7.4/10
18,919
116 user 102 critic

Thief (1981)

Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director:

Writers:

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

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at Amazon

2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Barry (as James Belushi)
...
Leo
Tom Signorelli ...
...
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 | Plot 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,492,915
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the hospital scene, James Caan decided to stare coldly at J. Jay Saunders, who played the doctor. This really frightened Saunders, and his reaction in the scene is genuine. See more »

Goofs

During the L.A. heist, the device intended to remove the key-lock assembly from the door leading to the vault is screwed in (undiscernibly) and jerked back without removing the lock, i.e., having no effect whatsoever. In the next shot, the lock assembly is gone. (Maybe it took more than one try.) See more »

Quotes

Okla: Lie to no one. If there 's somebody close to you, you'll ruin it with a lie. If they're a stranger, who the fuck are they you gotta lie to them?
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Soundtracks

Turning Point
(uncredited)
Written by Leo Graham
Performed by Tyrone Davis
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
When James Caan was allowed to be real!
4 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

This is one of the few Michael Mann films I can stand to watch. Caan is at his absolute peak here, with his intensity just blazing off the screen. The supporting cast is excellent, the edits are perfect, everything just clicks.

As has been noted by other reviewers, the technical aspects of this film are right on the money. All the locations are really there (or were at one time) and the settings didn't have to be faked up. Yes, Chicago and surrounding Chicagoland is really like this, folks.

I try to watch this thing every few years. Should buy a DVD, I guess, and insert it into my permanent circular film buffer.

Highly, highly recommended.


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