MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,730 this week

Thief (1981)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  27 March 1981 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 13,577 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 103 user | 79 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screen story), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 07 Apr 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 08 Apr 2013
 
list image
to
a list of 33 titles
created 23 Apr 2014
 
a list of 32 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Thief" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Thief (1981)

Thief (1981) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Thief.

User Polls

2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Keep (1983)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Scott Glenn, Ian McKellen, Alberta Watson
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After his last crime has him looking at a long prison sentence for repeat offenses, a low level Boston gangster decides to snitch on his friends to avoid jail time.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan
Manhunter (1986)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Former FBI profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial murderer named "the Tooth Fairy" by the media.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen
Rififi (1955)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes...

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke
Sexy Beast (2000)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Brutal gangster Don Logan recruits "retired" safecracker Gal for one last job, but it goes badly for both of them.

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane
L.A. Takedown (TV Movie 1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Tough Los Angeles cop Vincent Hanna takes on a gang of professional bank robbers led by the precise, enigmatic Patrick McLaren.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Scott Plank, Alex McArthur, Michael Rooker
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

Director: Peter Collinson
Stars: Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill
The Jericho Mile (TV Movie 1979)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rain Murphy is a man sentenced to life in prison, choosing to do his time in near-isolation, and engages in distance running when given the opportunity for free-time. While his form and ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Peter Strauss, Richard Lawson, Roger E. Mosley
Miami Vice (2006)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Based on the 1980s TV action/drama, this update focuses on vice detectives Crockett and Tubbs as their respective personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Li Gong
The Insider (1999)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
Edit

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
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

thief | prison | heist | money | criminal | See All (209) »

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?


Goofs

After Frank puts the transponder on the bus bound for Des Moines, the scene reveals the police car holding back traffic for the shot behind. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Michael Mann's best movie, with James Caan' best performance. 'Thief' is a hardboiled crime classic not to be missed!
11 March 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Thief' is one of the most underrated movies of the 1980s, if not of all time. Made in the early 80s by TV veteran Michael Mann, and co-produced by the future "king" of action blockbusters Jerry Bruckheimer, this movie can almost be seen as the transition from 1970s character based crime DRAMA to 1980s flashy but brainless 1980s crime ACTION. In that sense 'Thief' is the last great 1970s movie of the 1980s. Mann made at least two great movies after this ('Manhunter' and 'Heat'), but I still think it is is his best and most satisfying work. James Caan believes that the movie contains his finest performance and I'm inclined to agree with him. Caan is dynamite throughout. He oozes charisma and is impossible to take your eyes off, but also gives a subtle and complex performance. The film works both as an exciting caper movie, and as a human drama. In many ways it is the best crime film to pull that off since Dassin's 'Rififi' in the mid 1950s. Cann is helped by a superb supporting cast, who on the surface may seem a motley bunch, but all are very good - Tuesday Weld ('Who'll Stop The Rain'), Jim Belushi (his movie debut), a memorable cameo from country legend Willie Nelson, and especially a fantastic turn from Robert Prosky. Prosky is probably best known to most viewers as the kindly father-figure he played in 'Hill Street Blues'. His turn here as a ruthless gangster is a complete eye opener! Prosky delivers one of the most vicious lines ever heard in a movie, which is a bit too extreme for me to quote here, but believe me, you will never forget it when you hear it! Many people seem to find Tangerine Dream's dated synth score to be extremely irritating but I actually enjoyed it and thought it helped build the mood. 'Thief' is a hardboiled crime classic and is highly recommended to any fan of the genre, especially those made in the 1970s. It is wildly underrated and deserves to be rediscovered by a larger audience. 'Thief' is simply one of THE great "lost" classics of the last thirty years.


74 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Fans of this film, get the Criterion release NOW! mountainjam819
Drive Countorloc
What does Frank do next? vpking77-276-694061
When Barry tackles his wife on the beach ramcamcole
What's with the lady watching TV at the end? dullatron
The diner scene and other bits and pieces... hankmcn
Discuss Thief (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?