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The Happy Thieves (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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The Happy Thieves -- A dapper art thief enraptures a wealthy duchess, then steals a priceless painting from her estate.


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5.4/10   281 votes »
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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Condon (novel) and
John Gay
View company contact information for The Happy Thieves on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
January 1962 (USA) See more »
Rita and Rex Steal The Picture! See more »
A suave art thief romances a wealthy duchess, only to enable him to steal a priceless painting from her collection. Complications ensue. | Add synopsis »
(3 articles)
Rita Hayworth: Gilda, The Lady From Shanghai on TCM
 (From Alt Film Guide. 7 April 2012, 5:04 PM, PDT)

The Happy Thieves
 (From JustPressPlay. 16 June 2011, 7:54 AM, PDT)

More MGM Limited Edition Movies Released
 (From Comicmix. 20 April 2011, 10:23 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Thieves Fall Out See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Rita Hayworth ... Eve Lewis

Rex Harrison ... Jimmy Bourne

Joseph Wiseman ... Jean Marie Calbert

Alida Valli ... Duchess Blanca

Grégoire Aslan ... Dr. Victor Muñoz
Virgilio Teixeira ... Cayetano the Bullfighter
Peter Illing ... Mr. Pickett the Art Expert

Britt Ekland ... Mrs. Pickett (as Britta Ekman)
George Rigaud ... Spanish Police Inspector
Gérard Tichy ... Antonio, Prado Museum Guard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barta Barri ... Chern, Lawyer / Fence (uncredited)
Toni Fuentes ... Prado Museum Guard (uncredited)
Yasmin Khan ... Girl (uncredited)
Julio Peña ... Señor Elek, Hotel Bourne Desk Clerk (uncredited)
Karl-Heinz Schwerdtfeger ... Police Official (uncredited)
Lou Weber ... Prado Museum Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
George Marshall 
Writing credits
Richard Condon (novel "The Oldest Confession")

John Gay 

Produced by
Rita Hayworth .... producer
James Hill .... executive producer
Original Music by
Mario Nascimbene 
Cinematography by
Paul Beeson 
Film Editing by
Oswald Hafenrichter 
Art Direction by
Ramiro Gómez 
Costume Design by
Pierre Balmain 
Pedro Rodríguez 
Makeup Department
John O'Gorman .... makeup artist
Joan St. Oegger .... hair stylist
Production Management
Manuel Pérez .... unit manager (as Manolo Perez)
Edward Woehler .... production manager
Sound Department
Sash Fisher .... sound
Editorial Department
María Luisa Pino .... first assistant editor
Other crew
Angela Allen .... continuity
John Livesley .... coordinator
Jean-Étienne Siry .... poster designer (french version) (as Siry)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
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 »


What is the name of the stolen painting?
See more »
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Thieves Fall Out, 8 April 2012
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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.

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