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The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 11 August 2015 (USA)
2:04 | Clip

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Tells the real life story of an 80 year old international jewel thief. Features interviews with Doris Payne, her daughter and son, her childhood best friend and law enforcement officers. ... See full summary »
3 wins. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Eunetta T. Boone ... Herself - Screenwriter: Who Is Doris Payne?
Jean Herbert ... Herself - Doris' Longtime Friend
Thomas Jacques ... Himself - San Diego Police Detective (as Detective Thomas Jacques)
Alfredo J. Molina ... Himself - Owner: Black, Starr & Frost (as Alfred Molina)
Doris Payne ... Herself - Jewel Thief
Ronnie Payne ... Himself - Doris' Son
Donna Swayne ... Herself - Doris' Daughter (as Donna S.)
Lupe Valencia ... Herself
Gretchen von Helms ... Herself - Doris' Attorney
Richard Yarborough ... Himself - UCLA English Professor
Daniella Flanagan ... 1970s Doris (recreation)
... Patient (recreation)
Brehanna Maxwell ... Young Doris (recreation)
Marshanna Maxwell ... Friend (recreation)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank A. Brown ... Himself - Judge


Tells the real life story of an 80 year old international jewel thief. Features interviews with Doris Payne, her daughter and son, her childhood best friend and law enforcement officers. Doris tells stories that include a daring escape, how she used "sleight of hand", and the first time she "took" a piece of jewelry at the age of 10. As the movie begins we see Doris dealing with her most current charges and the possibility of facing a term in prison. From there the film goes back and forth between the past and the present until we finally learn what her destiny will be after over 50 years as an international jewel thief. Written by Tena Williamson-lilburn

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »



Release Date:

11 August 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doris Payne: No Apologies  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


References Ocean's Thirteen (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Funny, interesting, definitely worth the watch
12 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

I had the pleasure of watching this film and Toronto's HotDocs festival, and I can say that there are few documentary films out there that can compete with this. We get a glimpse into the life of Doris Payne, a senior citizen with a past (and present) career as a jewel thief. She is one of the most infamous thieves out there, and her very presence in a shop will set off security staff. You may have even seen her in the news.

We follow Doris as she prepares to go on trial. We hear from friends and members of her family. We also watch drama unfold in front of the camera, as Doris' lies begin to catch up on her. A strong point of the film is when we get to hear anecdotes from the past. This lady has an interesting story to tell! It's no surprise that a narrative film about her is in the works.

What makes this film so fantastic is that while the filmmakers present us with many aspects of Doris' character which may contribute to our understanding of her actions, the audience is left to consider the root of her motives on their own. The viewer is challenged but not guided by preconceived notions.

It should also be noted that Doris Payne loves the camera, and is very entertaining to watch!

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