A retired cop blackmails ex burglar Bernice into paying him $20,000 - thus burgling. Paid to get a dentist's jewelry back from her ex's apartment, someone murders the ex and Bernice is a suspect. She investigates.
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Bernice "Bernie" Rhodenbarr is a burglar by trade, and she runs a bookstore as well. Her friend Carl Hefler is a dog groomer. After a successful burglary, it's discovered that a dead body was in the house she burgled. As she's the only one who can be placed at the scene of the crime, she has to use her criminal skills to clear her name of the murder AND avoid getting charged with the burglary.Written by
Based on the book "The Burglar in The Closet". See more »
At the scene at the used book store when Bernice is on the phone trying to reach Abe Froman, the shoplifter approaches the counter to pay for the books. Bernice then locks the door and flips the closed sign leaving the two of them locked in the store. The shoplifter is caught and gets angry, and after Bernice pulls her gun on him and tells him to never steal from her again, he flies out of a now unlocked front door. See more »
The IMDb votes for BURGLAR are all over the place. Substantial segments of users graded it 6/10, 5/10, 4/10 and 3/10. A notable percentage also voted 7/10 and 1/10. Such divisions only reinforce what is obvious to anyone who's seen this Whoopi Goldberg vehicle -- it's an extremely uneven effort.
One of BURGLAR's biggest strengths is that it hits the ground running. Whoopi is great in the opening scenes, disguised as a fat-bottomed ol' lady ripping off a small piece of a rich man's riches. This sets the stage nicely for what promises to be a fast-paced blend of comedy, action, and snappy dialog. The film continues at a surprisingly entertaining level as our thieving hero, owing 25 G's to keep the lid on past misdeeds, agrees to snatch back some jewelry for a bitter ex-wife. Only things go terribly wrong when her target is murdered before she can make a clean getaway. Now she's the chief suspect and, just as O.J. once famously pledged, must find the real killer.
Unfortunately, it's at this point, when our expectations are highest, that BURGLAR begins to fall apart. The film grows progressively (and unnecessarily) lewd and at times downright dreary (particularly the out-of-place climax). Though there are a couple of laughs, much of the humor is so painfully unfunny you almost cringe. Performance wise, Whoopi is at the top of her game. But hard ass/cutie pie act -- punching men in the groin one minute and making wisecracks the next --never really works. Spastic comic Bobcat Goldthwait is as zany as ever as her best pal, but no one seemed to realize that his is an act meant to be taken in much smaller doses than this.
BURGLAR would have worked much better as a straight action thriller. Its insistence on trying to be humorous is what hurts it the most. Of course under no circumstances would this be a classic. But at the end of it all, you get the sense BURGLAR could have been more than it was.
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