6.8/10
1,026
20 user 8 critic

Once a Thief (1965)

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.

Director:

Ralph Nelson

Writers:

Zekial Marko (screenplay), Zekial Marko (novel)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alain Delon ... Eddie Pedak
Ann-Margret ... Kristine Pedak
Van Heflin ... Inspector Mike Vido SFPD
Jack Palance ... Walter Pedak
John Davis Chandler ... James Arthur Sargatanas, Walter's Henchman
Jeff Corey ... Lt. Kebner SFPD
Steve Mitchell Steve Mitchell ... Frank Kane
Tammy Locke ... Kathy Pedak
Tony Musante ... Cleveland 'Cleve' Shoenstein
Zekial Marko Zekial Marko ... Luke
Russell Lee Russell Lee ... Drummer
Yuki Shimoda ... John Ling, Chinese Funeral Director
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Storyline

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 Jonathan <jrd@netvision.net.il>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

- always a target, for either side of the law! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Cantonese

Release Date:

8 September 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scratch a Thief See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,893,325 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production was delayed several days while the crew waited for cloudy daytime weather to add atmosphere to the big finale. This was just fine with star Ann-Margret. She had been introduced for the second time to future-husband Roger Smith, who was performing in a Frisco nightclub, and she wasn't looking forward to leaving him. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Mike Vido SFPD: Knock off the goofball talk, Pedak. Speak Gringo.
Eddie Pedak: Alright. How can you justify this one? Planning on losing me another job, is that it?
Inspector Mike Vido SFPD: No. No, this time it's different. This time I'm going to shove you into the gas chamber.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Background Beat (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

The Right To Love (Reflections)
Written by Lalo Schifrin & Gene Lees
Performed by Irene Reid
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Groovy, atmospheric melodrama
12 November 2005 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Ordinary crime plot, written by Zekial Marko from his novel "Scratch a Thief", is given vivid, hyperkinetic Ralph Nelson direction, beginning in a jazz club with a drum solo that is crazy-cool. Marko and Nelson really lay on the mid-'60s jive, but Nelson's quasi-European handling and groovy cinematic tricks make the film visually arresting. Story concerns ex-thief in San Francisco, trying to lead a clean life with his wife and little girl, fingered for the murder of a Chinese storekeeper by the police sergeant who hates him; worse, his shady older brother is in town wanting his help in pulling off a job. Interesting characters (one of the villains is a fey platinum-blonde punker years before his time) and performances, with Ann-Margret doing some of her best dramatic work as Alain Delon's wife. The talky lulls are given a boost by Marko's slangy, hip dialogue and by Nelson's fervent rhythm, but some may see all this as just ridiculous. It's certainly amusing, and the San Francisco locales are a big plus. *** from ****


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