The Little Thief (1988)
"La petite voleuse" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Crime, Romance  |  September 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,381 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 8 critic

In a small town in post-World-War-II France, an unhappy sixteen-year-old (Janine Castang) tries to escape her dreary situation by any means at her disposal. Three successive friends (Michel... See full summary »



(original scenario), (original scenario) (as Claude De Givray) , 3 more credits »
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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Janine Castang
Didier Bezace ...
Michel Davenne
Simon de La Brosse ...
Clotilde de Bayser ...
Séverine Longuet
Raoul Billerey ...
Chantal Banlier ...
Nathalie Cardone ...
Renée Faure ...
La Mère Busato
Catherine Arditi ...
La directrice école
Gilbert Bahon ...
Le brigadier
Clothilde Baudon ...
Joëlle Bruyas ...
Soeur Marie-Odile
Denise Chiabaut ...
Le doctresse
Philippe Deplanche ...
Jacques Longuet
Erick Deshors ...


In a small town in post-World-War-II France, an unhappy sixteen-year-old (Janine Castang) tries to escape her dreary situation by any means at her disposal. Three successive friends (Michel Davenne, a married lover; Raoul, a fellow thief; Mauricette Dargelos, a photographer and fellow prisoner) help her learn from her mistakes. Written by English Showalter <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Last Story from François Truffaut... See more »


Drama | Crime | Romance


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Little Thief  »

Box Office


$1,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


François Truffaut's scenario offered the leading character Janine Castang as a female counterpart to the character Antoine Doinel in The 400 Blows (1959). See more »


Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 13 April 1996 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

More than a touch of Truffaut's charm.
16 October 2002 | by (bahamas) – See all my reviews

A nice little movie about Janine, a young girl, a compulsive thief, in post-war France, trying to put some kind of life together. Kicked out of her village for theft she goes to the big city where she takes employment as a maid and begins an affair with a married man. On meeting Raoul, a fellow thief, she embarks on a secondary love affair that ultimately leads to incarceration in reform school. Compelling performances by Charlotte Gainsbourg as Janine and the talented, sadly missed Simon de la Brosse as Raoul. This was Truffaut's last sortie into writing before his death and the charm is totally evident. A sentimental journey through a troubled young woman's life, this is a wonderfully detailed story that lingers.

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