6.3/10
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12 user 2 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)
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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
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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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

British singer Joan Small provided Jayne Mansfield's singing voice. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Not nearly as bad as people make out.
5 December 2015 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

"The Challenge" (or if you prefer "It Takes a Thief"), may not be "Rififi" or "The Killing" but this John Gilling directed crime movie isn't nearly as bad as people would have you believe. In fact, it's a consistently fast-moving, surprisingly tough picture with a decent cast that includes Anthony Quale and Carl Mohner as crooks under the thumb of unlikely crime boss Jayne Mansfield. Yes, that's right - Jayne Mansfield, who isn't just miscast here but is perfectly dreadful and was probably the main reason the movie bombed, (was casting her really such a good idea in the first place?). Still, she turns almost every line she utters into a howler and is just one of the reasons the movie is so damned entertaining. Nice black and white photography, too, by Gordon Dines and a good use of locations.


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