The Hot Rock (1972)

GP  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  26 January 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,643 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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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
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?


Composer Quincy Jones was so impressed by the performance of his musicians for the soundtrack of the film, that he requested to Twentieth Century-Fox and the producers of the film to give them on screen credit during the end credits of the film. The featured performers given credit on screen were (among others): Gerry Mulligan, Grady Tate, Jerome Richardson, Frank Rosolino, Clark Terry and the Don Elliott Voices, who were all popular jazz musicians at the time. See more »


During the initial conversation between Dortmunder and Kelp in the car, when the camera is on Dortmunder, his window is rolled up and no wind is apparent. Whenever the camera cuts to Kelp, however, Dortmunder is seen in the foreground with his hair being blown vigorously by an obviously open window. See more »


Abe Greenberg: I am sometime so astute, it's remarkable. There are some things people will not do.
Dortmunder: But there's things that get done that you can't do yourself. There's things that happen that you can make happen! Am I right, Chicken?
See more »


Followed by Jimmy the Kid (1982) 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

" I've heard of the habitual criminal, but never the habitual crime "
2 March 2009 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

From the moment our hero Dortmunder (Robert Redford) is released from prison, that's good. But immediately he comes under attack and that's bad. Fortunately it's his Brother-in-law (George Segal) and that's good, who then offers him a job in a new crime caper and that's bad. However the man who hires them is called Dr. Amusa (Moses Gunn, superb character acting) is rich, and that's good, but he wants them to break into a top security Museum to steal an extremely valuable diamond worth millions and that's bad. However, since the doctor is willing to front all materials necessary to facilitate the theft, that's good, but once they enter the museum and get the precious stone, the thieves cannot seem to hang onto it and that's bad. Still, they are determined to retrieve the elusive gem and that's good. Throughout the movie, one cannot help rooting for the hapless thieves as their simple crime seems to take on a life of it's own and the hilarity of it all makes for a superb film which is destined to become a Classic. The cast of this film is exceptional as we have Ron Leibman playing Murch, Paul Sand as Greenberg and the incomparable Zero Mostel as Abe Greenburg. Altogether this movie is highly recommended to anyone in search of great entertainment. ****

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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