Burglar (1987)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  20 March 1987 (USA)
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Reviews: 27 user | 10 critic

Bernice "Bernie" Rhodenbarr is a burglar by trade, and she runs a bookstore as well. Her friend Carl Hefler is a dog groomer. After a successful burglary, it's discovered that a dead body ... See full summary »



(novels), (screenplay) (as Joseph Loeb III) , 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Kirschman
Dr. Cynthia Sheldrake
Carson Verrill
Detective Todras (as Anne DeSalvo)
Detective Nyswander
Elizabeth Ruscio ...
K.E. Graybow
Larry Mintz ...
Vincent 'Knobby' DiCarno
Raye Birk ...
The Jogger
Eric Poppick ...
Man in Cadillac
Thom Bray ...
Shoplifter in Bookstore
Nathan Davis ...
Mr. Paggif


Bernice "Bernie" Rhodenbarr is a burglar by trade, and she runs a bookstore as well. Her friend Carl Hefler is a dog groomer. After a successful burglary, it's discovered that a dead body was in the house she burgled. As she's the only one who can be placed at the scene of the crime, she has to use her criminal skills to clear her name of the murder AND avoid getting charged with the burglary. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A first rate comedy about a second story woman.


Comedy | Crime


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burglar - Die diebische Elster  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$16,337,355 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Nesmith from the Monkees has a cameo as the taxi driver who takes home Bobcat Golthwaits character. See more »


Elizabeth Ruscio is credited twice at the end of the movie. Moments after her character is displayed with the actress' name credited in a caption, as is done with all the other major characters, Ruscio is again credited under "Also Starring," at the beginning of the rolling credits. See more »


Dr. Cynthia Sheldrake: There is a DISTINCT difference between killing someone and fucking them!
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Chris Rock/The Wallflowers (1996) See more »


Alright Tonight
Performed by Wax
Produced by Bernard Edwards
Written by Andrew Gold and Graham Gouldman
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Burgar steals your interest, but not your heart
3 September 2015 | by (adelaide, australia) – See all my reviews

One wonders how Whoopi Goldberg, ever became a movie star, but then we're remembered about how good she was in The Color Purple. Burglar is interesting I guess in a strange or enigmatic sense, but one thing it isn't: funny, not even remotely. I can't even believe this was based on the Lawrence Block novels. The movie almost makes you forget you're watching a comedy. It takes itself too seriously for one thing, where they should of really concentrated on one genre. The film too, throws in a couple of added touches, as if to compensate for what laughs there are, in this dry comedy, and slightly dry film. Examples here, is not a badly shot car chase, down those dangerously steep S.F. streets, with too many close ups of cars, flying over ascents. It's hammy. It also, purposely throws in one still slanted street CU shot, you never see coming, featuring cops, Goodman and DeSalvo. You feel like you with them on that incline, a kind of cool shot but really a stupid one. I've never seen a movie do that before, but like I said, you feel this is compensating for it being a misfire, where we feel, too much is poured into this. The film actually starts off with promise in one nifty driven house robbery you could say, that nearly see our Granny disguised Whoopi, busted. The plot has crafty cat burglar/book shop owner Goldberg, set up and framed while knocking over a young stud's place, trying to retrieve some jewellery for an ex lover of the deceased. What I really liked in this movie, though was the surprisingly good performances from the supporting cast, especially G.W. Bailey, while Goodman again make you stand take notice of how good an actor he is, or was too, before I first saw him in Sea Of Love. Vyto Ruginis, was fun too, as a slick haired, bad dude thief, again acting in a film inspired by a Lawrence Block novel (he also acted in '86's', 8 Million Ways To Die, prefore). Bobcat Goldwaith is again annoying, yet likable, as Whoopi's friendless neighbor, save for Whoopi, where an interrogation scene got me more antagonized, than it did Goodman. As for Whoopi's performance, it's hard to tell if it's good or not with these 80's comedies. I felt I was just going through the motions with her. She wasn't really engaging, but she did have her moments. Small ones. Out of interest, or a Whoopi fan, Burglar is worth a view. It's not a bad film at all, but it was intended as a comedy, and on that note, it fails terribly.

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