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Thief (1981)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  27 March 1981 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,450 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 99 user | 56 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

Becoming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the mafia, who have other plans for him.

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(novel), (screen story), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jessie
...
Okla
...
Barry
...
Leo
Tom Signorelli ...
Attaglia
...
Carl
Nick Nickeas ...
Nick
W.R. Brown ...
Mitch (as W.R. [Bill] Brown)
Norm Tobin ...
Guido
John Santucci ...
Urizzi
Gavin MacFadyen ...
Boreksco
Chuck Adamson ...
Ancell
Sam Cirone ...
Martello
Spero Anast ...
Bukowski
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Storyline

Frank is an expert professional safecracker, specializing in high-profile diamond jobs. After having spent many years in prison, he has a very concrete picture of what he wants out of life--including a nice home, a wife, and kids. As soon as he is able to assemble the pieces of this collage, by means of his chosen profession, he intends to retire and become a model citizen. In an effort to accelerate this process, he signs on to take down a huge score for a big-time gangster. Unfortunately, Frank's obsession for his version of the American Dream allows him to overlook his natural wariness and mistrust, when making the deal for his final job. He is thus ensnared and robbed of his freedom, his independence, and, ultimately, his dream. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Tonight, his take home pay is $410,000...tax free.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Einzelgänger  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The burglary tools used throughout the film (such as the hydraulic drill used in the opening sequence) were not props, but actual tools which the actors were trained to use. The tools were supplied by actual thieves who served as technical consultants on the film, principally John Santucci, who also portrays Sgt. Urizzi on screen. See more »

Goofs

As Frank reloads his pistol in the final sequence, the slide of the weapon is forward, not locked back, as would be normal in a Colt semi-automatic, magazine-fed pistol. But if you count the shots before the reload, he only fired five shots, not seven, so the slide would be forward, since there was at least one round left in the magazine. See more »

Quotes

Frank: What are you doing in your life that is so terrific?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Heat' (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Sublime Mann & Caan character study of a career criminal
23 April 2003 | by (fairview, nj) – See all my reviews

THIEF (1981) *** James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Robert Prosky. Michael Mann's atmospheric and realistic profile of a seasoned professional thief (Caan in a brilliant turn) out for one lucrative score with a dream to lead a normal life with some dire circumstances standing in the way. Great production design and waycool score by Tangerine Dream.

Excellent photography and a genuine storyline since copied to death. A small gem of a film. Noteworthy: look quick for Dennis Farina and John Santucci who would star in Mann's tv series "Crime Story' and William L. Petersen as a bar room bouncer who'd collaborate with Mann in 'Manhunter".


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Fans of this film, get the Criterion release NOW! mountainjam819
Finally getting a Criterion Collection release asktheages
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What does Frank do next? vpking77-276-694061
What's with the lady watching TV at the end? dullatron
The diner scene and other bits and pieces... hankmcn
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