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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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Up 1% 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:
of mild interest 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:A man is nothing without his profession.See more »


What is the name of the stolen painting?
See more »
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
of mild interest, 21 December 2014
Author: blanche-2 from United States

"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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