The Thief of Paris (1967)
"Le voleur" (original title)

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In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who steals his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Georges Randal
Geneviève Delpiels
L'abbé Félix La Margelle
Paul Le Person ...
Roger Voisin dit Roger-La-Honte
Christian Lude ...
Urbain Randal - l'oncle et tuteur de Georges
Françoise Fabian ...
Marguerite - la bonne délurée
Martine Sarcey ...
Renée Mouratet
Roger Crouzet ...
Jacques Debary ...
Fernand Guiot ...
Emiel Van Der Busch
Marc Dudicourt ...
Georges Antoine
Paul Vally ...
MaîtreVivonne - le notaire


In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who steals his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a rich neighbour. As an act of revenge, Georges steals the fiance's family jewels, and enjoys the experience so much that he embarks upon a life-time of burglary. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The light touch of the masters! Malle makes ... Belmondo takes.


Comedy | Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

23 August 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Thief of Paris  »

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Georges Randal: I do a dirty job but I have an excuse: I do it dirtily.
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User Reviews

Entertaining, exciting, sexy, fun and intellectually stimulating. Highly recommended.
31 July 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

A pendant piece to VIVA MARIA. Louis Malle certainly, unlike some other fifties hipsters but also along with some other fifties hipsters, knew that something was happening in the sixties but didn't quite know what it was. It was, of course, sex, drugs and rock 'n roll - thousands of people in the street- the whole anti-establishment thing. Malle knew this and he didn't know this. He knew this instinctively but not specifically. In LE VOLEUR he presents a story of a young man, who, upon completing his education and military service, is cheated out of his inheritance and thwarted in love by the greed of the older generation disguising its self interest in pious social formalities. He almost accidentally discovers his talent for burglary and decides that it is his life's calling. This is a trope familiar to French existentialism especially in the films of Bresson and Melville.

Belmondo, as the young man, Georges Randal, decides that he is going to attack the smug bourgeoisie one villa at a time. His sex life was what could be described as extremely contemporary. He lives on the boarders of respectable society. A life on the edge if you will. He shares his values with all sorts of nefarious characters in a sort of underground movement. While some have plans to turn the movement into something like a concrete political organization Belmondo prefers to keep it on a personal and individual level. The chief mover behind the politicizing of the movement is shot down after a political speech made by a reactionary politician. Even after achieving an enviable financial security Belmondo continues with his chosen profession, dedicated to the implication that it continues his never ending war against a hypocritical and selfish bourgeois society. A very sixties concept except that LE VOLEUR is a period picture, set in La Belle Epoch, the decades before the turn of the last century.

VIVA MARIA is also a period picture but more overtly about revolution. Malle certainly had a feeling for the zeitgeist but was, as something of a bourgeois himself, distancing himself from identifying too fully with revolutionary politics as say someone like Regis Debray, a man of Malle's class who fought with Che Guevara in Bolivia.

Certainly as all of the aspects of the cultural revolution of the late sixties came into sharper focus Malle, like the Belmondo character, avoided direct participation or indeed comment upon either the situation or any organized dissidence, preferring to make his statement by going within. His subsequent films included documentaries on India and fiction films dealing with incest in Vichy (LE Soufflé AU COEUR) and a collaborationist youth during the war (LACOMBE LUCIAN). He was to abandon France ten years after LE VOLEUR and made films in America before returning once again, ten years after, to France and a film about the ethics and morality of wartime collaboration (AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS) and, more pointedly, May '68 (MILOU EN MAI). But from VIVA MARIA and LE VOULEUR it was a long time in between laughs.

LE VOLEUR is commendable, above all else, for it's single minded purpose, reflected in the dedication to his vocation by Belmondo. No crappy cinematic tricks. Guys who want to retire do so even after one last job, men who walk into the frame do not turn out to be undercover anythings, coincidences and ironies do not abound at the touch of a screenwriters whim or sloth. The sequence with Charles Denner, who is superb, is a highlight of the film. Geneviève Bujold has never looked more beautiful than in this film. If LE VOLEUR has one fault, it is that there are too many beautiful women in the film, a fault more revealing about the way times and standards have changed, than about Mr. Malle.

LE VOLEUR, along with VIVA MARIA are perfect examples of what the Nouvelle Vague matured into, sort of its middle age, a strong combination of spirit, skill and generous budgets. A rare film to catch but entertaining, exciting, sexy, fun and intellectually stimulating. Highly recommended.

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