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The son (James Dean) of a French aristocrat is accused of stealing his father's money and of stealing his step-sister's heart.


Vincent J. Donehue


Arthur Arent (adaptation), Henri Bernstein (play)


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Episode cast overview:
Diana Lynn ... Marie-Louise Voyson
Paul Lukas ... Charles Lagarde
Mary Astor ... Isabelle Lagarde
Patric Knowles ... Philippe Voyson
James Dean ... Fernand Lagarde
Nehemiah Persoff ... D'Arnault-Olivier
Jerry Morris Jerry Morris ... Michel


The son (James Dean) of a French aristocrat is accused of stealing his father's money and of stealing his step-sister's heart.

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Comedy | Drama


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End credits: The United States Steel Hour; We Salute The YWMC's 100th Birthday...Forever Young and Brave. See more »


Version of Le voleur (1915) See more »

User Reviews

Makes the small screen feel like the big screen
17 March 2019 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

When a large sum of money goes missing, married couple Paul Lukas and Mary Astor have no choice but to suspect their wayward son, James Dean. But did he really steal the money? Who is the thief?

It's common knowledge that James Dean only made three movies, but it isn't common knowledge that you can find other performances if you search for them. One hidden television special is "The Thief", broadcasted a few months before East of Eden hit the big screen, and he got fifth billing, on U.S. Steel Hour. It's very hard to imagine him as a young television actor instead of James Dean, the immortal movie star, when you watch this. From the very first scene, he establishes himself in his usual emotional form: Mary Astor asks him a question, and his answer, rather than a simple "no," is a wild flailing of his head followed by the one word written in the script.

Usually, television broadcasts aren't very high quality, which is why for decades, television acting was looked at as inferior to film acting. "The Thief" is the exception to the rule. If all television specials were as good as this one, no one would look down on television. It's well-acted, thoughtful, suspenseful, and sensitive. Patric Knowles is married to Diana Lynn, and his character has to fall from an emotionally great height in a short amount of time. James Dean shines, and once you watch this tv movie, you'll be so glad you've seen a fourth performance from such a great talent. Hats of to U.S. Steel Hour, who managed to make a small-screen broadcast feel like a big-screen film.

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Release Date:

4 January 1955 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Theatre Guild See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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