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A Thief in the Night (1972)

 -  Drama | Fantasy | Horror  -  22 March 1973 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 392 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 2 critic

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Title: A Thief in the Night (1972)

A Thief in the Night (1972) on IMDb 5.1/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Patty Dunning ...
Mike Niday ...
Jim Wright
Colleen Niday ...
Jenny (as Coleen Niday)
Maryann Rachford ...
Diane Bradford
Thom Rachford ...
Jerry Bradford (as Tom Rachford)
Duane Coller ...
Duane
Russell S. Doughten Jr. ...
Reverend Matthew Turner
Clarence Balmer ...
Pastor Balmer (the good minister)
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Storyline

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Taglines:

...and there will be no place to hide.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

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Details

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Release Date:

22 March 1973 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming of the scene where Patty is walking over the railroad tracks on the bridge, Patty Dunning states in an interview that she did, in fact, drop down in between the trestles, and that she was really glad she weighed what she did at the time so that she didn't go all the way through, because the bridge was about 60 feet high. See more »

Goofs

During the chase scene towards the railway trestle the road appears one minute to have new yellow striping and the next cut having no striping. As the yellow striping don't have the old white ones underneath, the road must have been unmarked and painted during filming. The USA was converting their road markings from white to yellow during this period. See more »

Quotes

Girl at teen center: But He's done it for us, Jenny, that's why He came to Earth. Jesus Christ was born a human being, and He grew and lived the life that God's holiness demands of each of us. And He was punished and killed, punished as though He was one of us.
Jenny: That seems so unfair.
Girl at teen center: Who said love is fair?
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the movie, it says "THE END ...is near" See more »

Connections

Followed by Image of the Beast (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wish We'd All Been Ready
Words and Music by Larry Norman
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User Reviews

The Second Most Embarrassing Film Ever Made
28 September 2002 | by (Andover, MA) – See all my reviews



I'm truly embarrassed to admit that I suffered through this film four or five times, while growing up in a Baptist church and attending a WASPish Protestant elementary school. One of the most abhorrent motion pictures ever made (second only to Lamont Johnson's reprehensible "Lipstick" back in 1976), "A Thief in the Night" has -- sadly -- become a Bible belt staple -- one of the only "Evangelical Christian cult films." How wildly popular is it among conservative Christians? Let's put it this way: one could walk into any "film night" at a midwestern Baptist church during the eighties and nineties and catch this motion picture, nine times out of ten (until John Schmidt took over by making a series of contemporary Christian films that actually remain watchable to this day -- "The Wait of the World" (1989), etc.)

I fail to understand how anyone could even -sit through- "A Thief in the Night" (let alone heap unqualified praise onto the film). Not only are the production values, the direction, the 'performances,' the script, the music, and the editing ludicrous, but one can imagine the film feeling dated even back in 1972. (The characters seem to be walking around on another planet).

As other IMDB users imply in their critiques, it might be possible for a film of this nature to evolve into a secular cult item -- a joke, to be screened as a secular midnight movie and at 70's cinematic shlock fests, ala "Toomorrow," the mysterious and elusive "Darktown Strutters," and "BJ Lang Presents." Ahh, such is not the case. The "filmmakers" rendered this impossible by dampering "A Thief in the Night" with some of the sourest, most depressing dramatic overtones in movie history and ensuring that it can never (NEVER) be *enjoyed* as entertaining camp. From first frame to last, it remains repulsively gloomy, angry, and depressing. This, from a film about Christ's second coming -- a subject which should impart a message of hope, not of fear.

In short: nothing fun about this one, folks. It's a *miserable* experience, and it may even fall into the same category as "The Incredible Torture Show," about which, Danny Peary once wrote, "If any film deserves to be banned, this deserves strong consideration."

The worst sidelight of the film: the terrible light it continues to shed on conservative Christians, and on the Revelation of St. John per se. "Left Behind" (1999), starring Kirk Cameron and based on the bestselling book series (a film I have not seen), covers the same ground and is evidently far more watchable.


17 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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