6.2/10
241
13 user 3 critic

It Takes a Thief (1960)

The Challenge (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | February 1961 (USA)
A gang leader dumps her criminal boyfriend when he is convicted of robbery, but he recovers the stolen loot once he's released. In retaliation, the gang kidnaps his son and demands the money as ransom.

Director:

John Gilling

Writers:

John Gilling (original story), John Gilling (screenplay)
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jayne Mansfield ... Billy
Anthony Quayle ... Jim
Carl Möhner ... Kristy
Peter Reynolds ... Buddy
John Bennett ... Spider
Barbara Mullen ... Ma Piper
Peter Pike Peter Pike ... 'Joey' / Joey
Robert Brown ... Bob Crowther
Dermot Walsh ... Detective Sergeant Willis
Edward Judd ... Detective Sergeant Gittens
John Stratton ... Rick
Patrick Holt ... Max
Lorraine Clewes Lorraine Clewes ... Mrs. Rick
Percy Herbert ... Shop Steward
Liane Marelli Liane Marelli ... Striptease Artiste
Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A French reporter working on a steamy story about the secret strip joints found in London's Soho district becomes involved in the lives of the owner and star of a famous club.

Director: Terence Young
Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Leo Genn, Karlheinz Böhm
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

After a drunken spree on a cruise ship, two women discover that they're pregnant, and set out to find who the fathers are.

Director: King Donovan
Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Marie McDonald, Tommy Noonan
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A gangster hires a down-and-out press agent to make his airheaded girlfriend a singing star.

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Tom Ewell, Jayne Mansfield, Edmond O'Brien
The Fat Spy (1966)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.7/10 X  

Off the coast of Florida, a nearly-deserted island is rumored to have the fountain of youth. A boatload of teenage kids are headed there for a scavenger hunt. Wellington, the island's ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Cates
Stars: Phyllis Diller, Jack E. Leonard, Brian Donlevy
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A Hillbilly hits the big time in Las Vegas.

Director: Arthur C. Pierce
Stars: Ferlin Husky, Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

"Doctor" Jayne Mansfield is in Italy to show a peer her documentary about mating customs from around the world while at the same time having to deal with two bellhops who have an idea or two about mating with Jayne.

Director: Luigi Scattini
Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Three thieves rip off a shipment of used money being sent back to the US. As they are escaping the robbery (after having taken a hostage), they wind up on an island in a hotel with an ... See full summary »

Directors: Gustav Gavrin, Richard E. Cunha, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Cameron Mitchell, Dodie Heath
Fantasy | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.1/10 X  

Hercules must save his true love from an evil queen.

Director: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia
Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Mickey Hargitay, Massimo Serato
The Burglar (1957)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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

Director: Paul Wendkos
Stars: Dan Duryea, Jayne Mansfield, Martha Vickers
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A medium and her husband stage a kidnapping in order for her to pretend to solve the crime and achieve fame.

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Kim Stanley, Richard Attenborough, Margaret Lacey
Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In 1896 it is announced that the Olympic Games will be revived in Athens. A young shepherd, Spiridon Loues, decides to enter the 26-mile marathon. Once in Athens, he meets Christina Gratsos... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Marton
Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Trax Colton, Nico Minardos
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In 1944, three Navy pilots stationed in Hawaii and a P.R. officer go on a 4-day leave to San Francisco where they party with a good crowd in the executive suite of a busy hotel.

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Cary Grant, Jayne Mansfield, Leif Erickson
Edit

Storyline

Billie and Kristy lead a gang of armed robbers who steal from banks, armoured cars, and the like. When Billie's lover, Jim, gets caught by the police after stashing a large amount of money, they wait for him to get out of jail. He does and has to deal with both the police and his ex-gang as they both need him to get what they want. Things become more complicated when Kristy kidnaps Jim's son and threatens to kill him if Jim doesn't come up with the buried loot. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The fabulous Jayne. A terrific draw in any situation !

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Pike received an "introducing" credit. See more »


Soundtracks

The Challenge
Lyrics by Robert Halfin
Music by Bill McGuffie (as William McGuffie)
Performed by Jayne Mansfield (dubbed by Joan Small) (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

 
With a few changes, this film could have been pretty good.
4 February 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The setup for "It Takes A Thief" really doesn't make a lot of sense--and that is a huge problem. It begins with Jim (Anthony Quayle) falling for Billy (Jayne Mansfield). He doesn't realize that Billy is a cold and calculating sort--and she is setting him up. She convinces him to join in on a heist and he agrees. Now here is the part that makes no sense at all--Jim is responsible for hiding the money and then someone in the gang lets the cops know he was in on the crime and he's sent to prison. Why turn Jim in to the police? Jim would either return the money to the authorities OR he'd sit on it until after he's out of prison--and that could be years. It simply makes little sense. And for some time you aren't sure if Billy did this or perhaps Kristy--the brooding gang member who appears to have an extremely close relationship with Billy.

Regardless, several years pass and Jim has now done his time--and the money is still hidden. He has no intention of returning to his life of crime--even though the old gang is pressuring him to do so because they want the loot. When he refuses to cooperate with them, the gang turns up the pressure by kidnapping Jim's son. At the same time, the police are keeping an eye on Jim because they, too, want the money as well. With all this pressure on him, what is he to do?

Aside from a main plot idea that makes little sense, "It Takes a Thief" has several other things working against it. The big one is the odd casting of Mansfield considering the film is set in England. Plus, the pairing of the distinguished actor, Anthony Quayle with Jayne Mansfield is just plain weird. Finally, the DVD print is pretty bad--making the viewing experience less than stellar. It's really sad because apart from the weird casting strange plot about Jim being turned it, it's a very good noir sort of film. The film has a lot of tension and the scenes involving the search for the kid late in the film were awfully good.


4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It Takes a Thief See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alexandra See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.



Recently Viewed