A retired safe cracker is recruited by a young conman to return to the "business" for a million dollar heist.


(as Anthony M. Dawson)


(screenplay), (story) | 4 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Chris Gretchko / Ray Sloan
Clarisse Saunders
Jeff Olafsen
Captain Donati
Angelo Infanti ...
Antonella Murgia ...
Peter Carsten ...
Van Stratten
Hans (as Rudolf van Husen)
Dyane Silverstein ...
Steven Burch ...
Fred (as Steve Burche)
Ron Van Clief ...
Bob Hevelone ...
Lieutenant (as Bob Avalone)
Roy Brocksmith ...
Warehouse Owner
Ewald G. Spader ...


Lee Van Cleef is a safe cracker coming out of retirement to pull off one last caper. The Germans behind the theft are planning to steal $1,000,000. But unbeknownst to the safe cracker, they are planning to kill him afterward. When he learns of their intent, he begins plotting his revenge. Written by Yocke

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hot rocks... Hot lead! VAN CLEEF is caught in... See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

3 August 1978 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Diamond Thieves  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


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Did You Know?


The thug's hand alternates between Jeff's throat and shoulder between shots, right after Jeff is bailed out of jail. See more »

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User Reviews

Burglar Lee Van Cleef contends with gang members after a successful diamond heist
19 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Squeeze" (1978) is not a comedy, as IMDb says, not that some of the characters do not have a sense of humor. This movie is a 70s crime story through and through.

Unlike quite a few reviewers here, I found this movie to be very good, very enjoyable, well-scripted, well-acted and well-directed. I didn't find the music at all bad. The locations concentrate on the unglamorous, darker or grittier side of New York City. The story focuses almost all on the criminals, with some small portion allotted to Robert Alda and the police, but they are too late with too little. The story has surprising twists and double crosses that add a great deal. Its main negative, if it can even be called that, is that the action slows down in the middle part. Lee Van Cleef carries the whole movie, and is a pleasure to watch. He's a retired safecracker, lured back into "opening doors" by Edward Albert (Junior) who is working with German hoods led by Peter Carsten. Van Cleef makes use of pawnbroker and old pal Lionel Stander. Karen Black plays a 26-year old who, among other things, removes a bullet from Van Cleef's leg. If "The Outfit" is 70s noir, then so is this movie, dealing as it does with the aftermath of a heist in the spirit of "The Asphalt Jungle". The heist itself comes near the start of the story, and it's staged nicely. As in many such stories, the key element is trust. Whom can a thief trust in a gang that's come together only for this big job?

I watched a print that was probably near 1.66:1. It was not pan and scan. It had some black bars above and below. It was adequate and not at all a problem.

There's one explosion and fire sequence that's tremendous. It looks absolutely real.

Van Cleef gives a great and mature performance here. Edward Albert was coming off another very good performance of his in "The Greek Tycoon". Karen Black already had behind her "Family Plot" and "The Day of the Locust"and many other films she had been since 1960. It shows in her skilled handling of her part. Lionel Stander and Robert Alda were, of course, very experienced pros.

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