5 user 4 critic

Thieves (1977)

Dramedy of a native New York married couple who splits up in an attempt to rediscover their sanity.


, (uncredited)


(screenplay), (play)




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sally Cramer
... Martin Cramer
... Joe Kaminsky
... Man Below
... Street Lady
... Gordon
... Street Man
... Nancy
... Carlton (as Larry Scott)
... Mr. Day
... Mr. Night
Ian Martin ... Devlin
Janet Colazzo ... Marianna
... Stanley (as Ken Kimmins)
Santos Morales ... Perez


Martin and Sally Cramer are a well-off couple of thirty-something New Yorkers whose once loving marriage is now stuck in a rut. Martin works as the principal of an elite private school and the enthusiasm and rebel spirit of his youth are now long gone. However, Sally is still the hopeful idealist and optimist she always was and prides herself with her hard work as the English teacher in a grade school in an impoverished crime-ridden neighborhood, where she's loved by the kids. They are both suffering from midlife crisis in a way, but they're dealing with it in an opposite manner. Martin has become a depressed nihilistic mediocrity and he accepts it. Sally has become frustrated by the lack of effort from both her husband and some of her troubled pupils to make things better for themselves and others, but she still has some lust for life left. Eventually, she realizes that their marriage is going nowhere fast and decides to leave Martin despite being in the early stage of pregnancy. ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A comedy about love, marriage, reconciliation and other acts of courage.


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 May 1978 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Thieves Like Us  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title refers to hours or time in general as the greatest thief of all. See more »


Nancy: God damn my eyes, and forget the color of my hair, but don't every call me 'dumb', I got smarts up here I never used.
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The Kaminsky Rag
Composed and Performed by Jule Styne
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User Reviews

It Doesn't Quite Capture the Charm of the Play ... However ...
2 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

I'm encouraged and happy to see such enthusiastic reviews of this film, and from people who (apparently) never saw the play upon which it is based. Because that means that, for some, what the play had translates to the screen.

For me ... I saw THIEVES on Broadway. It had a stellar supporting cast and two of the same leads as the film: Marlo Thomas and, as her father, Irwin Corey. Marlo's husband was played by the late, great Richard Mulligan. At the time, Charles Grodin was director (having taken over out of town, when a bewildered Michael Bennett decided it was unfixable). In the film, Grodin has assumed the role of the husband and he's fine (he has a subtle touch which is a nice enough trade off for Mulligan's manic intensity). And what one can be grateful for is that the play has been preserved in this manner at all. It's a respectable document of a too-long-neglected work by one of America's best dramatists (Herb Gardner wrote the screenplay too, which despite a few frustrating cutting room edits, sticks close to the outline of the play).

The flip side is that the film doesn't lift the material. As filmmaking it's kind of flat and often seems like nothing more than the play being filmed on location, almost documentary style. It is, however, better than nothing.

As others have noted, THIEVES is indeed unavailable as a commercial release (unless you find the rare UK videotape in PAL format). And it should have at least that much life. But it hasn't completely vanished: that selfsame British videotape has been digitized for home-brewed DVDs and can be found on renegade disks sold on certain internet sites by certain internet vendors. IMDb rules say I cannot specify where, but creative web-browsing should eventually lead you to a relatively inexpensive copy. And indeed, that's how I located mine. *I OFFER* you that advice for free.

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