3 user 13 critic

The Rainbow Thief (1990)

A petty crook, in search of the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hopes to cash in by befriending the heir to a huge fortune.


(story), (screenplay)
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fando and Lis (1968)
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Fando and his partially paralyzed lover Lis search for the mythical city of Tar. Based on Jodorowsky's memories of a play by surrealist Fernando Arrabal.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Tamara Garina, Sergio Kleiner, Diana Mariscal
Santa Sangre (1989)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers: he saw his father cut off the ... See full summary »

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell
Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert where this film was shot. It was there that Jodorowsky underwent an unhappy and ... See full summary »

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Brontis Jodorowsky, Pamela Flores, Jeremias Herskovits
La cravate (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A short mime adaptation of a Thomas Mann story about a Parisian urchin who makes her living selling human heads.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Denise Brossot, Rolande Polya, Alejandro Jodorowsky
El Topo (1970)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta
Tusk (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An English girl and an Indian elephant, born on the same day, share a common destiny.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Cyrielle Clair, Anton Diffring, Serge Merlin
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.

Director: Frank Pavich
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

At the end of the Spanish civil war, Fando, a boy of about ten, tries to make sense of war and his father's arrest. His mother is religious, sympathetic to the Fascists; his father is ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando Arrabal
Stars: Anouk Ferjac, Núria Espert, Mahdi Chaouch
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An experiment with editing techniques that distort space and time in order to further contextualize an image.

Director: Maya Deren
Stars: Rita Christiani, Maya Deren, Anaïs Nin
At Land (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Silently, a woman wakes on a beach as the tides go in reverse. Her dreamscape unfolds as she tries to locate a chess piece traveling from the beach to a party to a country road and then back.

Director: Maya Deren
Stars: John Cage, Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A man dances in several locations, edited to have a fluent effect.

Director: Maya Deren
Stars: Talley Beatty


Credited cast:
Prince Meleagre
Uncle Rudolf
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jude Alderson ...
Brigitte Barclay ...
Rainbow Girl
David Boyce ...
Jane Chaplin ...
Brian Conway ...
Ambulance Attendant
Carolyn Cortez ...
Rainbow Girl
Joanna Dickens ...
Berta Domínguez D. ...
Tiger Lily
Edward Donovan ...
Linzi Drew ...
Madame Rainbow
Ian Dury ...


A petty crook, in search of the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hopes to cash in by befriending the heir to a huge fortune.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You can just live. Or you can live it up.


Fantasy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

19 January 1994 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A szivárványtolvaj  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Only theatrically released in France in 1994. See more »


[first lines]
Dima: [talking to a rat] Oh no. Much to good a fish for you. You're not going to believe this, but I'm even hungrier than you are.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The cast list during the end credits is listed in alphabetical order. However, Ian Dury is listed before Linzi Drew instead of the other way around. See more »


Referenced in The Jodorowsky Constellation (1994) See more »


Non, je ne regrette rien
Written by Charles Dumont and Michel Vaucaire
Performed by Édith Piaf
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

while only director, it still is, and feels, looks and sounds like, a Jodorowsky film, a very good one
2 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

How criminal is this - the only format that has *ever* been available for The Rainbow Thief in America is on VHS. Imagine this, a film starring Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole and Christopher Lee, regardless of who directed it (though in this case the iconoclast/cult-icon Alejandro Jodorowsky), never got released in *theaters* let alone as of late on DVD. It's not that one must see it because it's a great lost masterpiece and yada-yada. It actually isn't. It's not as great a film as Jodorowsky's own Santa Sangre or The Holy Mountain. But as far as projects go that have been neglected by a major studio, Warner Brothers, this is one of the most notable to my mind. Especially because, when it comes down to it, it's quite possibly the filmmaker's most "accessible" movie to a mainstream audience.

This doesn't mean necessarily that it's like ET or something, since if only on the peripheral side of things it's as much a Jodorowsky movie as ever. In this story of a petty thief who robs and steals little things (i.e. an egg or a newspaper) to big things (i.e. an old record player belonging to a circus midget), we're put in a society where we're focused in on the outsider(s). We're mostly with Sharif throughout the picture as he goes along this lot of folk who live in the dregs, poor, destitute, or in the circus or the freak-shows, or working at the local pub. And the most significant scene showing someone living in a bourgeois setting, which is early on with Christopher Lee, it's in deranged excess with the Rainbow girls surrounded by Dalmatians and riding some motor-car. Even as someone else wrote it, and he was a "hired gun" as they say, this is nevertheless a Jodorowsky picture (for better or worse depending on the viewer).

But what makes it different from something like the Holy Mountain is, first, that Jodorowsky isn't out to blow minds away or find some kind of other consciousness through the power of cinema itself. This time he's telling a story that might have been written by Dickens; it has some of the qualities of a fable while also taking note of squalor and filth and the realities of living on the street and being among folk who dwell in the urban setting. Not to mention, of course, that Sharif and O'Toole spend their years waiting on the possible inheritance money from Uncle Rudolf in the sewer, with O'Toole doing ventriloquism with his (seemingly) dead dog. Second, for the first (and unless King Shot gets made only and last) time in his career, the director is working with major stars- reuniting Lawrence of Arabia's big names- and he deals with them as he would any other actor in his films, which is to let them go off in whatever direction they can to make it a better picture.

And, thankfully, their performances are wonderful, as is the bulk of the picture. While, yes, it is in some parts sentimental, particularly with the very end as one of those coda scenes that has that "it can happen in movies!" quality, it earns whatever sappy feelings come out because of how rich and full of life the film is. I say that it's his most generally accessible since one doesn't need to be a big art-house buff or into the ostensibly surreal midnight-movie scene to "get" it. The Rainbow Thief, with the possible exception of Tusk which I and most others have yet to see, is the only Jodorowsky film I'd be pretty happy to show to my mother. This may or may not come as strong praise, but at the least it's something of a minor crime that others can't have the choice to decide for themselves on DVD or at a revival screening somewhere.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Rainbow Thief DVD + Blu-Ray Release! El-Scotcho
Where I could find it? Golden_Joe
Jodorowsky fans, what do you think of The Rainbow Thief? Karl_Childers
Jodorowsky was not happy with this movie... genital-productions
Discuss The Rainbow Thief (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: