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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Lafebb
Carrie aka Fontaine
Delphine the Hooker
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 ...
Sam 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 <>

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)


$1,877,618 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Albert Salmi. See more »


Young Woman Apostle: Do you have a family?
Mike Lafebb: No, not really. Just a mother, and a father, and a sister.
See more »


'A'-You're Adorable
By Buddy Kaye, Fred Wise and Sidney Lippman
Published by Aria Music Corp. and Budd Music Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

i worked on this film
16 February 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I was the music editor on "Breaking In" the experience of working with Bill Forsyth was one of the highlights of my long career. I just wish everyone could see the Director's cut. It was head-and-shoulders above the release edit. It was a very strange hybrid...John Sayles and Bill Forsyth - produced by Sam Goldwyn Jr. I'll never forget the day when Bill got yet another huge list of changes Goldwyn wanted - at the end of the list he asked Bill to respond to the changes he wanted - and also asked Bill(who is a Scot) to recommend a single malt whiskey for a party he was having. Bill sent a case of whiskey to Goldwyn with a note saying "This should answer both of your questions" The name of the whiskey was "KNOCKANDHU" !

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