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The Hot Rock (1972)

GP  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  26 January 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,615 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 19 critic

Dortmunder and his pals plan to steal a huge diamond from a museum. But this turns out to be only the first time they have to steal it...



(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The Hot Rock (1972)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Amusa
William Redfield ...
Lt. Hoover
Ma Murch
Graham Jarvis ...
Warden (as Graham P. Jarvis)
Rollo the Bartender
Seth Allen ...
Happy Hippie
Cop At Police Station
Lee Wallace ...
Dr. Strauss
Robert Weil ...
Lynne Gordon ...


Dr. Amusa approaches Dortmunder about a valuable gem in a museum that is of great signifigance to his people in Africa, stolen during colonial times. Dortmunder assembles a crack team of cat burglars and hatches an elaborate plan for stealing the gem. Despite their care and experience, circumstances and plain bad luck keep the gem just out of their reach. Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They're out to steal the hottest diamond in town with the funniest schemes in history ! See more »


Action | Comedy | Crime


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 January 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How to Steal a Diamond in Four Uneasy Lessons  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the Dortmunder novels by Donald Westlake, Kelp always steals cars owned by medical doctors. In the movie, the license plates of the stolen cars have the letters "MD" as part of the plate number. (Kelp's reason is that doctors have expensive tastes, and their cars are usually loaded with the best options - leather seats, stereo, etc..) See more »


The Swedish 9mm SMG used is by no means realistic. They are both mounted with the special barrel and security equipment used for firing blanks for this actual type of SMG - plastic bullets that disintegrates when fired - only used in combat training. See more »


Bird Lady: I'll tell you something, you are the poorest birds I've ever seen.
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Followed by What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001) See more »


Listen To The Melody
Music and arrangement: Quincy Jones
Performed by: Tata with The Ian Smith Singers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Amiable caper comedy with a great cast.
27 September 2002 | by (North Hemis) – See all my reviews

Another shaggy dog story by crime novelist Donald Westlake is smoothly adapted by William Goldman into this enjoyable caper flick, expertly directed by Peter Yates of BULLITT fame. Robert Redford heads the cast of kooky crooks -- others include George Segal, Ron Leibman and Paul Sand -- chasing after a big diamond purloined from an impoverished African nation. How they get it, lose it, and desperately try to get it back again makes for a pleasant time-waster. As usual, Zero Mostel steals the show as a sleazebag lawyer who's more crooked than the crooks. Other pluses include gritty location NYC photography by Ed Brown and a very cool score by Quincy Jones. Afghanistan-bananistan!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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