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It Takes a Thief (1960)

The Challenge (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | February 1961 (USA)
A gang leader dumps her criminal boyfriend when he is convicted of robbery, but he recovers the stolen loot once he's released. In retaliation, the gang kidnaps his son and demands the money as ransom.

Director:

John Gilling

Writers:

John Gilling (original story), John Gilling (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jayne Mansfield ... Billy
Anthony Quayle ... Jim
Carl Möhner ... Kristy
Peter Reynolds ... Buddy
John Bennett ... Spider
Barbara Mullen ... Ma Piper
Peter Pike Peter Pike ... 'Joey' / Joey
Robert Brown ... Bob Crowther
Dermot Walsh ... Detective Sergeant Willis
Edward Judd ... Detective Sergeant Gittens
John Stratton ... Rick
Patrick Holt ... Max
Lorraine Clewes Lorraine Clewes ... Mrs. Rick
Percy Herbert ... Shop Steward
Liane Marelli Liane Marelli ... Striptease Artiste
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Storyline

Billie and Kristy lead a gang of armed robbers who steal from banks, armoured cars, and the like. When Billie's lover, Jim, gets caught by the police after stashing a large amount of money, they wait for him to get out of jail. He does and has to deal with both the police and his ex-gang as they both need him to get what they want. Things become more complicated when Kristy kidnaps Jim's son and threatens to kill him if Jim doesn't come up with the buried loot. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The fabulous Jayne. A terrific draw in any situation !

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It Takes a Thief See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alexandra See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The train set bought for Joey has the name Rovex on the box. This was a name used by the Triang company which manufactured OO scale model railways. However, the actual train set in the movie appears to be a much larger Hornby O scale set. See more »


Soundtracks

The Challenge
Lyrics by Robert Halfin
Music by Bill McGuffie (as William McGuffie)
Performed by Jayne Mansfield (dubbed by Joan Small) (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exciting crime thriller
14 February 2019 | by dnhallidaySee all my reviews

This film contains a surprisingly high level of violence; in particular the kidnapping scene where the boy's grandmother is beaten up. Even nowadays when gory violence seems to be the norm, it mainly happens to men and I think most film producers would hesitate before depicting a helpless old lady being beaten senseless in prolonged and graphic detail, in this case made more realistic and believable by good acting from Barbara Mullen. The same thug who beat her is later arrested in his bedroom by the police sending in a dog followed by three heavies who give him a savage beating before driving him to the station where he is threatened with more unless he gives the location of the boy. Whether her acting is good or bad the producers probably wanted Jayne Mansfield as added glamour which she provides by looking stunning particularly towards the end when she sings in her club. Overall this is an exciting and entertaining thriller.


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