6.8/10
4,690
67 user 31 critic

The Hot Rock (1972)

Dortmunder and his pals plan to steal a huge diamond from a museum. But this turns out to be only the first time they have to steal it...

Director:

Peter Yates

Writers:

Donald E. Westlake (novel), William Goldman (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Dortmunder
George Segal ... Kelp
Ron Leibman ... Murch
Paul Sand ... Greenberg
Moses Gunn ... Dr. Amusa
William Redfield ... Lt. Hoover
Topo Swope ... Sis
Charlotte Rae ... Ma Murch
Graham Jarvis ... Warden (as Graham P. Jarvis)
Harry Bellaver ... Rollo the Bartender
Seth Allen ... Happy Hippie
Robert Levine ... Cop At Police Station
Lee Wallace ... Dr. Strauss
Robert Weil ... Albert
Lynne Gordon Lynne Gordon ... Miasmo
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Storyline

Dr. Amusa approaches Dortmunder about a valuable gem in a museum that is of great signifigance to his people in Africa, stolen during colonial times. Dortmunder assembles a crack team of cat burglars and hatches an elaborate plan for stealing the gem. Despite their care and experience, circumstances and plain bad luck keep the gem just out of their reach. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How many times does it take to steal the same diamond? See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hot Rock See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,895,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Writer Donald E. Westlake stated in an interview that "The Hot Rock" started out to be one of his darker Richard Stark/Parker novels, but that "it kept turning funny." See more »

Goofs

Dortmunder is mugged for his watch, which is a wide leather banded watch whose buckle strap tapers to a thin strip. Later, in the helicopter when he says "Not me", we see him wearing a brown leather watch with a wide buckle strap this time, presumably a replacement. However, later we see him in the bar wearing a watch with a metal wristband. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Amusa: Someday the schoolbooks of my country will sing your praises.
Kelp: I don't think we want this noised around, do we, Doctor?
Dr. Amusa: I was taking poetic license.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo is erased away via a "snake effect". See more »

Alternate Versions

In a version seen an American TV in the 1970s, there was an extra scene where the hypnotist that is hired explains to Redford's gang how hypnosis works and how he can hypnotize the bank worker. He tells them the trigger phrase will be "Afghanistan bananastand", which Redford later says to the bank worker to obey his commands. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Clock (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot Rock Theme
Written and Performed by Quincy Jones
Sung by The Don Elliott Voices (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Tale Of The Traveling Rock
8 January 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Hot Rock has a soft spot in my heart because the area of Brooklyn where a lot of the film was shot, I know very well, Eastern Parkway, The Botanical Gardens and most of all The Brooklyn Museum I know very well from years of living in the Borough of homes and churches. The Brooklyn Museum is where the elusive Hot Rock resides or at least where it first resides.

Robert Redford is released from prison and his brother-in-law George Segal is there to greet him. As Redford says to warden Graham Jarvis there ain't no chance in hell he's going straight. Straight into another caper that Segal has lined up for him with Ron Leibman and Paul Sand.

The amiable team is hired by African ambassador Moses Gunn from some fictional central African country to get a national treasure, a rather large diamond on display at the Brooklyn Museum. They do steal the diamond, but through an incredible combination of circumstances have to plan and execute four different break-ins before The Hot Rock is in their hands.

Redford and Segal display a good chemistry, as good as the fabled co-starring chemistry of Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Why they were not heralded as a buddy combination is beyond me.

Stealing the film in whatever scenes they are in are shyster attorney Zero Mostel and his doofus of a son, Paul Sand. In the first caper at the museum, Sand gets caught and what he does with the diamond sets up the entire rest of the film.

As for Zero we find he's an attorney with absolutely no scruples whatsoever, the kind they make excellent lawyer jokes about. But he does give us some excellent laughs.

The Hot Rock is something on the order of an American domestic version of Topkapi. The laughs in it are good and strong, although some of the Seventies fashions make me wince. Despite that the film holds up well today. I'm surprised no one is thinking of remaking this one.


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