18 user 13 critic

Breaking In (1989)

Professional thief Ernie takes Mike on as an apprentice, but while Mike clearly has "larceny in his heart", it will take him a long time to get as good as Ernie.




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2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Scot, Poker Player
Shoes, Poker Player (as Harry Carey)
Vincent Tucci, Attorney
District Attorney
Richard Key Jones ...
Lou, Bob's Tire & Body
Tom Lasswell ...
Bud, Bob's Tire & Body
Walter Shane ...
Bob's Tire & Body Manager
Frank A. Damiani ...
David Frishberg ...
Nighclub Singer
John Baldwin ...
Paul the Apostle


Professional thief Ernie takes Mike on as an apprentice, but while Mike clearly has "larceny in his heart", it will take him a long time to get as good as Ernie. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An amateur thief and a professional robber team up for an outrageous comic heist.


Adventure | Comedy


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Como Ser um Bom Ladrão  »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$679,200, 13 October 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Mike is buying the torch at the hardware store, you can see a man in the background holding a stainless steel sink. This a reference to Director Bill Forsyth's first movie, That Sinking Feeling (1979), about a bunch of kids who decide to break into a stainless steel sink factory. See more »


Ernie Mullins: [parting] Poor kid.
Mike Lafebb: Poor old guy.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hobgoblins (1998) See more »


What Would I Do
Poem by Debilyn O'Flannery Riggs
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User Reviews

an assuming film that flew too low beneath our collective radar
8 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Burt Reynolds broke out of his leading man pigeonhole to attempt, for once, a more believable role, playing a middle-aged, low-rent burglar who enlists the help of a dumb but loyal grease monkey and then proceeds to give him lessons in both larceny and life. There are a few heists along the way, but this is more a character study than a caper film, and it works in large part because of the rapport and timing between Reynolds and his blue collar sidekick Casey Siemaszko. Both characters are losers, and it might be argued that losers make more engaging heroes, perhaps because they're easier to identify with. In the spirit of earlier Bill Forsythe films it's a slim but disarming comedy, with an extra measure of depth in the canny screenplay by John Sayles, as always the working man's champion, who along the way makes some minor but interesting points about the haves and the have-nots.

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