6.6/10
1,052
21 user 9 critic

Once a Thief (1965)

San Francisco ex-con Eddie Pedak wants to go straight but local cop Mike Vido, motivated by a personal vendetta, keeps harassing him while Eddie's brother, Walter, wants Eddie for one last major heist.

Director:

Ralph Nelson

Writers:

Zekial Marko (screenplay), Zekial Marko (novel)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alain Delon ... Eddie Pedak
Ann-Margret ... Kristine Pedak
Van Heflin ... Inspector Mike Vido SFPD
Jack Palance ... Walter Pedak
John Davis Chandler ... James Arthur Sargatanas, Walter's Henchman
Jeff Corey ... Lt. Kebner SFPD
Steve Mitchell Steve Mitchell ... Frank Kane
Tammy Locke ... Kathy Pedak
Tony Musante ... Cleveland 'Cleve' Shoenstein
Zekial Marko Zekial Marko ... Luke
Russell Lee Russell Lee ... Drummer
Yuki Shimoda ... John Ling, Chinese Funeral Director
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Storyline

Eddie Pedak, a convicted criminal, has a steady job, a wife and daughter and he puts a down payment on a boat. He also has a police detective and brother after him, the first believes Eddie shot him, the second wants him for one last heist. Written by Jonathan <jrd@netvision.net.il>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

CAUGHT! . . right in the middle between the killers and the cops! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Cantonese

Release Date:

8 September 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scratch a Thief See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,893,325 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The voice of Zekial Marko is dubbed by Paul Frees. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Mike Vido SFPD: Knock off the goofball talk, Pedak. Speak Gringo.
Eddie Pedak: Alright. How can you justify this one? Planning on losing me another job, is that it?
Inspector Mike Vido SFPD: No. No, this time it's different. This time I'm going to shove you into the gas chamber.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Once A Thief
Written by Lalo Schifrin & Dorcas Cochran
Performed by Irene Reid
See more »

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User Reviews

often given a bad rap; actually pretty cool
30 August 2003 | by jt1999See all my reviews

The beginning of this picture, from the jazzy opening credits and into the next reel or so, is rather engaging. At its best, it is stylish in that French New Wave Meets American Beatnik kind of way, frequent in popular culture of the time. The dialogue is peppered with hepcat slang and frank references to narcotics

and so-called "deviant" sexuality. This is daring stuff for a 1965 release from MGM. Beautiful widescreen black-and-white photography from Robert Burks,

who had by then done several Hitchcock films. The steady hand of director

Ralph Nelson keeps the picture moving, often punctuated by moments of

unexpected brutality. PC this is not! The story itself is popcorn stuff, perhaps best not explored too deeply, but a great cast helps to enliven the material. By

today's standards, the character played by Ann-Margret would never be

depicted in such a fashion as seen here. (At one point, she apologizes after

being slapped around.) But hey, she's under the seductive spell of Alain Delon, a Frenchman playing an Italian. No, it's not "The Asphalt Jungle". Neither is it a total waste of time, as it's often described as being. It's a good example of a mid- '60s studio potboiler, capably and professionally (and sometimes artfully)

handled by all parties concerned. If your bag lies elsewhere, go on and fetch it, then. I'm rewinding the tape so I'll be ready to watch "Once a Thief" again soon.


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