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Once a Thief (1965)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 691 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 4 critic

Eddie Pedak, a convicted criminal, has a steady job, a wife and daughter and he puts a down payment on a boat. He also has a police detective and brother after him, the first believes Eddie... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Once a Thief (1965)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Eddie Pedak
...
Kristine Pedak
...
Inspector Mike Vido SFPD
...
Walter Pedak
John Davis Chandler ...
James Arthur Sargatanas, Walter's Henchman
...
Lt. Kebner SFPD
Steve Mitchell ...
Frank Kane
...
Kathy Pedak
Tony Musante ...
Cleveland 'Cleve' Shoenstein
Zekial Marko ...
Luke
Russell Lee ...
Drummer
Yuki Shimoda ...
John Ling, Chinese Funeral Director
Edit

Storyline

Eddie Pedak, a convicted criminal, has a steady job, a wife and daughter and he puts a down payment on a boat. He also has a police detective and brother after him, the first believes Eddie shot him, the second wants him for one last heist. Written by Jonathan <jrd@netvision.net.il>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ONCE A THIEF...ALWAYS A TARGET with the cops on one side - the killers on the other! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 September 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scratch a Thief  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production was delayed several days while the crew waited for cloudy daytime weather to add atmosphere to the big finale. This was just fine with star Ann-Margret. She had been introduced for the second time to future-husband Roger Smith, who was performing in a Frisco nightclub, and she wasn't looking forward to leaving him. See more »

Goofs

Although set in one of the least parking-friendly cities in the country, everyone in movie always manages to find a parking spot directly in front of wherever they are going in San Francisco. See more »

Connections

Referenced in No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Once A Thief
Written by Lalo Schifrin & Dorcas Cochran
Performed by Irene Reid
See more »

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User Reviews

ONCE A THIEF (Ralph Nelson, 1965) **1/2
5 August 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

In the wake of having watched Alain Delon in Joseph Losey's THE ASSASSINATION OF TROTSKY (1972), I decided to check out three other vehicles of his I had taped off TV over the last few months – beginning with this one, which emerges to be just as pretentious as Losey's film! Best described as a beatnik noir, we've seen this film's story told a million times before – that of a criminal who can't escape his past, dogged as much by old associates as by an obsessive police nemesis. Consequently, director Nelson and cinematographer Robert Burks (best-known for his longtime collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock) handle the generally clichéd material for more than it's worth – even if my viewing was somewhat compromised by the film being panned-and-scanned.

Delon and Ann-Margret make for a handsome couple - although she occasionally tries too hard and her histrionics seem more at home in a Tennessee Williams melodrama; Van Heflin is appropriately world-weary as the aging cop, Jack Palance is typically intense as a crime boss and Delon's elder brother. The rest of Palance's gang is made up of the odd-looking and memorably creepy John Davis Chandler and Tony Musante – while Jeff Corey appears as Heflin's irate superior. The film's screenwriter Zekial Marko (adapting his own novel) is featured in an unintentionally hilarious supporting role as a druggie who shares a cell with Delon – we follow his case intermittently throughout (for no very good reason other than to justify the similarly hapless Delon's pursuit of crime) via newspaper clippings, denoting Marko's conviction to the gas chamber and eventually his suicide! The film is aided by a jazzy score courtesy of Lalo Schifrin, who seemed to specialize in crime/police dramas. The elaborate heist half-way through is an expected highlight, which then leads to a predictably downbeat and body-strewn climax.


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