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Crime Thief (1969)

Le voleur de crimes (original title)
Jean (Trintignant), a psychopath, casually witnesses a young woman's suicide. In his sick mind, he begins to be convinced he murdered her and starts sending letters to newspapers with ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Nadine Marquand Trintignant)

Writers:

(dialogue) (as Nadine Marquand Trintignant), (screenplay) (as Nadine Marquand Trintignant)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Jean Girod
Robert Hossein ...
Christian, dit Tian
...
Olga Girod, la femme de Jean (as Georgia Moll)
...
La logeuse
Tanya Lopert ...
Une consommatrice au bar
Karen Blanguernon ...
La suicidée
Serge Marquand ...
Guieff, l'ami de Christian
...
Florinda
Lucienne Hamon ...
La femme traquée
Antoine Ouvrier ...
Le petit Antoine
Francis Girod ...
Le barman
Vicka Borg ...
La copine de Guieff (as Vica Borg)
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Storyline

Jean (Trintignant), a psychopath, casually witnesses a young woman's suicide. In his sick mind, he begins to be convinced he murdered her and starts sending letters to newspapers with details of his "murder", which eventually lead to the police actually searching for him. As he is about to be caught, he meets a young woman Florinda (Bolkan) and the idea of a real crime begins to shatter his disturbed mind. Written by fabreu

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

23 May 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Crime Thief  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Messe en F
Written by David A. Axelrod (as David Axelrod)
Performed by The Electric Prunes
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User Reviews

 
Psychopathic Jean-Paul Trintignant has his days of freedom numbered
10 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Crime Thief" opens with scenes of a handcuffed Trintignant attempting to escape but quickly being subdued by police. We then go into a flashback that's almost the entire movie, which ends with his being handcuffed and some additional fixed frame shots.

The flashback begins with Trintignant on an out of the way road near a cliff. He sees a young girl commit suicide by driving over the cliff. While he has plenty of time to stop her, he doesn't, which is our first clue, other than his disorientation at the outset, that something is wrong with him. Subsequently, we learn that he has left his wife very recently, for 8 days. He's picked up by an artist, Robert Hossein, who sees a way to make a few bucks by letting Trintignant use his brother's room while he's absent. Hossein lives with Florinda Bolkan, who likes Trintignant.

The story goes on to show Trintignant's psychopathic character, sometimes through his reflections and more often through his behavior, which is often off key. He feels superior and free to act out any quirk. He takes on the suicide as his own, acting as if he were the murderer. He begins to play an anonymous game with police and with Hossein, who doesn't seem to recognize something is wrong. He enjoys the publicity and feeling of superiority. Bolkan doesn't suspect a thing. Trintignant looks completely innocent and indeed playful, as if he were engaged in pranks or verbal sparring. The picture becomes thoroughly a character study.

The picture takes on a strange character because its main character is indeed strange. It's really a portrait of a psychopath. The direction is adequate, accomplished by Trintignant's wife who also was the writer. The movie is not meant to be a "big" project but rather a smaller one with a sharp focus. I think it was a challenge to elevate the ordinariness of Trintignant's character into something dramatic, and that's where the picture may fall short of realizing its ambitions. It had to use scenes showing Trintignant doing quirky physical things, like lifting his arms straight over his head, and this did not always work that well as movie material. What works better is the progression of his character from stealing a crime to committing a crime.


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