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Piccoli and Schneider teamed up for two of Claude Sautet's best films "les choses de la vie" and "Max et les ferrailleurs" and finally Jacques Rouffio's " la passante du sans-souci" which ,sadly,was to be Schneider's last part.
"La voleuse" which is the earliest of their collaborations has fallen into oblivion.Although directed by a French,the action takes place in Germany and ,with the exception of Piccoli,the actors are all German (like Schneider herself) Although based on a melodramatic screenplay,this effort is rather austere filmed in a bleak black and white with a strange use of the wide screen:during the cast and credits ,at the beginning,Schneider mumbles words which the music drowns out and we only understand her last words.We think she is in a shrink's office but she's actually talking with her husband.When she was nineteen ,she gave birth to a child who was taken in by another family.And now she wants her child again,and with the help of the Police,she "steals "(hence the title:= the thief)her boy from his foster parents .The adoptive father is not prepared to accept it and he threatens to commit suicide .
The film is rather undistinguished but it has become poignant when you know Romy Schneider's awful fate:she lost her own child and died two years later.With hindsight,"la voleuse" was a frightening omen.
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