6.2/10
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19 user 5 critic

The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)

A computer programmer decides to become a thief. And when he starts making waves an insurance investigator hounds him. He also meets a woman who becomes his accomplice.

Director:

Bud Yorkin

Writers:

Walter Hill (screenplay by), Terrence Lore Smith (based on the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ryan O'Neal ... Webster
Jacqueline Bisset ... Laura
Warren Oates ... Dave Reilly
Jill Clayburgh ... Jackie
Charles Cioffi ... Henderling
Ned Beatty ... Deams
Austin Pendleton ... Zukovsky
Gregory Sierra ... Dynamite
Michael Murphy ... Ted
John Hillerman ... Lasker
Alan Oppenheimer ... Insurance Man
Margaret Fairchild Margaret Fairchild ... Mrs. Donner
Jack Manning Jack Manning ... Tom Preston
Richard O'Brien Richard O'Brien ... Sgt. Del Conte
George Morfogen George Morfogen ... Rivera
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Storyline

Bored and somewhat fed up with the open corruption around him, Webster McGee decides to quit his job as a computer engineer at Houston-based Control Data Corporation. What he doesn't tell his friends and now former associates is that he does have a plan for his future: to become a jewel thief. His initial primary motivation is not the money, but rather be what he considers an honest thief. His first successful theft against corrupt businessman Gene Henderling leads to several things. Out of circumstance, Webster is able to have a long list of potential future targets. Webster begins a relationship with poor but beautiful socialite Laura Keaton, to who he is open about what he now does as a living. Because he leaves at his thefts a calling card in the form a chess piece and a slip of paper with a chess move, Webster, being coined the Chess Burglar by the media, begins a very public chess match with the Houston Post's elitist chess columnist Zukovsky, who dismisses the Chess Burglar as ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Webster and Laura took everything they wanted ... each other ... and a diamond worth $6.000.000.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A sakkozó tolvaj See more »

Filming Locations:

Houston, Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jacqueline Bisset took over the role of Laura from Charlotte Rampling, who bowed out because of pregnancy - VARIETY, Mar 15, 1972. See more »

Goofs

When Webster meets Deams and Hector by the ship channel, the wake from a passing ship is clearly seen over their shoulders in the close up shot of the end of their conversation. The camera then cuts to a far shot of the same conversational moment and the water behind them is smooth. See more »

Quotes

Webster: [to a dog pound attendant] I'm looking for a large dog in heat.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fun off-beat classic caper.
28 March 2002 | by chrliebrown54529See all my reviews

Okay, what do you need to perfect or make a good movie about theivery? A strong plot or a good source to base it on. B.fleshed out and fun characters C.a fun storyline or D.all of the above. If you said all of the above, that's right. These are the central elements that makes "The Thief Who Came to Dinner", worth checking out. Okay, first off this a dated 70's film that will probably turn off most people, but if you don't take it seriously as it tries to be, it's worth it's running time. Ryan O'Neal stars as Webster McGee, a computer programmer who one day ups and quits his somewhat cushy job and becomes a burglar. McGee is a very cocky, fun-loving guy, who you wouldn't suspect as being someone who'd break into your home and steal things. That he does it with such precision, so much so that he has an investigator played by the late Warren Oates hot on his trail. While playing mind games with Oates, he falls in love with Laura (Jacqueline Bisset), who knows what he does and accepts him for it, which goes unexplained in the movie. Director Bud Yorkin does a very good job here directing from Walter Hill's adapted screenplay. But it if was tighter paced, it would've been a lot more fun. There are times where the film lags and it really feels as it's missing something. There are alot of nice and breezy sequences prefectly shot by Director of Photograph Phillip Lanthrop. Henry Mancini's score is absolutely fabulous and arguably one of his more underrated gems. A little more energy would've gone a long way with this one. On the whole, I'd recommend it for it's performances and definetly rooting for the Chess Burglar.


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