7.4/10
21,931
130 user 122 critic

Thief (1981)

Trailer
1:51 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

Frank Hohimer (novel), Michael Mann (screen story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,302 ( 302)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Manhunter (1986)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Former F.B.I. profiler Will Graham (William Petersen) returns to service to pursue a deranged serial killer named "the Tooth Fairy" (Tom Noonan) by the media.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen
The Keep (1983)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Scott Glenn, Ian McKellen, Alberta Watson
Miami Vice (2006)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Based on the 1980s TV action/drama, this update focuses on vice detectives Crockett and Tubbs as their respective personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Li Gong
The Insider (1999)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
Blackhat (2015)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three trappers protect the daughters of a British Colonel in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means
The Jericho Mile (TV Movie 1979)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A prisoner gets a chance to take part in the Olympics.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Peter Strauss, Richard Lawson, Roger E. Mosley
Ali (2001)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight
L.A. Takedown (TV Movie 1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Tough Los Angeles cop Vincent Hanna takes on a gang of professional bank robbers led by the precise, enigmatic Patrick McLaren.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Scott Plank, Alex McArthur, Michael Rooker
Blow Out (1981)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
Sorcerer (1977)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Frank
Tuesday Weld ... Jessie
Willie Nelson ... Okla
Jim Belushi ... Barry (as James Belushi)
Robert Prosky ... Leo
Tom Signorelli Tom Signorelli ... Attaglia
Dennis Farina ... Carl
Nick Nickeas Nick Nickeas ... Nick
W.R. Brown W.R. Brown ... Mitch (as W.R. [Bill] Brown)
Norm Tobin Norm Tobin ... Guido
John Santucci John Santucci ... Urizzi
Gavin MacFadyen Gavin MacFadyen ... Boreksco
Chuck Adamson Chuck Adamson ... Ancell
Sam Cirone Sam Cirone ... Martello
Spero Anast Spero Anast ... Bukowski
Edit

Storyline

Frank is an expert professional safecracker, specializing in high-profile diamond jobs. After having spent many years in prison, he has a very concrete picture of what he wants out of life--including a nice home, a wife, and kids. As soon as he is able to assemble the pieces of this collage, by means of his chosen profession, he intends to retire and become a model citizen. In an effort to accelerate this process, he signs on to take down a huge score for a big-time gangster. Unfortunately, Frank's obsession for his version of the American Dream allows him to overlook his natural wariness and mistrust, when making the deal for his final job. He is thus ensnared and robbed of his freedom, his independence, and, ultimately, his dream. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Tonight, his take home pay is $410,000...tax free.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thief See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,492,915
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mann/Caan Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Bridges was Michael Mann's choice to play Frank, but was rejected due to the fact he was young, and wasn't experienced enough to play a hardened criminal. See more »

Goofs

When Barry is cleaning out the vault, a stage light is visible in the bottom of the jewel tray. See more »

Quotes

Frank: Look, in what I do there are sometimes pressures. What the hell do you think that I do? Come on. Come on, every morning I walk in for five months, say hi - what the hell do you think that I do?
Jessie: You sell little fucking cars, that's what you do.
Frank: I wear $150 slacks, I wear silk shirts, I wear $800 suits, I wear a gold watch, I wear a perfect, D-flawless three carat ring. I change cars like other guys change their fucking shoes. I'm a thief. I've been in prison, all right?
Jessie: So what, I don't care.
Frank: So...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Criterion Collection's Blu-Ray and DVD edition of Thief is a sort of hybrid between the theatrical version and the director's cut. The early scene from the director's cut with Willie Dixon has been added back in, but the rest of the film is the theatrical version, with the slow motion shots untouched. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.12 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Turning Point
(uncredited)
Written by Leo Graham
Performed by Tyrone Davis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Excellent character drama is worth watching for Caan's superb performance.
23 November 2007 | by hu675See all my reviews

Frank (James Caan) is a professional thief, who enjoys doing high profile jobs. He also owns an restaurant and sales cars for a living. He's tired of his other life as a thief. He hopes to settle down by having a wife, a family and a house. When he's been contacted by a mysterious business man (Robert Prosky). Which this man is the local crime boss of Chicago, who wants him to do a big score for him by robbing Diamonds. Once he succeed from his job, which Frank was hoping to be last job. But the mob boss turns on his back and treating his life by working for him until he dies. If Frank doesn't work for his boss, he will kill his wife (Tuesday Weld), his best friend (James Belushi) and destroy his entire life.

Written and Directed by Michael Mann (Ali, Heat, The Keep) made an stylish character drama is that extremely well directed and acted by the cast. Caan's performances makes this fascinating film works. It's certainly one of his best roles to date. The supporting cast are excellent as well, including Willie Nelson in a small role. This film was a box office disappointment, when it was first released. Now it's a cult classic... largely because of Mann's visual style, the performance, excellent cinematography by Donald E. Thorin (Midnight Run, Mischief, Tango & Cash) and Tangerine Dream's electronic score (Firestarter, Risky Business, Socerer). Look for some familiar faces as extras and bit-parts. Based on a novel by "The Home Invaders" by Frank Hohimer. Big time Hollywood Producer:Jerry Bruckheimer (Beverly Hills Cop, Black Hawk Down, The Rock) is one of the producers of this picture. This is a underrated movie worth seeing. (****/*****).


22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 130 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed