Nicole's father, a legendary art collector, lends his prized Cellini Venus to a prestigious Paris museum. Unfortunately, the Venus was *not* sculpted by Cellini but by Nicole's grandfather. (Her father is a forger as well, but his specialty is paintings.) Before tests can be done which would prove the Venus a fake, Nicole enlists the services of "society burglar" Simon Demott to steal the million dollar statue. Written by
William Wyler was at the end of his distinguished career when he undertook this project. The film with a screen play by Harry Kurnitz is a film that doesn't break any new grounds, but it's a favorite of a lot of fans, no doubt because of the luminous presence of Audrey Hepburn, a star of such charisma and elegance, unmatched by her peers.
Audrey Hepburn is seen in the film through the loving eyes of Mr. Wyler, a director who had worked with the star before. In fact, it was Mr. Wyler who was instrumental in directing Ms. Hepburn in "Roman Holiday", her big break in the American cinema. Audrey Hepburn is seen in the film at her best thanks to Givenchy, a designer that loved her, and whose clothes adorn the star and give the film a touch of chic.
Peter O'Toole makes an interesting partner for Ms. Hepburn. As Simon Dermott, Mr. O'Toole is the perfect match for his co-star. Both actors are seen at their most charismatic selves. They seem to be having the time of their lives working for Mr. Wyler and living it up in Paris!
The supporting cast is excellent. Hugh Griffith, Charles Boyer, Eli Wallach, Fernand Gravey and Marcel Dalio, and the rest grace the film with their distinguished presence and contribute to the general fun generated by this gentle caper.
Thanks to Mr. Wyler and its stars "How to Steal a Million" is a pleasure to watch.
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