6.8/10
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28 user 15 critic

The Thief (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 10 October 1952 (USA)
A chance accident causes a nuclear physicist selling top secret material to the Russians to fall under FBI scrutiny and go on the run.

Director:

Russell Rouse

Writers:

Clarence Greene (written for the screen by), Russell Rouse (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Allan Fields
Martin Gabel ... Mr. Bleek
Harry Bronson Harry Bronson ... Harris
Rita Grapel Rita Grapel ... Miss Philips (as Rita Vale)
Rex O'Malley ... Beal
Rita Gam ... The Girl
John McKutcheon John McKutcheon ... Dr. Linstrum
Joe Conlin Joe Conlin ... Walters
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Storyline

Interesting, but sometimes slow film about a nuclear physicist working in Washington DC who also spies for some unnamed foreign country. It does have a rather funny, patriotic/propagandist ending. It's most interesting aspect is that it is filmed entirely without dialogue. Written by <kelloggs@ug.eds.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Only Motion Picture Of Its Kind! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None

Release Date:

10 October 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hirsiz See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,000,000, 31 December 1952
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Thief is one of the few films with synchronized sound to be made completely without spoken dialog. See more »

Goofs

Martin Gabel's name is misspelled as "Martin Gable" in the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Face of the Frog (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wordless espionage drama an interesting experiment, but...
27 August 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

The noir cycle generated many curios but none odder than this. Russell Rouse (who had just done D.O.A.) decided to direct an espionage drama that falls just short of 90 minutes without containing a single word of dialogue. It's not silent, however: footsteps echo on the cobblestones of Georgetown and the floors of the Library of Congress, cameras click over hush-hush documents at the Atomic Energy Commission, telephones ring (but are never answered). There's also a good score. The espionage concerns thermonuclear secrets, so this film would fall into the sub-category of the Anti-Commie propaganda film, except for the fact that the lack of words allows for no preaching; the skullduggery is all but abstract. And the silence can be seen as expressing the deep, deep underground of the cold-war spy. Questions remain: Ray Milland always does well with this sort of recessive, basically self-loathing character, but why engage an actor with such a distinctive voice to keep his trap shut? And Rita Gam, in her screen debut, has little to do but strike any number of provocative poses and suck sultrily on her cigarette (the "temptation" she poses to Milland is never resolved). The Thief has enough going for it to keep one's attention, but it's an experiment that would have been more welcome had 15 or 20 minutes been shorn off its running time.


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