IMDb > The Art of the Steal (2009)
The Art of the Steal
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The Art of the Steal (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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The Art of the Steal -- A documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art.

Overview

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7.6/10   1,708 votes »
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The true story of a multi-billion dollar art heist and how they got away with it.
Plot:
Documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Entertaining and well made if one sided See more (30 total) »

Cast

 
Julian Bond ... Himself - Chairman of the Board, NAACP
David D'Arcy ... Himself - Correspondent, The Art Newspaper
Richard Feigen ... Himself - World-Renowned Art Dealer (as Richard L. Feigen)
Richard H. Glanton ... Himself - Former President, Barnes Foundation
Christopher Knight ... Himself, Los Angeles Times
Ross L. Mitchell ... Himself - Former Director of Education, Barnes Foundation
Irv Nahan ... Himself - Former Teacher, Barnes Foundation
Harry Sefarbi ... Himself - Artist & Former Teacher, Barnes Foundation
John F. Street ... Himself - Mayor of Philadelphia (as John Street)
Nick Tinari ... Himself - Attorney & Former Barnes Foundation Student
Robert Zaller ... Himself - Professor of History & Politics, Drexel University (as Dr. Robert Zaller)

Directed by
Don Argott 
 
Produced by
Lenny Feinberg .... executive producer
Gary E. Irwin .... line producer
Sheena M. Joyce .... producer
 
Original Music by
West Dylan Thordson 
 
Cinematography by
Don Argott 
 
Film Editing by
Demian Fenton 
 
Sound Department
Gary E. Irwin .... sound
Bob Schachner .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ben Hickernell .... additional camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Judah-Lev Dickstein .... associate editor
Rob Giglio .... colorist
John-Michael Trojan .... post-production coordinator
 
Music Department
Susan Jacobs .... music supervisor
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Albert Thrower .... music clearance
Jonathan Zalben .... music clearance
 
Other crew
Susan Norget .... publicist
Justin Wineburgh .... production counsel
Matt Wolford .... post production coordinator
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • DIVE  post-production (color grading)
  • DIVE  sound post-production (sound mix)

Additional Details

Runtime:
Canada:101 min (Toronto International Film Festival) | USA:101 min
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Color:
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Did You Know?

Soundtrack:
Musette Waltz 3.17See more »

FAQ

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Entertaining and well made if one sided, 9 November 2014
Author: runamokprods from US

Interesting and entertaining look at how a bunch of the powerful in Philadelphia basically conspired to take one of the great modern art collections in the world away from it's home in the suburbs, , and transplant them into Philadelphia proper, against the express wishes left in Albert C. Barnes will (made in 1922).

While there's no question the tactics used by those in power are sleazy, the film also ignores what I consider a key issue: Is it really such a bad thing that one of the most amazing collections of modern art be much more accessible to the public, even if it violates the will of a man with no heirs who has been dead over 50 years? At what point do old grudges - going both ways - count less than art belonging to the world? I'm not saying there are neat answers to such questions, but the film acts like there's no moral murkiness at all.

Similarly the film uses questionable tactics to argue its case. For example it's constantly stating how those on the 'other side' refuse to be interviewed. Yet, it is clear that the ideology of the film-makers is known to all involved -- the film is financed by one of the leaders of the group fighting against the collections movement, and guards at a gathering of those planning the art move know not to allow in this specific film crew, even mentioning their production company name. If you knew you a film was being made whose basic premise is that you're a swindler a cheat and a thief with no respect for art, would you agree to be interviewed?

Additionally, some of those who seem so calm and well reasoned while being interviewed and arguing the art should be left where it is, seem a little less impressive when you see them outside that same gathering screaming 'philistines!' at those going inside.

None-the less, I still enjoyed the film, and there's no question it does a good job exposing the fact that many of our biggest public trusts and charitable institutions have a lot going on besides 'acting in the public interest', and are willing to play dirty pool to get what they want. I just find it hard to see this as a case of moral outrage to rank with the Iraq war, or starving children, or the U.S. educational crisis. It's basically rich people hating on rich people. Fun, but not as nutritious as all that.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Art of the Steal (2009)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Dr. Barnes was a d-bag. the_mingk
The fact is this...this is Mr. Barnes art tbat82
Movie does not answer obvious question SurrenderToto
Music Gia258
What this movie is really about KolaDude
if the art in this place is worth 20+ billion dollars defcaliber585
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