Dan Duryea and his cronies rob a fake spiritualist and then take it on the lam to Atlantic City.


Paul Wendkos


David Goodis (screenplay), David Goodis (novel)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Duryea ... Nat Harbin
Jayne Mansfield ... Gladden
Martha Vickers ... Della
Peter Capell ... Baylock
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Dohmer
Wendell K. Phillips Wendell K. Phillips ... Police Captain (as Wendell Phillips)
Phoebe Mackay Phoebe Mackay ... Sister Sara
Stewart Bradley Stewart Bradley ... Charlie
Frank Orrison Frank Orrison ... Person
Sam Elber Sam Elber ... Gerald
Ned Carey Ned Carey ... Person
John Boyd John Boyd ... Person
Michael Rich Michael Rich ... Person
George Kane George Kane ... Person
Sam Cresson Sam Cresson ... Person


Nat, Gladden, Baylock and Dohmer comprise a disparate band of Philadelphia-based thieves, who, despite their differences, are able to pull off their latest heist of a bejeweled necklace which Baylock, the jewelry specialist, appraises at $150,000 retail. The heist itself was not without its problems, they having a couple of close calls in the process. The heist only exacerbates the issues between the four. Baylock has always had problems with Gladden who he sees as adding nothing to their gang, while brutish Dohmer always seem solely to want to manhandle her. While Nat realizes that they have to hold on to the necklace until things cool down in it being too hot, Baylock, on parole, wants to get rid of it as soon as possible to reduce their risk. While most realize they will ultimately only be able to get a fraction of the retail amount, Dohmer wants to push for as close to retail as possible. Through it all, Nat, the leader, seems to have a protective nature toward Gladden - the ... Written by Huggo

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They set up a luscious blonde as bait...for the robbery of the century! See more »


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Did You Know?


Filmed in Philadelphia in 1957 but not released until 1959. The View outside of the Philadelphia Art Museum looking down the Ben Franklin Parkway similar to the view used 19 years later in Rocky (1976). The P.S.F.S. the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building can be seen off to the left of City Hall. See more »


56 minutes into the film, the police teletype reads "LAST SEEN GOING EAST ON BLACK HORSE PIKE AT HAMMONTON." The person reading the teletype says it's the White Horse Pike. See more »


Dohmer: Why don't you let it drift?
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Crazy Credits

All credits are in lower case, including title card, cast list, crew names and occupations, and "the end". See more »


References Utopia (1950) See more »


You Are Mine
Vocal by Vince Carson
Music and Lyrics by Bob Marcucchi and Pete DeAngelo
[Gladden and Charlie dance to the song at the club in Atlantic City]
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User Reviews

heavy psychological noir starring Dan Duryea
7 September 2019 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

From 1957, "The Burglar" is a psychological noir starring Dan Duryea, Jayne Mansfield, Martha Vickers, Mickey Shaughnessy, Phoebe McKay, Peter Capell.

The beginning of the film is action-oriented, with Gladden (Mansfield) appearing at the door of a famous medium, Sister Sara and being invited in for lunch. She's there to case the joint aor her guardian Nat (Duryea) and find where Sister stores her gorgeous sapphire necklace.

The crew, led by Nat (Duryea) has fifteen minutes, during which time Sister watches a news show, to rob her bedroom safe. Nat does it, but not before the police see him and his car.

Tensions mount immediately. Nat thinks the best thing to do is wait for things to "cool down." Baylock (Capell) is hyper to get out as fast as possible, and Dohmer (Shaughnessy) keeps leering at Gladden until finally, Nat has to send her to Atlantic City.

However, it's not just the police after the necklace, and soon real problems develop.

Paul Wendkos directed this - it was his first feature, and his editing and camera technique attracted immediate attention and won him a contract at Columbia.

Dark and depressing, "The Burglar" focuses on Nat's psychological issues stemming from his love and loyalty to a man who took him in - Gladden's father - and his promise to take care of her. It's heavy going.

The film is very well done, even if it's not the most exciting thing you'll ever see. Dan Duryea gives a wonderful performance as a man with a conscience. Mansfield is deglamorized as the young Gladden. Though she's obviously beautiful and has a great figure, she appears to wear very little makeup and does not push her sex appeal.

Very Hitchcockian ending.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burglar See more »


Box Office


$90,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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