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Thief (1981)

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 »
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4,644 ( 1,551)

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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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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 | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

thief | prison | heist | money | criminal | See All (231) »

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

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to James Caan on the DVD commentary, Frank is based on John Santucci. But Caan avoided doing an impersonation of Santucci's exuberant personality because he felt that it would seem too comedic. See more »

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: Look, in what I do there are sometimes pressures. What the hell do you think that I do? Come on. Come on, every morning I walk in for five months, say hi - what the hell do you think that I do?
Jessie: You sell little fucking cars, that's what you do.
Frank: I wear $150 slacks, I wear silk shirts, I wear $800 suits, I wear a gold watch, I wear a perfect, D-flawless three carat ring. I change cars like other guys change their fucking shoes. I'm a thief. I've been in prison, all right?
Jessie: So what, I don't care.
Frank: So...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Walking Vengeance (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Turning Point
(uncredited)
Written by Leo Graham
Performed by Tyrone Davis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
When James Caan was allowed to be real!
4 May 2010 | by (United States) – 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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