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...

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Murch
...
Greenberg
...
Dr. Amusa
William Redfield ...
Lt. Hoover
...
Sis
...
Ma Murch
...
Warden (as Graham P. Jarvis)
...
Rollo the Bartender
Seth Allen ...
Happy Hippie
...
Cop At Police Station
Lee Wallace ...
Dr. Strauss
Robert Weil ...
Albert
Lynne Gordon ...
Miasmo
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Storyline

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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How many times does it take to steal the same diamond? See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How to Steal a Diamond in Four Uneasy Lessons  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The weapon they are carrying during the helicopter ride to and the assault on the Police Precinct is the Swedish 9mm SMG m/45. Developed during WWII. Still in use within the Swedish Armed Forces (nowdays in a very small number). Once used by American Special Forces because of its simplicity and reliability. Also manufactured in Egypt on license. See more »

Goofs

When the locksmith is attempting to unlock the case in the museum, he's using only a pick. Without a tension wrench, there's no way to turn the lock cylinder, so he would never succeed in picking the lock. See more »

Quotes

Dortmunder: It's good, and it's bad. There's a guaranteed return, and that's good. But the guarantor is Amusa, and Amusa's a rookie, and that's bad. But it's an easily transportable object, and that's good. Only it's in a rotten position in the museum, 30 steps to the quickest exit, and that's bad. And the glass over the stone, that's bad too, because that's glass with metal mixed in it, bulletproof, shatterproof. But the locks don't look impossible, 3, maybe 5 tumblers. But there's no alarm system, and ...
[...]
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Connections

Edited into The Clock (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot Rock Theme
Written and Performed by Quincy Jones
Sung by The Don Elliott Voices (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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. ****


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