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In Monte Carlo, Theo Wilkins recruits his young protégé Paul Mason - just released from prison - to help him rob the famous casino of $4 million. The plan is straightforward. On the night of the Governor's Ball, Theo will create a distraction in the casino by having one of the team collapse requiring urgent medical attention. During that time Paul and another member of the crew will get the money from the vault. When the ambulance arrives, the money will leave with the sick man. The plan is a good one but not everyone will survive the robbery and no one will get rich from it. Written by
Edward G. Robinson has planned the perfect crime in "Seven Thieves," a 1960 black and white film also starring Rod Steiger, Joan Collins, Eli Wallach, Alexander Scourby, Michael Dante, Marcel Hillaire, and Sebastian Cabot. The film is set in Monte Carlo where Theo Wilkins (Robinson) has arranged to meet Paul Mason (Rod Steiger) to ask him to join in the plot. Wilkins is a former scientist who lost his credibility after commission of some sort of crime, but we don't know what it is; Mason has just finished three years in jail. The crime concerns the theft of 4 million francs from a casino and will involve a total of 7 people - a dancer (Collins), her friend (Wallach), her married boyfriend (Scourby), and a safe cracker (Dante).
Directed by Henry Hathaway, this is an interesting drama that moves somewhat slowly and might have been better. It has a couple of twists at the end that are interesting, and there is quite a bit of tension and suspense for the audience throughout.
The performances are excellent. Robinson gives a sympathetic portrayal of an old man looking for his last shot; Steiger gives a subdued (!) performance, his character being quietly threatening instead of screaming his guts out - good choice. Someone commented on this site that Joan Collins looks the same today as she did in this film 45 years ago - actually, it's kind of true. The only difference is that she wore less makeup then. Her figure is amazing, and she gives a wonderful performance as an unhappy, hard woman who has much compassion underneath. Eli Wallach does a great job as a nervous wreck.
"Seven Thieves" holds your attention. Strangely this is around the time of "Ocean's 11" where the touch is much lighter. This is a very dramatic story. It's not the greatest but worth checking out.
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