5.4/10
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7 user 1 critic

The Happy Thieves (1961)

A suave art thief romances a wealthy duchess, only to enable him to steal a priceless painting from her collection. Complications ensue.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Eve Lewis
...
Jimmy Bourne
...
Jean Marie Calbert
...
Duchess Blanca
...
Dr. Victor Muñoz
Virgilio Teixeira ...
Cayetano the Bullfighter
Peter Illing ...
Mr. Pickett the Art Expert
...
Mrs. Pickett (as Britta Ekman)
George Rigaud ...
Spanish Police Inspector
Gérard Tichy ...
Antonio, Prado Museum Guard
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Storyline

A suave art thief romances a wealthy duchess, only to enable him to steal a priceless painting from her collection. Complications ensue.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We confess! They did it! But it's how they did it that makes it so delightful! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Crime

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

January 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los alegres ladrones  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was adapted from Richard Condon's first novel, "The Oldest Confession", which is, especially in its later stages, considerably more serious in tone than this light-hearted caper movie. Condon hated the film and made no secret of the fact. It was a big box-office flop. See more »

Quotes

Jimmy Bourne: [as Eve grabs a drink from a tray and tosses it back] But Eve, that's a *martini*.
Eve Lewis: It *was* a martini.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
of mild interest
21 December 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Happy Thieves" from 1961 is about art thieves Jimmy and Eve (Rex Harrison and Rita Hayworth) who steal a painting from a museum. A painting belonging to Duchess Blanca (Alida Valli) is stolen from a castle in Spain by the two thieves, but then it's stolen from them by the Duchess' cousin.

Eve wants to call it quits, but the thief, one Dr. Munoz (Gregoire Aslan) blackmails the couple and wants a piece of art from the Prado museum. They have a duplicate made by Jean Marie Calbert (Joseph Wiseman), planning to switch the paintings during a farewell bullfight for the duchess' fiancée, a matador.

A few things could have helped this film. One was a color production. It is Europe and does deal with art, after all. The second thing that would have helped was a more exciting actor as Jimmy. Rex Harrison was a marvelous actor but somehow wrong for this role, not dashing, charismatic, or romantic enough. The last thing that would have helped is a faster pace.

"The Happy Thieves" was based on a book by Richard Condon and directed by George Marshall, both very accomplished, but this isn't the best representation of either one. Hayworth, in her forties here is beautiful, graceful and does a good job. The film was produced by her last husband, and she later pronounced it "rubbish." It moves fairly slowly, but the painting-switching scene is very good. Not awful, not great. Seeing Rita Hayworth is always worthwhile.


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