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5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Nous sommes tous des voleurs (Thieves Like Us) est un film américain réalisé par Robert Altman, sorti en 1974....Dans le Mississippi des années 30, Chicanaw. T. Dub et le jeune Bowie Bowers s'échappent de prison. Armés et dangereux, ils se tournent vers la seule chose qu'ils savent faire : cambrioler des banques. Dans leur course effrénée vers le Midwest, ils laissent derrière eux une trainée de coffres vides tandis que les journaux retracent leurs exploits avec passion. Mais, blessé, Bowie est obligé de se cacher dans une ferme. Il y rencontre l'amour en la personne de Keechie, une jeune femme simple et naïve...

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Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Keith Carradine as Bowie and Shelly Duvall as Keechie inhabit the mouldering hamlets of the 1930s south so naturally and unaffectedly that your throat tightens. This softer, dreamier Bonnie & Clyde-type tale (filmed in 1941 by Nicholas Ray as "They Live By Night")stands, with "The Long Goodbye" at the pinnacle of Robert Altman's extraordinary 1970s body of work -- even above "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" & "Nashville." Shot like old sepia photographs by Jean Boffety, the film boasts extraordinary supporting work by Bert Remsen, John Shuck, the pre-"Cuckoo's Nest" Louise Fletcher, and one unforgettable little girl. Why this masterpiece is all but forgotten is baffling: it's in a royal line of American movies dealing with average men and women trying to live in the twilight between decency and crime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I teetered between 4 and 5 stars on this. A gentle, slow, and moving study of some none-too-bright bank robbers in the 1930s. Keith Carradine and Shelly Duvall are terrific, and their scenes together are alive and wonderful. Some of the surrounding acting and storylines are good, but not nearly as strong as the films center. Beautiful production design, and a feeling, as with `McCabe and Mrs. Miller', of both tremendous reality, of `being there', while still feeling Brechtian and ironic at the same time. There are moments where the radio music in the background -- used in place of score - is a bit on the nose, and a few moments feel forced or slow. But this is a unique, odd and special movie, examining thieves in the depression without any hint of glamorization on one hand, or forced empathy on the other, while still breaking our hearts.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A provocative movie directed by Robert Altman from a provocative screenplay (Tewksbury, Willingham). If interested in what BONNIE AND CLYDE could have been, had hidden pretension had not intervened, give this movie repeated viewings: pretensions upfront, targeted and under control.
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By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I teetered between 4 and 5 stars on this. A gentle, slow, and moving study of some none-too-bright bank robbers in the 1930s. Keith Carradine and Shelly Duvall are terrific, and their scenes together are alive and wonderful. Some of the surrounding acting and storylines are good, but not nearly as strong as the films center. Beautiful production design, and a feeling, as with `McCabe and Mrs. Miller', of both tremendous reality, of `being there', while still feeling Brechtian and ironic at the same time. There are moments where the radio music in the background -- used in place of score - is a bit on the nose, and a few moments feel forced or slow. But this is a unique, odd and special movie, examining thieves in the depression without any hint of glamorization on one hand, or forced empathy on the other, while still breaking our hearts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Depression-era tragic romance that's quintessential Altman Oct. 15 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Keith Carradine as Bowie and Shelly Duvall as Keechie inhabit the mouldering hamlets of the 1930s south so naturally and unaffectedly that your throat tightens. This softer, dreamier Bonnie & Clyde-type tale (filmed in 1941 by Nicholas Ray as "They Live By Night")stands, with "The Long Goodbye" at the pinnacle of Robert Altman's extraordinary 1970s body of work -- even above "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" & "Nashville." Shot like old sepia photographs by Jean Boffety, the film boasts extraordinary supporting work by Bert Remsen, John Shuck, the pre-"Cuckoo's Nest" Louise Fletcher, and one unforgettable little girl. Why this masterpiece is all but forgotten is baffling: it's in a royal line of American movies dealing with average men and women trying to live in the twilight between decency and crime.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Altman Effort Jan. 9 2005
By William Hare - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Director Robert Altman accepted a tough challenge in deciding to do a remake of a film noir classic from 1949. "They Live by Night" starred Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell and was directed by Nicholas Ray, who guided James Dean to his biggest triumph in "Rebel Without a Cause."

Just twenty-five years after Ray's brilliant triumph Altman scored big with his sequel, which he called "Thieves Like Us," which was the name of the Edward Anderson Depression novel from which the films were adapted. While the earlier drama emphasized the wide open spaces of Oklahoma and the dark, moody noir photography in which Nicholas Ray specialized, Altman put his own stamp on the sequel, moving the action from the aforementioned Southwestern state to the Southeast and rural Mississippi.

Whereas Ray emphasized mood and photography to a greater extent, Altman focused on the social climate of the Depression days in Mississippi. Keith Carradine, the sympathetic figure of the film's bank robbers, as was Farley Granger in the original, tells Shelley Duval, the slender young woman who falls in love with him, that yes, he had killed a man earlier and was sent to prison for doing so, but explains the circumstances.

"He had a gun and it was either him or me," Carradine explains. The statement summarizes the dire circumstances of the Depression in backwoods Mississippi, where survival was the paramount factor. Carradine, who played on the prison baseball team, is saddened that he will never have a chance to test his talents in the professional market. Duval holds out hope that perhaps he can, but he knows better. Carradine realizes he is a pawn of fate, having broken out with two seasoned professional criminals, opposites played by John Shuck and Bert Remsen. Shuck complains about his existence and takes to drinking heavily while Remsen, the oldest of the group at 44, is from New Jersey and lets it be known that he regrets having moved into a life of crime. "I should have been a lawyer and run for political office," he laments at one point.

Remsen's game plan is to engineer enough bank holdups to create a big enough grub stake to enable the team to split up and lead prosperous existences far removed from criminal enterprises. Carradine continue worrying about Shuck as the weak link due to his chronic drinking and complaining.

Eventually, as in the earlier version of the film, the young couple eventually must function on its own. Shelley Duval hopes that she and Carradine can forge a new life but the fatalistic young man who would have preferred playing professional baseball is a fatalist during a Depression filled with fatalists.

One clever element that Altman provides is using radio broadcasts of the period to bring the movie into sociological perspective. We hear the reassuring words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt seeking to bring the nation out of its economic doldrums along with the considerably harsher words of fiery radical Catholic priest Father Coughlin. In one scene Carradine and Duval engage in tender lovemaking during a radio rendition of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a sensitive artistic touch.

Altman collaborated on the script with noted novelist and screenwriter Calder Willingham and one of the director's regular collaborators, Joan Tewksbury. The script never loses sight of Depression struggles and the solitariness of pawn of fate Carradine and his loyal partner Duval.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars radio fictions July 17 2006
By Doug Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
You can pick this video up, new, for about two bucks. Its like getting a novel for a dime and thats fitting since this is a film set during a time when novels were a dime (and cokes a nickle). This film will make you feel like you are in another time and in another place. I suppose that price tag is proof that this film doesn't get much respect but that lack of respect, that underdog independence that marks so many of Altman's films, is just part of their appeal. I can see why this film is kind of a lost classic, because THIEVES LIKE US takes place in a time and place that you don't want to be in. In the rural Mississippi of the 1930's people don't have many options, everyone's just scraping by. The only glimpse of glamour in this world is provided by the radio. The radio is simultaneously the thing that describes the world and also transforms the world it describes by making everything ordinary seem sensational and larger-than-life. It almost seems that since nothing ever happens in this backwards Mississippi world crime like radio is just a way of relieving the tedium. Many of the radio programs involve dynamic capers and crime stoppers and when the three thieves read about themselves in the newspapers its almost like they have transcended their mundane surroundings and have become part of that glamourous radio world. Of course we can see that they haven't. And of course the Shadow knows it too.

The three thieves are just ordinary guys (no Clyde Barrow among them). In fact they are each almost painfully plain and they all seem to know it and this is part of their rebellion against not just authority but against life itself. Bowie (played by Altman staple Keith Carradine)is the only one of the three who has any imagination; but his imagination is awash in youth and vague dreams of romance and of playing pro baseball. He was convicted of killing a man when only in his teens but its like nothing ever seems to bring this dreamy kid with his head in the clouds to earth. After he escapes from prison he gets separated from the other two and spends the night beneath a bridge cuddled up with a dog. Its his boyish ordinariness and innocence (despite what hes done) that gains and keeps our attention. When he meets Keechy he seems oblivious to the fact that she is the very embodiment of depression era squalor, all he sees is romance. And its to the sound of radio programs that these two consummate their union. With the equally hopeless and equally dreamy Keechy its like he's finally encountered someone who allows him, even encourages him, to dream. But we know there is too great a distance between the dream and the reality and that the two will eventually prove to be incommensurate.

This is a movie about a younger America (c. 1930's) but its an America that feels old before its time. Its a depression era crime story that takes place around drug stores and gas stations and musty hotel rooms. Its about an America without hope. The radio programming is a constant reminder of the contrast between "America" the self-aggrandizing propaganda machine and "America" the fallen, corrupted, and squalid realm of broken dreams. The whole film--from prison escape to final showdown with the law-- feels muddy. The divide between what we hear on the radio and what we see with our eyes puts a constant strain on us. We know that the thieves must perceive it as well and this is why we end up rooting for them; we want something in reality to equal the fiction.

THIEVES LIKE US provides a strange contrast with THE LONG GOODBYE which is about another 1930's archetype (detective Phillip Marlowe) adrift in an always sunny 1970's California. I think the 1930's attract Altman because they mark the end of that organic America, the America that existed before the crass commercialization of the American soul was complete. Altman characters (Keith Carradine in Thieves Like Us and Nashville, Elliot Gould in Long Goodbye) are anachronisms; they each are possessed by a kind of nostalgia for a simpler time, and, for a while anyway, they seem to be capable of living in a cocoon world of their own making, but whether they realize it or not they are caught up in the same web of corruption that snares everyone.

Between THIEVES LIKE US and THE LONG GOODBYE I would say I prefer the latter but these two films should be viewed together. The one seems to lead to the other and both lead to NASHVILLE.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Altman Classic April 17 2007
By Art - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Nice to see this classic finally get a DVD release in the US. Altman was at the top of his game in the early 70s (between MASH and Nashville) and this movie fits in perfectly alongside such classics as McCabe & Mrs Miller, The Long Goodbye and California Split. Great performances from Shelley Duvall and Keith Carradine dominate this gangster film that's much more interested in the two young lovers than in bullets or blood.

A must-see for all Altman fans. For collectors, be forewarned by the short shelf-life of the California Split DVD and grab your copy now.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the reasons Altman's considered a genius..... Dec 9 2006
By Photoscribe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This movie, a better rendition, if you ask me, of the whole "Bonnie & Cllyde" type of story, with Shelley Duvall practically owning the movie as Keechie, the quirky love interest of Keith Carradine's Bowie in this film, was made THIRTY-THREE YEARS AGO by the late, legendary Robert Altman. All things seem to come together nicely in this film: the art direction, something which Altman and his protegé Alan Rudolph were noted for on generally small budgets; the acting, by Duvall, Carradine, Remsen, Schuck and Fletcher; the cinematography, which is flawless and denouement, which flows like clear water to its final destination.

Remsen, Carradine and Schuck play bank robbers in this movie, but Altman takes pains not to portray them as monsters, with the possible exception of Schuck's character. Bowie is parlayed by Carradine as a sensitive, good-humored, "aw shucks" type who woos the rail-thin, down-home Keechie all through the movie. Remsen's character, "T-Dub", is portrayed as a bit of a randy old man, but essentially good natured. It is only Schuck's character that gets the standard "criminal [...]" treatment in the film, as a drunken, abusive and violent type. The upshot of this all is, BOWIE is the one who's a convicted murderer, but in the film, he's as gentle as a lamb with Keechie and the children he comes in contact with, all related to "T-Dub" and Louise Fletcher in one way or another.

Duvall's Keechie is her best role to date! Nobody can wield a rocking chair like her! Keechie falls for Bowie, (in fact, Carradine's Bowie is an awful lot like his character in "Trouble in Mind", a thief who wants to keep his family out of it,) and loses it when the inevitable happens at the end.

This was the kind of film Hollywood did beautifully in the 70s...the nostalgia movie that somehow managed to replicate earlier eras like they had somehow rigged up a time machine to transport whole audiences to the period. There isn't one anachronism or historical inaccurancy to speak of, and the radio shows, especially, some so obscure, I'm sure Newton Minnow would have had a hard time placing them, help establish the feel for the era.

A fitting tribute to a filmmaker whose later ouvre was a bit wanting. Joan Tewksbury also helped adapt this novel to the screen. Rent or buy...you can't lose.
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