7.4/10
25,773
146 user 129 critic

Thief (1981)

Trailer
1:51 | Trailer
A former ace safe-cracker is trying to go straight--if he can score one last big heist for the mob.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

Frank Hohimer (novel), Michael Mann (screen story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,763 ( 598)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Frank
Tuesday Weld ... Jessie
Willie Nelson ... Okla
Jim Belushi ... Barry (as James Belushi)
Robert Prosky ... Leo
Tom Signorelli ... Attaglia
Dennis Farina ... Carl
Nick Nickeas Nick Nickeas ... Nick
W.R. Brown W.R. Brown ... Mitch (as W.R. [Bill] Brown)
Norm Tobin Norm Tobin ... Guido
John Santucci John Santucci ... Urizzi
Gavin MacFadyen Gavin MacFadyen ... Boreksco
Chuck Adamson Chuck Adamson ... Ancell
Sam Cirone Sam Cirone ... Martello
Spero Anast Spero Anast ... Bukowski
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Storyline

Frank is an expert professional safecracker, specializing in high-profile diamond jobs. After having spent many years in prison, he has a very concrete picture of what he wants out of life--including a nice home, a wife, and kids. As soon as he is able to assemble the pieces of this collage, by means of his chosen profession, he intends to retire and become a model citizen. In an effort to accelerate this process, he signs on to take down a huge score for a big-time gangster. Unfortunately, Frank's obsession for his version of the American Dream allows him to overlook his natural wariness and mistrust, when making the deal for his final job. He is thus ensnared and robbed of his freedom, his independence, and, ultimately, his dream. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Cheat him...and he'll BLOW YOU AWAY See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The vault that Frank breaks into in the opening scene was a real vault, purchased for $10,000, specifically so that James Caan could break into it, using the real tools and techniques supplied by John Santucci. See more »

Goofs

When Frank goes to visit his friend Sam at the steel mill, Sam's totals about the load of copper tubing are incorrect: "18% zinc, 42% copper, 38% tin, and one percent I don't know." This adds up to ninety-nine percent. See more »

Quotes

Frank: Your criteria are so far up your ass, they can't see daylight! This is bullshit!
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Alternate Versions

The Criterion Collection's Blu-Ray and DVD edition of Thief is a sort of hybrid between the theatrical version and the director's cut. The early scene from the director's cut with Willie Dixon has been added back in, but the rest of the film is the theatrical version, with the slow motion shots untouched. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jay Leno's Garage: Getting Away (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Final Confrontation
(uncredited)
Written by Craig Safan
Performed by Tangerine Dream
Played during the last scene and the end credits
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User Reviews

 
A thrilling, underrated gem ahead of its time
23 October 2010 | by mbanwaitSee all my reviews

I've always been impressed by Micheal Mann's films. Starting with The Insider, I was intrigued by his camera-work and the use of music to compliment a scene.

With Thief, his directorial debut, he shows what movie fans will be in store for over the 30 years. Of course some of the techniques to steal are dated, but I loved the glossy, yet gritty atmosphere of the film. Tuesday Weld, was also quite good as Caan's love interest. It has an amazing ending as well.

The film is Waaaaaaay ahead of its time. And I was genuinely impressed with James Caans performance. This film is an underrated gem and should be viewed by Mann fans who liked Heat and Collateral.

8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thief See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,492,915

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,492,915
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mann/Caan Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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