The painting, known as the "Rokeby Venus" is by Velazquez and is his only known nude. It moved to England in 1813 to hang in Rokeby Park, Yorkshire. The painting was purchased by National Art Collections Fund in 1906 for the National Gallery, London. The suffragette Mary Richardson attacked and badly damaged the painting in 1914 but it was restored and returned to display. See more »
Having been to the Prado Museum in Madrid I was looking forward to seeing The Happy Thieves which was produced by Rita Hayworth's final husband James Hill and starring Hayworth and Rex Harrison. But this turned out to be a disappointment for me. I expected more from these stars and director George Marshall.
For all the sophisticated dialog that Rex Harrison delivers he's also a guy who countenances murder as a diversion for him to steal a Goya painting from the museum. It didn't quite compute with his character.
After training her in the art of thievery, Rex finds Rita balking at the more disagreeable parts of his profession. So she can never testify against him, he marries her. Apparently that must be a part of the Spanish legal system as well, even under Francisco Franco. Later on she turns the tables on him, but you have to see the film to find out how and why.
Color cinematography might have helped especially since a good deal of this film was done in the Prado Museum and the movie audiences could have gotten a look at some of the great old masters like, Goya, El Greco, and Velasquez.
In the end The Happy Thieves depends on the charm of its leads and they're not up to it. No one would have been.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?