A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a homeless young man from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there. However, she has no intention of ever letting him leave again.
Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in love along the way with a girl met at their hideout, the older man is a happy professional criminal with a romance of his own, the third is a fast lover and hard drinker fond of his work. The young lovers begin to move out of the sphere in which they have met, a last robbery in Yazoo City goes badly and puts paid to the gang once and for all as a profitable venture, but isn't the end of the story quite yet, as all three are wanted and notorious men with altogether different points of view on the situation they are faced with.Written by
In one of the old radio clips early in the film, the announcer talks about Seabiscuit winning the $25,000 Butler Handicap at Empire City Race Track. The actual date of Seabiscuit winning that race is July 10, 1937, which would place it after the end of the movie which concludes in the Spring of 1937. (Also, later in the film, we hear a radio broadcast of Franklin D. Roosevelt's second inaugural address, which occurred on January 20, 1937. Although the Seabiscuit race took place six months *after* Roosevelt's second inauguration, the film places the race broadcast *before* the inauguration speech.) See more »
As an Altman fan I have seen "Theives" many times over the years; it was to me the sort of film one admires rather than loves; it has a slower pace than Altman's big atmospheric classics like "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" and "Calfornia Split."
Since I caught up with the novel last fall I sat down with the movie last night; and I have to say for the first time I really agreed with the lavish praise heaped on the film by Pauline Kael, it may just be a masterpiece.
It is a film about how the ordinary were for a time drawn into the exceptional world of crime. The gallows laughter of the three killers is nervous and frightened; they know they are having a good old time while they can; dodging prisons where men cut there own limbs off to avoid being worked to death. Kitchee's specialness is a kind we would never notice in life; and in the film's lovely coda (diferent from the book) she melts back into the crowd, probably never to be touched by something transcendent again; and the cruel pop Christianity of the day drones on.
As the movie is unshakably shadowed by Bonnie and Clyde, the novel was partly inspired by the real life couple. Bowie's ability to break Chickama out of jail is better explained in the novel.
The film was not shot in Panivision so the video probably doesn't lose too much. Give this one a chance.
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