Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in ...
See full summary »
A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but then gets into debt when Gould takes an unscheduled trip to Tijuana. As a final act of ... See full summary »
Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Millie is ... See full summary »
A fictionalized former President Richard M. Nixon offers a solitary, stream-of-consciousness reflection on his life and political career - and the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal and his resignation.
Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in love along the way with a girl met at their hideout, the older man is a happy professional criminal with a romance of his own, the third is a fast lover and hard drinker fond of his work. The young lovers begin to move out of the sphere in which they have met, a last robbery in Yazoo City goes badly and puts paid to the gang once and for all as a profitable venture, but isn't the end of the story quite yet, as all three are wanted and notorious men with altogether different points of view on the situation they are faced with. Written by
In "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography" (2009) by Mitchell Zuckoff, co-screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury said: "We couldn't get any movie financed and he had a book he needed to be adapted, 'Thieves Like Us'. I read it and adapted it in about four days for him. By this time I had been around Bob long enough. It's almost like when you find a really good dance partner you know where the next step's going to go. It's not that you anticipate it, but you can relax enough to go with it . . . The money fell out for the project about three times. It was really by the grace of George Litto and Bob [Altman] and the other producer, Jerry Bick, standing in a room and practically mortgaging their houses and saying, "Let's go ahead." It was a really good lesson in terms of not backing down." See more »
In one of the old radio clips early in the film, the announcer talks about Seabiscuit winning the $25,000 Butler Handicap at Empire City Race Track. The actual date of Seabiscuit winning that race is July 10, 1937, which would place it after the end of the movie which concludes in the Spring of 1937. See more »
I shoulda robbed people with my brain instead of a gun.
See more »
This film may have been a box office disappointment when it was first released, but that's no reason why it should be so completely forgotten today.
"Thieves Like Us" was Altman's second major period piece (after "McCabe and Mrs. Miller"), and he gets the details just right. From the cars to the clothing to the ubiquitous Coca-Cola bottles, everything adds to the feeling that these events could have taken place. It, of course, also helps that he has actors who look like they fit the time period. Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck and Bert Remsen were born to play these roles, and they get able support from Tom Skerritt and Louise Fletcher.
Instead of a typical soundtrack, Altman uses vintage radio programs to underscore the action (crime dramas during robberies, "Romeo and Juliet" during a love scene). It's a brilliant gamble that pays off and takes the film to a whole new level.
In short, this is one of Altman's most fully realized films. For it to remain unseen is a crime.
34 of 40 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?