7.4/10
24,482
140 user 127 critic

Thief (1981)

Trailer
1:51 | Trailer
Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

Frank Hohimer (novel), Michael Mann (screen story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,940 ( 1,530)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

Tonight, his take home pay is $410,000...tax free. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Jim Belushi, on the documentary series Directors, Michael Mann drove the costumer crazy trying to get Belushi a Hula shirt for the scene where they are casing the last vault. See more »

Goofs

After Frank puts the transponder on the bus bound for Des Moines, the scene reveals the police car holding back traffic for the shot behind. See more »

Quotes

Leo: Plus, I've got a major score for you in Palm Springs in six weeks.
See more »

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

Turning Point
(uncredited)
Written by Leo Graham
Performed by Tyrone Davis
See more »

User Reviews

a real classic!
21 October 2001 | by dtucker86See all my reviews

Even though this film was made only a little over two decades ago, I consider it a film-noir classic! James Caan said once that this was the film he was in that he was proudest of next to The Godfather. I remember that Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel said this was one of the finest films of 1981. Caan is wonderful in a role that he was born to play, a tough guy with his heart on his sleeve. Everything about this film is wonderful from the musical score by Tangerine Dream to the dark lighting effects to the authentic detail about the life of a thief ( I read that Michael Mann actually used real life thieves as technical advisors to this film!). Even though Caan's character is an anti-hero, you have to feel sorry for him because he is caught in a situation where there is no way out! The best scene in the film is where he tells Tuesday Weld about his prison experiences and shows here the picture cut out that he has made of his American dream. Jimmy Caan is truly awesome, he is the only actor that ever made me cry (in Brian's Song) I also wanted to mention another great character actor who is in the film. His name is Robert Prosky and he plays the mob boss who uses Caan. This was his film debut after many years as a stage actor and he is terrific. Watch the scene in the acid plant where he threatens Caan. He is really chilling! Michael Mann created Crime Story and Miami Vice and he also directed Manhunter, but lets not forget this film as well.


74 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 140 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thief See more »

Edit

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed