San Francisco ex-con Eddie Pedak wants to go straight but local cop Mike Vido, motivated by a personal vendetta, keeps harassing him while Eddie's brother, Walter, wants Eddie for one last major heist.
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Eddie Pedak, a convicted criminal, has a steady job, a wife and daughter and he puts a down payment on a boat. He also has a police detective and brother after him, the first believes Eddie shot him, the second wants him for one last heist.Written by
In San Francisco, two men kill a Chinese woman after robbing her store. One of the thieves has the same characteristics of the Italian immigrant Eddie Pedak (Alain Delon) and he becomes the prime suspect of Inspector Mike Vido (Van Heflin). Eddie is an ex-thief that was found not guilty for shooting Vito in a bank heist, but the inspector blames him. Presently Eddie is married with a child with Kristine Pedak (Ann- Margret), works as a truck driver and has put a down payment on a fishing vessel with his savings. Out of the blue, Eddie's brother and gangster Walter Pedak (Jack Palance) and his henchmen Arthur Sargatanas (Davis Chandler) and Cleveland 'Cleve' Shoenstein (Tony Musante) visit Eddie to invite him to participate in a one-million dollar heist. Eddie loses his job and his personal life is deeply affected by Vito since he can not find another job. He decides to meet his brother and accepts to participate in the hold up. Meanwhile Vito discovers that Eddie was actually framed in the Chinese murder. He visits Eddie to disclose his findings to him but Eddie has already participated in the plan. What will happen to him?
"Once a Thief" is an engaging film with a non-original story and unfair conclusion. The direction and performances are top-notch but the situations are inspired in many film-noirs. The deceptive hopeless conclusion will certainly disappoint many viewers. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "A Marca de um Erro" ("The Mark of a Mistake")
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