Title: The Thief (1952)

The Thief (1952) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 ...
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Storyline

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 <kelloggs@ug.eds.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never Has The Screen Told A Story Like This! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hirsiz  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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

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User Reviews

 
hush hush
7 June 2011 | by (Portland OR) – See all my reviews

One of the fun things about noir is few of its defining characteristics are prerequisites. There are perfectly good noirs without a femme fatale, or without chiaroscuro lighting, or outside of an urban setting. And not all noirs have the trademark snappy dialogue... the crisp lines, distinctive lingo, backbiting remarks. So why not a noir with NO dialogue? Not a word is uttered in this look at a nuclear physicist selling secrets to an unknown enemy. We see him (Ray Millard, in a bravura performance) smuggling out photos, we see the convoluted machinations of the spy ring, the procedures of the authorities trying to catch him, and we see him wrestle with fear, doubt, conscience. When dealing with a gimmick film, several questions come up. Is the gimmick pulled off well? For the most part, yes. There is one "cheat" where we see a teletype of police communication, but other than that it stays true to the conceit without seeming forced. There isn't a moment where you think "This scene really needs some dialogue." Is the gimmick distracting? Yes and no. I was always aware of it in the back of the mind, but it wasn't annoying me or anything. Would the film be better without the gimmick? I don't think so. Again, there wasn't a scene where I felt dialogue was essential. We're spared the gung-ho narration of a docudrama like House on 92nd Street, and there's a refreshing ambiguity in that we have no idea (nor do we really care) who this enemy is, or how Milland got involved with them. These unanswered questions are rare in noir, or in any movie of the period. And putting aside the lack of dialogue, it's a nice, tight thriller with a mighty fine chase scene, psychological tension, great location work, and a very good score (which becomes especially important in this case).


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